A scoring approach for multi-platform acquisition in metabolomics.

Journal of chromatography. A (2019-01-28)
Julian Pezzatti, Víctor González-Ruiz, Santiago Codesido, Yoric Gagnebin, Abhinav Joshi, Davy Guillarme, Julie Schappler, Didier Picard, Julien Boccard, Serge Rudaz

Since the ultimate goal of untargeted metabolomics is the analysis of the broadest possible range of metabolites, some new metrics have to be used by researchers to evaluate and select different analytical strategies when multi-platform analyses are considered. In this context, we aimed at developing a scoring approach allowing to compare the performance of different LC-MS conditions for metabolomics studies. By taking into account both chromatographic and MS attributes of the analytes' peaks (i.e. retention, signal-to-noise ratio, peak intensity and shape), the newly proposed score reflects the potential of a set of LC-MS operating conditions to provide useful analytical information for a given compound. A chemical library containing 597 metabolites was used as a benchmark to apply this approach on two RPLC and three HILIC methods hyphenated to high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) in positive and negative ionization modes. The scores not only allowed to evaluate each analytical platform, but also to optimize the number of analytical methods needed for the analysis of metabolomics samples. As a result, the most informative combination of three LC methods and ionization modes was found, leading to a coverage of nearly 95% of the detected compounds. It was therefore demonstrated that the overall performance reached with three selected methods was almost equivalent to the performance reached when five LC-MS conditions were used.