Metabolomics

The Metabolomics capability is dedicated to supporting academic and industry research across a range of disciplines, particularly the life and molecular sciences. Our services provide expert training and technical support on sample extraction, derivatisation and separation techniques and metabolomics (small molecule) mass spectrometry, working with various materials ranging from plants, viruses, bacteria, fungi to animals.

Our focus is on optimising and accurately detecting, identifying, and quantifying small molecules in all systems, either via the non-targeted screening approach to understand the whole metabolome, and/or the targeted quantification of known specific metabolites. We aim to lead the development of new sample preparation methods and analytical techniques to extract and separate metabolites from biological, environmental and biomedical samples using our state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS instruments and data analysis software packages. Our goal is to provide high quality research outcomes in assisting academics and industry in their vast research interests, that may include deciphering the possible novel biomolecules, understanding the changes in the metabolome, determining the roles of the newly discovered biomarkers, and/or evaluating the efficacy of their therapeutic drugs.

Instrumentation

This capability is home to a range of instrumentation listed here

Thermo Scientific TSQ 8000 EVO Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS/MS) – equipped with the Thermo Scientific Trace 1310 Gas Chromatograph that is retrofitted with a TriPlus RSH Autosampler for automated capabilities including liquid injections, liquid handling (derivatisation), heater/agitator/stirrer, headspace sampling, and solid phase microextraction (SPME). This highly sensitive system with fast scan speeds is ideal for analysing food, environmental and biological samples for compounds such as primary metabolites (e.g. sugars, organic acids, amino acids), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), fatty acid methyl esters (FAMES), pesticides and steroids.

Thermo Scientific Orbitrap ID-X™ Tribrid™ Mass Spectrometer (LC-ESI-MS/MS) – this highly sensitive system with high resolution (up to 500,000 FWHM) and high mass accuracy (<3 ppm) includes a combination of the quadrupole, linear ion trap and Thermo Scientific™ Orbitrap™ mass analyser technology. It integrates the Vanquish Flex Quaternary UHPLC (up to 1000 bar) including a Diode Array Detector (wavelength range 190–800 nm), enabling comprehensive MSn data acquisition approaches to easily conduct small molecule structural elucidation, identification, characterisation and quantification of knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns in food, environmental and biological samples.

Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Eclipse™ Tribrid™ Mass Spectrometer with Electron Transfer Dissociation (ETD) capabilities (LC-ESI-MS/MS) – this latest ‘top of the line’ technology in liquid chromatography mass spectrometry includes a quadrupole mass filter, and dual-pressure linear ion trap and Orbitrap mass analysers, allowing for high acquisition rates to provide maximum experimental flexibility for dissociation, detection, identification and quantification of small molecules in complex sample matrices. This system has multiple fragmentation techniques such as collision-induced dissociation (CID), higher-energy collisional dissociation (HCD), and electron transfer dissociation (ETD), available at any stage of MSn with detection in the Orbitrap mass analyser or linear ion trap analyser. Hence, providing richness in analysis of complex biological samples whilst ensuring high mass accuracy (<3 ppm) and high resolution (up to 500,000 FWHM).

Thermo Scientific TSQ Vantage Triple Stage Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (LC-ESI-MS/MS) - Different applications require different levels of system sensitivity, resolution, and speed. Applying this liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS) with its robust, sensitive, reproducible and unique high selective reaction monitoring (HSRM) acquisition mode for complex sample matrices will ensure ease-of-use and satisfying the challenges in targeted quantification.

Applications

We offer for each research project: initial and on-going project consultation; experimental design based on small molecule mass spectrometry; optimisation of biological sample extraction (derivatisation if applicable) and clean-up; LC-MS/MS and/or GC-MS/MS method development and validation; data acquisition; data analysis that includes metabolite elucidation, identification and quantification (relative or absolute); statistical analysis (if needed); results interpretation; and report.

There is a broad range of applications that this capability can assist you with including:

  • Volatomics using SPME-GC/MS or headspace sampling coupled to the GC/MS to decipher the whole volatome in a plant, animal/human breathe or air quality in the environment.
  • Discovery metabolomics using GC/MS and/or LC/MS for screening primary metabolites such as organic acids, sugar alcohols, lipophilic compounds, sugars, amino acids; and/or secondary metabolites such as lipids, terpenes, phenolics, alkaloids to understand the whole metabolome of an organism.
  • Targeted and non-targeted lipidomics using GC-MS/MS and/or LC-MS/MS to understand how the lipids behave in the organisms, tissues or cells.
  • Sensitive targeted quantification of plant metabolites such as flavonoids, auxins, jasmonates, salicylic acid, abscisic acid and other plant hormones using LC-MS/MS.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of therapeutic drugs in urine, blood, plasma and/or tumour samples from humans and/or mice by GC/MS or LC/MS.

Contact us to discuss your research applications.

Access

There are several ways that you can access the services provided by this capability:

  1. Fee-for-service
  2. Research contracts for bespoke projects
  3. Academic collaboration
  4. Training

Contact Us

For more information and to discuss your requirements please email or contact:

Dr Thy Truong, Mass Spectrometry (Metabolomics) Specialist