LipiDex: An Integrated Software Package for High-Confidence Lipid Identification

Cell Syst. 2018 May 23;6(5):621-625.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2018.03.011. Epub 2018 Apr 25.


State-of-the-art proteomics software routinely quantifies thousands of peptides per experiment with minimal need for manual validation or processing of data. For the emerging field of discovery lipidomics via liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), comparably mature informatics tools do not exist. Here, we introduce LipiDex, a freely available software suite that unifies and automates all stages of lipid identification, reducing hands-on processing time from hours to minutes for even the most expansive datasets. LipiDex utilizes flexible in silico fragmentation templates and lipid-optimized MS/MS spectral matching routines to confidently identify and track hundreds of lipid species and unknown compounds from diverse sample matrices. Unique spectral and chromatographic peak purity algorithms accurately quantify co-isolation and co-elution of isobaric lipids, generating identifications that match the structural resolution afforded by the LC-MS/MS experiment. During final data filtering, ionization artifacts are removed to significantly reduce dataset redundancy. LipiDex interfaces with several LC-MS/MS software packages, enabling robust lipid identification to be readily incorporated into pre-existing data workflows.

Keywords: data analysis; lipid fragmentation; lipidomics; mass spectrometry; open-source software; spectral library.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Data Analysis
  • Lipids / analysis*
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Software
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Lipids
  • Peptides