Helsinki University Lipidomics Unit (HiLIPID)

Welcome to Helsinki University Lipidomics Unit (HiLIPID) – Research Infrastructure of HiLIFE – Helsinki Institute of Life Science and Biocenter Finland.

HiLIPID service laboratory is located at the Viikki campus (Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Molecular and Integrative Biosciences) and is run by adjunct professor Reijo Käkelä with Dr Minna Holopainen and Dr Hanna Ruhanen. Collaborating laboratory at Meilahti campus (Institute of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine) is run by adjunct professor Pentti Somerharju.

HiLIPID is an academic research and service facility, which provides services subject to charge for research groups, companies and authorities. We are serving customers from the fields of environmental, ecological, basic biosciences, veterinarian and biomedical research.

Services have been provided since 2014, based on the experience of nearly 40 years in lipid analytics. Our strengths are mass spectrometry-based lipidomics and gas chromatography of fatty acids followed by multivariate data analysis. We have experience in metabolic studies utilizing labeled precursors. Recently, lipid mediator analysis was added to our service catalog. We have obtained a high average score in HiLIFE research infrastructure user survey, and performed especially well in quality and staff support.

  • Sample preparation and derivatization by trained users or as service
  • Instrument use by trained users with specialist support and maintenance
  • Full analytical service from sample preparation to data treated by multivariate statistics
  • Other tailored combinations of user and specialist work
  • Sciex QTRAP 6500+ LC-MS/MS with Agilent 1290 Infinity II UHPLC
  • Agilent 6490 Triple Quad LC/MS with 1290 Infinity UHPLC
  • Agilent 6410 Triple Quad LC/MS
  • Shimadzu GCMS-QP2010 Ultra, GC-MSD
  • Shimadzu GC-2010 Plus system, GC-FID
  • Camag HPTLC system

HiLIPID provides various services ranging from full analysis of lipids to supported renting of the instruments. The service list describes the typical services we provide, however, please ask a quotation for your customized service.

Note that specific long-term mass spectrometric or chromatographic full services (including metabolic studies using labeled lipid precursors, analyses of lipid mediators or other services that require reserving of machinery for a longer period for one application) should always be based on written service agreements with case-specific prices. Moreover, we offer multivariate statistical analyses. Please contact us for more information!

Global lipidomics by mass spectrometry

  • Folch lipid extraction (tissue, cell or fluid sample)
  • Lipid species composition by LC-MS/MS or ESI-MS/MS (the basic lipid package includes the species profiles of lipid classes depicted in the table below)
  • We also provide analyses of other lipids upon request!

Fatty acid analysis by gas chromatography

  • Preparing methyl ester derivatives for GC of fatty acids (tissue, cell or fluid sample)
  • Quantitative fatty acid composition by GC-FID
  • GC-MSD verification of fatty acid structures

Lipid mediator analysis by targeted mass spectrometry

  • Solid-phase extraction of lipid mediators (tissue, cell or fluid sample)
  • Lipid mediator analysis by QTRAP LC-MS/MS

Lipid class analysis by high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC)

  • Folch lipid extraction (tissue, cell or fluid sample)
  • HPTLC analysis of lipid classes by Camag instrument


Basic lipid package

Analysis of the lipid species of a specific lipid class is included provided its amount in the sample enables its detection with the machinery available.


Scan mode

Phosphatidylcholines (PC) and Lyso-PCs

Precursor Ion 184

Phosphatidylethanolamines (PE) and Lyso-PEs

Neutral Loss 141

Phosphatidylserines (PS)

Neutral Loss 87 / Neutral Loss 185

Phosphatidylinositols (PI)

Precursor Ion 241

Sphingomyelins (SM)

Precursor Ion 184

Cholesterol esters (CE)

Precursor Ion 369

Triacylglycerols (TAG)

MS Positive as NH3+ adducts



Phosphatidylethanolamine plasmalogens (PEp)

MS Negative & confirmatory Precursor Ion scans for 364 (16:0p), 390 (18:1p), and 392 (18:0p)

Ceramides (Cer)

Precursor Ion 264

Hexocylceramides (HexCer)

Precursor Ion 264

Sulphatides (Sulph)

Precursor Ion 97

Diacylglycerols (DAG)

MS Positive as NH3+  adducts

Monoacylglycerols (MAG)

MS Positive as NH3+  adducts

Please contact:

R&D, Postdoctoral researcher:
Minna Holopainen, PhD

R&D, Postdoctoral researcher:
Hanna Ruhanen, PhD

Principal investigator (unit head):
Adjunct professor Reijo Käkelä
+358 (0) 504486506

Principal investigator:
Adjunct professor Pentti Somerharju
+358 (0) 504482168

Laboratory technician:
Sanna Sihvo



Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Helsinki University Lipidomics Unit
Viikki Campus
Biocenter 3, 2nd floor
(Viikinkaari 1)
00014 University of Helsinki