The Ultimate Untargeted Technique
Where does the hyphenation of GC×GC and high-resolution MS fit in the quest for enhanced resolution in (breath)omics research?
Pierre-Hugues Stefanuto, Delphine Zanella, Jean-François Focant | | Longer Read
The rise of omics has been a hot topic in our group for the past few years – in part because our own expertise aligns somewhat with the needs of these fields. Metabolomics is then particularly challenging for the separation science community, demanding the application of high-end iterations of various techniques, including LC, GC, MS, and NMR. In fact, when it comes to metabolomics, most analytical tools have a “seat at the technique table” – after all, multimodality is the only way to make sense of such high sample complexity.
Multidimensional chromatography holds one of those seats, and often comes up in conversations on how separation power should be best enhanced. Such discussions essentially center on a single question: would it ultimately be better to have analytical separation based exclusively on an ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometer or through a combination of high-resolution techniques with orthogonal dimensions (chromatographic and mass spectrometric)?
There is likely no definitive answer to this question, but we hope our works demonstrate the use of comprehensive two-dimensional GC (GC×GC) coupled with high-resolution MS (HRMS) as one compelling option. By combining these techniques – and thus exploiting several levels of orthogonality – we have been able to improve both the versatility and the robustness of the unknown compound identification process – particularly in the young field of breathomics, which we’ll talk more about later.
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