The BUME method: a new rapid and simple chloroform-free method for total lipid extraction of animal tissue

Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 10:6:27688. doi: 10.1038/srep27688.


In this study we present a simple and rapid method for tissue lipid extraction. Snap-frozen tissue (15-150 mg) is collected in 2 ml homogenization tubes. 500 μl BUME mixture (butanol:methanol [3:1]) is added and automated homogenization of up to 24 frozen samples at a time in less than 60 seconds is performed, followed by a 5-minute single-phase extraction. After the addition of 500 μl heptane:ethyl acetate (3:1) and 500 μl 1% acetic acid a 5-minute two-phase extraction is performed. Lipids are recovered from the upper phase by automated liquid handling using a standard 96-tip robot. A second two-phase extraction is performed using 500 μl heptane:ethyl acetate (3:1). Validation of the method showed that the extraction recoveries for the investigated lipids, which included sterols, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids were similar or better than for the Folch method. We also applied the method for lipid extraction of liver and heart and compared the lipid species profiles with profiles generated after Folch and MTBE extraction. We conclude that the BUME method is superior to the Folch method in terms of simplicity, through-put, automation, solvent consumption, economy, health and environment yet delivering lipid recoveries fully comparable to or better than the Folch method.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Butanols / chemistry
  • Cell Fractionation / methods*
  • Cell Fractionation / standards
  • Chloroform / chemistry
  • Heptanes / chemistry
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Methanol / chemistry
  • Mice


  • Acetates
  • Butanols
  • Heptanes
  • Lipids
  • ethyl acetate
  • Chloroform
  • Methanol