Mass Spectrometric Methods for the Analysis of Heparin and Heparan Sulfate

  • Miroslaw Lech
  • Ishan Capila
  • Ganesh V. KaundinyaEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1229)


Glycosaminoglycans like heparin and heparan sulfate exhibit a high degree of structural heterogeneity. This structural heterogeneity results from the biosynthetic process that produces these linear polysaccharides in cells and tissues. Heparin and heparan sulfate play critical roles in normal physiology and pathophysiology; hence it is important to understand how their structural features may influence overall activity. Therefore, high-resolution techniques like mass spectrometry represent a key part of the suite of methodologies available to probe the fine structural details of heparin and heparan sulfate. This chapter outlines the application of techniques like LC-MS and LC-MS/MS to study the composition of these polysaccharides, and techniques like GPC-MS that allow for an analysis of oligosaccharide fragments in these mixtures.

Key words

Glycosaminoglycans Heparin Heparan sulfate Ion-pairing reversed-phase liquid chromatography (IPRP-HPLC) Low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) Mass spectrometry (MS) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miroslaw Lech
    • 1
  • Ishan Capila
    • 1
  • Ganesh V. Kaundinya
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Momenta PharmaceuticalsCambridgeUSA

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