Analytical Techniques in Metabolomics

Metabolomics is the quantitative and qualitative study of small molecules. It is said to be an important technique in systems biology. Metabolites include a diverse group of low molecular weight structures such as lipids, nucleic acids, vitamins, amino acids, peptides, thiols, organic acids and carbohydrates, which makes analysis a big task. The recent development of analytical platforms, such as GC, HPLC, UPLC, CE coupled to MS and NMR spectroscopy, enables separation, detection, characterization and quantification of these metabolites and other related metabolic pathways. Because of the complexity of the metabolome and diverse properties of the metabolites, single analytical platform cannot be used for detecting all metabolites in a sample. The combined use of modern instrumental analytical approaches has led to the ideal outcomes, and is important for increasing the coverage of metabolites which cannot be achieved by single-analysis techniques. Integrated platforms are frequently being used for providing sensitive and reliable detection of thousands of metabolites in a bio fluid sample. Continuous development of these analytical platforms will accelerate extensive use and integration of metabolomics into systems biology.

  • Targeted metabolic profiles
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS)
  • Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS)
  • Capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry (CE–MS)
  • Ratio analysis of NMR/MS

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