Untargeted Differential Metabolomics Analysis Using Drift Tube Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry

  • Rick ReisdorphEmail author
  • Cole Michel
  • Kevin Quinn
  • Katrina Doenges
  • Nichole Reisdorph
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2084)


Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics is being increasingly applied to a number of applications, including the fields of clinical, industrial, plant, and nutritional science. Several improvements have advanced the field considerably over the past decade, including ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (uHPLC), column chemistries, instruments, software, and molecular databases. However, challenges remain, including how to separate small molecules that are part of highly complex samples; this can be accomplished using chromatographic techniques or through improved resolution in the gas phase. Ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) provides an extra dimension of gas phase separation that can result in improvements to both quantitation and compound identification. Here we describe a typical drift tube IM-MS metabolomics workflow, which includes the following steps: (1) Data acquisition, (2) Data preprocessing, (3) Molecular feature finding, and (4) Differential analysis and Molecular annotation. Overall, these methods can help investigators from a variety of scientific fields use IM-MS metabolomics as part of their own workflow.

Key words

Drift tube ion mobility Metabolomics Acquisition parameters Four-dimensional feature finding Differential analysis Mass spectrometry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rick Reisdorph
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cole Michel
    • 1
  • Kevin Quinn
    • 1
  • Katrina Doenges
    • 1
  • Nichole Reisdorph
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA

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