Suitable simple and fast methods for selective isolation of phospholipids as a tool for their analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Lipids are gaining relevance over the last 20 years, as our knowledge about their role has changed from merely energy/structural molecules to compounds also involved in several biological processes. This led to the creation in 2003 of a new emerging research field: lipidomics. In particular the phospholipids have pharmacological/food applications, participate in cell signalling/homeostatic pathways while their analysis faces some challenges. Their fractionation/purification is, in fact, especially difficult, as they are amphiphilic compounds. Moreover, it usually involves SPE or TLC procedures requiring specific materials hampering their suitableness for routine analysis. Finally, they can interfere with the ionization of other molecules during mass spectrometry analysis. Thus, simple high-throughput reliable methods to selectively isolate these compounds based on the difference between chemical characteristics of lipids would represent valuable tools for their study besides that of other compounds. The current review work aims to describe the state-of-the-art related to the extraction of phospholipids using liquid-liquid methods for their targeted isolation. The technological and biological importance of these compounds and ion suppression phenomena are also reviewed. Methods by precipitation with acetone or isolation using methanol seem to be suitable for selective isolation of phospholipids in both biological and food samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1835-1845
Number of pages11
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Ion suppression
  • LLE
  • Phospholipids
  • Selective isolation


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