June 9, 2023

Resolving Lipid Structures for Threat-Agnostic Signatures


Development of threat-agnostic biosignatures is critical for the detection of and response to biological threats that go beyond the historical list-based approach. Lipids are a class of structurally diverse biomolecules that hold great promise as relevant threat-agnostic biosignatures, yet the fundamental challenge of resolving and decoding structural differences among lipids remains an obstacle in the pursuit of signature development. Structural analysis of complex lipids remains stymied due to spectral complexity and the inability to resolve low abundance lipids. To address these challenges, we integrated ozonolysis with ion mobility mass spectrometry (IMS-MS) analysis to determine the structural information for complex lipid species and (2) reduced lipid sample complexity prior to introduction into the IMS-MS using normal phase high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) to enable the ozonolysis of low abundance lipids. We applied these new capabilities to define the lipid structures in antimicrobial resistant (AMR) and antimicrobial susceptible (AMS) biothreat organism Yersinia pestis and cells infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants.

Published: June 9, 2023


Kaiser B., and J.E. Kyle. 2022. Resolving Lipid Structures for Threat-Agnostic Signatures Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.