Hi Friends! I thought I'd give you all a quick research update.
Hopefully you all remembered that I'm developing a new ionization source for mass spectrometry called Thread Spray. Here's a thread about it to refresh your memory.
The highlights of that thread are that I can use cotton spool thread to do high level chemistry. My current project is focuses on metabolic syndrome, more specifically obesity. My goal for this project is to use the concentrations of free fatty acids as biomarkers of obesity to determine the level of health risk in untreated clinically relevant serum samples...all with cotton thread. Now why in theory does this work? Well excess body fat = high lipid concentrations. When those lipids breakdown, they form free fatty acids in serum. So the more fat, the more fatty acids. (Which I can take full advantage of with mass spectrometry).
Another thing about lipids, as you can see from that picture, is that the "fatty acid" part is variable. Sometimes it's a saturated fatty acid (FA), which doesn't have a double bond. Other times it's unsaturated, which does have double bonds. In this work, I've been looking at 8 different FAs in different types of serum (some clinically obese, others healthy, etc.) to see if:
The short answer is yes I can! I have been looking at different fatty concentration ratios to make inferences on diet and health risk. I cannot wait to write this up and publish it so I give you ALL of the deets.
But here's why I think this is awesome.
It's awesome because small molecules contain a lot of information! Being able to discriminate between type AND concentration allows for future work to be done in studying metabolic syndrome and its health implications. This project is step 1 for my lab in terms of disease diagnosis.