Core Capabilities

Targeted Metabolomics

Many research projects involve the quantitation of predetermined analytes in a complex biological matrix. This type of targeted analysis requires that analytical methods be developed and then validated for specificity, linearity, range, precision, detection limit, quantitation limit, accuracy, robustness, and solution stability.  Method development services are available for analytes not previously evaluated in our lab or new chemical entities.

Examples:  hormones, sugars, amino acids, polyphenols, vitamins, pharmaceuticals, and lipids 

Non-targeted Metabolite Profiling

A global (or non-targeted) approach to metabolite profiling involves monitoring as many metabolites in the entire metabolome as possible. The goal is to identify those few molecules that are either up- or down-regulated.  Depending on the general classes of molecules to study and sample complexity, we utilize HPLC/MS or GC/MS instrumentation.  The comparative analysis is performed using both commercial and in-house software applications.

Examples:  healthy plasma vs. diseased
                 wild type plant vs. transgenic

High-throughput Lipid Profiling

Many methods have been developed for fast (two minutes) and informative profiling of diverse phospholipid and glycerolipid classes by directly injecting diluted lipid extracts into the ion source of a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer.  Various scan modes (neutral loss and precursor ion) are used to profile entire lipid classes. Since it does not employ chromatography, this analytical approach is ideal for exploratory lipidomics or high-throughput sample sets. Data analysis of the lipid profiles by univariate and multivariate analysis is used for biomarker identification and to direct further targeted analysis of specific lipid classes or compounds. 

Sample Preparation

A variety of sample preparations can be performed. Liquid and liquid-liquid extractions are the most common. A variety of solid phase extraction (SPE) protocols are routinely used in the lab. Sample homogenization can be done by sonication or with a bead homogenizer. 

Bioinformatics Consultation

The Computational Life Sciences and Informatics Core of the Bindley Bioscience Center provides a senior informatics scientist devoted to the analysis and modeling of complex data sets. The main focus of the core is on experimental design and data analysis related to complex proteomics and metabolomics data applied to human and animal health and agricultural studies.

Individual Training

Studies can be conducted entirely by MPF staff members. For more extensive projects, graduate students and post-docs can be trained in sample preparation, instrument operation, and data analysis.

Purdue Make It Platform

This system can perform small-scale, high-throughput molecular synthesis, accomplished by mixing reagents and spotting 50 nL solutions onto a Teflon surface at densities of 384 to 6,144 spots. If desired, catalysts and bases can be added, as well as off-line incubation at temperature. Synthesis occurs in microdroplets generated by the DESI spray, and they represent a confined environment at the surface of which chemical reactions are accelerated. Reaction screening with online structural characterization of side- and by-products is a routine application.

Using DESI-MS to analyze the composition of compounds deposited on surfaces at the densities mentioned above. Full mass scan (MS) or product ion scan (MS/MS) analysis can be performed. MS scans take 0.3 seconds per sample. MS/MS scans take around 6 seconds per sample.

High-throughput bioassays (tissue, cell or bacteria cultures or plates) and enzyme kinetic measurements (using enzymes, receptors, cells), in a label free mode without sample work-up are possible.  Small samples quantities can be use, in the ng range. Reaction screens at rates of two reaction mixtures per second (6,000 per hour) can be performed.