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A novel automated chloroform-free total lipid extraction method for blood plasma compatible with standard 96-well robots has been developed (Löfgren L et al., J Lipid Res 2012, 53, 1690). In only 60 min, 96 samples can be automatically extracted with results similar or better to what is obtained using the Folch’s reference method.

The new procedure includes an initial one-phase extraction of plasma into 300
ml butanol/methanol mixture (3/1) followed by a two phase extraction into 300 ml heptane/ethyl acetate (3/1) using 300 ml 1% acetic acid as buffer.

This method involves low-toxic solvents and has been shown to have high extraction recoveries for all the investigated lipids, thus, it could replace the old chloroform-based methods and could become the method of choice for the modern lipid laboratory. For lipidomics applications, this automated process seems extremely valuable to reduce time-consuming multiple extraction procedures.


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