An overview of lipidomics utilizing cadaver derived biological samples

Luheng Lyu, Neel Sonik, Sanjoy Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: We present lipidomic studies that have utilized cadaveric biological samples, including tissues and bodily fluids (excluding blood or serum). Analyses of lipids from cadaveric-derived tissues play vital roles in many different fields, such as in anthropogeny to understand food habits of ancient people, in forensics for postmortem analyses, and in biomedical research to study human diseases. Areas covered: The goal of the review is to demonstrate how cadavers can be utilized for study of lipidome to get biological insight in different fields. Several important considerations need to be made when analyzing lipids from cadaver samples. For example, what important postmortem changes occur due to environmental or other intrinsic factors that introduce deviations in the observed differences versus true differences? Do these factors affect distinct classes of lipids differently? How do we arrive at a reasonable level of certainty that the observed differences are truly biological rather than artifacts of sample collection, changes during transportation, or variations in analytical procedures? These are pressing questions that need to be addressed when performing lipidomics investigations utilizing postmortem tissues, which inherently presents hurdles and unknowns beginning with harvesting methods, transportation logistics, and at analytical techniques. In our review, we have purposefully omitted blood and serum studies since they pose greater challenges in this regard. Several studies have been carried out with cadaveric tissues and fluids that support the successful use of cases of these samples; however, many control studies are still necessary to provide insight into full potential of the cadaveric tissue and fluid resources. Most importantly, additional control studies will allow us to gain important insights into the opportunities lipidomics presents for biomedical studies of complex human disease and disorders. Another goal of the review is to generate awareness about limitations and pitfalls of use of cadaver materials for study of lipidome. Expert Opinion: We comment on the current state of lipidomics studies that utilize cadaveric tissues, provide a few pertinent examples, and discuss perspectives on both future technological directions and the applications they will enable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-461
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Proteomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Lipidomics
  • cadaveric
  • mass spectrometry
  • postmortem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'An overview of lipidomics utilizing cadaver derived biological samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this