Lipids play increasingly important roles in all aspects of life and various industries including nutrition, cosmetics, biomarker and drug development. Existing analysis methods are suitable for highly abundant lipids (millimolar in human blood) such as cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids, but lack the sensitivity and robustness required for analysis of low abundant lipids, many of which are of critical importance for biomarker and drug development.
One such critically important lipid is sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a low abundant (micromolar) signalling molecule which is currently emerging as a valid biomarker for life-threatening illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
We have developed an extraction kit for the selective enrichment of S1P. Our enrichment strategy is based on a novel polymer containing bis-imidazolium moieties, which is capable of binding long chain base phosphate molecules (LCB-P), such as sphingosine-1-phosphate. The invention has been developed into a novel device for the detection and isolation of long-chain base phosphates which incorporates the polymer. Phosphate is common amongst biological lipids and present in either monoester and/or diester configurations, with most biologically active lipids containing at least one phospho-monoester. There is therefore a need to isolate and characterize phospholipids, and in particular LCB-Ps, in the tissues and body fluids of living organisms.