Core Capabilities

Targeted Metabolomics

Many projects involve the quantitation of predetermined analytes in a complex biological matrix. This type of targeted analysis requires that analytical methods be developed and validated for specificity, linearity, range, precision, detection limit, quantitation limit, accuracy, robustness, and solution stability. For complex biological mixtures, internal standards are utilized to correct for the loss of analytes during sample preparation or introduction into the instrument.  Method development services are available for analytes not previously measured 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 bioinformatics 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. Without chromatography, or targeted methods based on the LipidMaps database or various scan modes (neutral loss and precursor ion scan) are used for profiling entire lipid classes. This analytical approach is ideal for exploratory lipidomics or high-throughput sample sets. Data analysis of lipid profiles by univariate and multivariate analysis can be used for biomarker identification and/or to drive 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 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 proteomics and metabolomics data applied to human health, animal health, and agricultural investigations.

Individual Training

Studies can be conducted entirely by MPF staff members. For more extensive projects, students and post-docs may be trained to operate the instrumentation independently.