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Applied Biosystems
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Extraction of lipids from animal tissue


This procedure is generalized.  Please contact us at (please include a subject line) to inquire.

Use glass tubes with Teflon-lined screw caps.

 To 0.8 parts cells/tissue (homogenized; see below) in aqueous solution, add 1 part chloroform and 2 parts methanol. Shake well, add 1 part chloroform and 1 part water. Shake, centrifuge at low speed for 5-10 min. Remove the lower layer. Add 1 part chloroform, shake, centrifuge, remove the lower layer. Add 1 part chloroform, shake, centrifuge, remove the lower layer. Wash the combined lower layers once with a small volume 1 M KCl and once with a small volume of water.

Fill tubes with nitrogen, store in freezer; and transport to the KLRC Analytical Laboratory on dry ice. Alternatively, if you need to ship the samples, evaporate the solvent, fill the tubes to nitrogen, and ship on dry ice.  You may wish to consider transferring the samples to 2 ml vials with teflon-lined caps for shipping. Please contact Mary Roth at before shipping.


If you have trouble with emulsions, you may have to add some KCl or other salt to the extraction.  If you have polyunsaturated samples, we suggest including 0.01% BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) in the chloroform. You may or may not need to grind your  tissue.  If you need to do this, if is preferable to do it either on sample frozen in liquid nitrogen (e.g. mortar and pestle) or on sample already in solvent (e.g. Dounce or Potter-Elvehejem homogenizer), as this reduces any possible enzymatically induced hydrolysis during the grinding or homogenizing.

Safety tip:

Wear safety glasses and protective clothing, especially when operating a Potter-Elvehejem homogenizer with the sample in solvent, because the solvent can accidentally splatter.  To avoid this, start slowly.

 Copyright 2005 @ Kansas Lipidomics Research Center,Kansas State University.
 Website  design by Prashanth Palakollu.

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Page last updated July 3, 2007

 Copyright 2005 @ Kansas Lipidomcs Research Center , Kansas State University.Website  designed by Prashanth Palakollu.