Sterol analysis by quantitative mass spectrometry
Analysis of sterols by mass spectrometry is a fundamental technique allowing for both qualitative and quantitative characterization of sterol molecular lipid species. Lipids are isolated from matrix or matrices by homogenization and solvent extraction, and converted into species amenable for ionization either by derivatization or adduct formation. Chromatogaphy (either gas or liquid phase) can assist with the resolution of sterols. Tandem mass spectrometry allows the precise identification of sterol lipid species, while comparison to internal standards added during extraction enables accurate quantification.