Advances in high resolution GC-MS technology: a focus on the application of GC-Orbitrap-MS in metabolomics and exposomics for FAIR practices
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) provides a complementary analytical platform for capturing volatiles, non-polar and (derivatized) polar metabolites and exposures from a diverse array of matrixes. High resolution (HR) GC-MS as a data generation platform can capture data on analytes that are usually not detectable/quantifiable in liquid chromatography mass-spectrometry-based solutions. With the rise of high-resolution accurate mass (HRAM) GC-MS systems such as GC-Orbitrap-MS in the last decade after the time-of-flight (ToF) renaissance, numerous applications have been found in the fields of metabolomics and exposomics. In a short span of time, a multitude of studies have used GC-Orbitrap-MS to generate exciting new high throughput data spanning from diverse basic to applied research areas. The GC-Orbitrap-MS has found application in both targeted and untargeted efforts for capturing metabolomes and exposomes across diverse studies. In this review, I capture and summarize all the reported studies to date, and provide a snapshot of the milieu of commercial and open-source software solutions, spectral libraries, and informatics solutions available to a GC-Orbitrap-MS system instrument user or a data analyst dealing with these datasets. Lastly, but importantly, I provide an account on data sharing and meta-data capturing solutions that are available to make HRAM GC-MS based metabolomics and exposomics studies findable, accessible, interoperable, and reproducible (FAIR). These FAIR practices would allow data generators and users of GC-HRMS instruments to help the community of GC-MS researchers to collaborate and co-develop exciting tools and algorithms in the future.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Analytical Methods Review Articles 2021