metabolomics analysis

Metabolomics is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites, the small molecule substrates, intermediates, and products of cell metabolism. Specifically, metabolomics is the “systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind”, the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles.

The metabolome represents the complete set of metabolites in a biological cell, tissue, organ, or organism, which are the end products of cellular processes. Messenger RNA (mRNA), gene expression data, and proteomic analyses reveal the set of gene products being produced in the cell, data that represents one aspect of cellular function. Conversely, metabolic profiling can give an instantaneous snapshot of the physiology of that cell, and thus, metabolomics provides a direct “functional readout of the physiological state” of an organism.

There are indeed quantifiable correlations between the metabolome and the other cellular ensembles (genome, transcriptome, proteome, and lipidome), which can be used to predict metabolite abundances in biological samples from, for example mRNA abundances. One of the ultimate challenges of systems biology is to integrate metabolomics with all other -omics information to provide a better understanding of cellular biology.

Compared with transcriptomics and proteomics, metabolomics has the following advantages:

– Ease of detection: Metabolomics amplifies small changes in gene and protein expression, making detection easy.
-Database support: The research of metabolomics does not require the establishment of whole genome sequencing and a large number of expressed sequence tags (EST) or whole genome databases. Currently, there are many compound libraries that can be used.
– Generic: Since a given metabolite is the same in every tissue, the techniques used in the study are generic and acceptable.
– Direct results: metabolites can reflect the physiological and pathological states of biological systems, and can distinguish phenotypic differences between individuals of the same species, etc.

There are generally two main approaches to metabolomic analysis:

-Untargeted metabolomics
-Targeted metabolomics

Analytical technologies

First, samples are collected from tissue, plasma, urine, saliva, cells, etc. Next, metabolites extracted often with the addition of internal standards and derivatization. During sample analysis, metabolites are quantified (liquid chromatography or gas chromatography coupled with MS and/or NMR spectroscopy). The raw output data can be used for metabolite feature extraction and further processed before statistical analysis (such as PCA). Many bioinformatic tools and software are available to identify associations with disease states and outcomes, determine significant correlations, and characterize metabolic signatures with existing biological knowledge.

AxisPharm metabolomics analysis solutions include:

  1. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS): Commonly used for targeted analysis of water-soluble metabolites (requiring derivatization), some lipids, and organic acids.
  2. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS): untargeted metabolomics, targeted metabolomics, untargeted lipidomics, targeted lipidomics. Commonly used for targeted and non-targeted analysis of water-soluble small molecules such as amino acids, carbohydrates, alcohols, organic acids, amines, TCA cycle intermediates, and lipid macromolecules
  3. NMR Spectroscopy: commonly used for substance identification and analysis of simple or purified samples

*Except for easy-to-handle samples such as blood and serum, samples from cells, tissues, organs or bacteria can be subjected to metabolomic analysis.


Our metabolomics services can be applied to various fields, including but not limited to the agricultural industry, food industry, biomedical area, and pharmaceutical area.

Agricultural industry: plant metabolomics, the development of new pesticides, etc
Food industry: fruits, vegetables, dairy products, olive oil, etc
Biomedical area: metabolomic profiling, biomarker discovery, etc
Pharmaceutical area: drug toxicity, drug metabolism, etc

Our Advantages

The compounds we test are widely covered, ranging from small water-soluble molecules to large lipids.
We can analyze any biological materials, including but not limited to biofluids and tissues from animals, cell cultures and humans.
A comprehensive platform contains advanced instruments, including MS, GC-MS, LC-MS, NMR, and so on.
A complete analysis report is offered, including method interpretation, data, and result files.
Our experts with years of experience in metabolomics, bioinformatics, statistics and various application fields ranging from food to pharmacy can help you plan, conduct, and report your metabolomics studies. Whether you want to study the whole metabolome, complex lipids, or just a few metabolites or pathways, we will closely work with you to define research purpose and develop customized plans. If you have any questions or specific requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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