Molecular Determinants Core

Services

We provide services for projects ranging from those requiring our routine assays, to those that are highly specialized. Some of the services we offer are outlined below.

For more information about our services, pricing and how we can assist with your work, please call us at  443-287-7671 or contact us online.

Sample Preparation

Rigorous sample preparation is critical for successful metabolomics studies, both to protect the integrity of the biological sample as well as to achieve maximum performance of our LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS instrumentation.

The Molecular Determinants Core offers a variety of optimized protocols adapted to a wide range of samples such as biofluids (plasma, serum, urine, CSF, saliva, milk) tissues or cell cultures:

  • Automated 96-well plate based protocols
  • Manual liquid-liquid extractions
  • Tissue pulverization

We can also customize our protocols specifically to your samples. Please contact us early, with any questions you might have before starting a study or sample collection, so that we can provide guidance and protocols on how to best collect and preserve samples.

Metabolomics

The Molecular Determinants Core maintains multiple cutting edge separation and analytical platforms including multiple mass spectrometry (MS) systems coupled to gas chromatography (GC) or liquid chromatography (LC) systems.

The Molecular Determinants Core offers various targeted LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS analysis such as:

  • Metabolomics panel measuring compounds from a variety of metabolic pathways (amino acids, tryptophan/kynurenine pathway, NAD pathway, cyclohexanone)
  • Custom metabolomics panels
  • Custom peptidomics/proteomics assays

Our services are constantly expanding with new assays, and new compounds added to our panels regularly. Contact us for a detailed list of compounds included in our assays. The MDC has a chemical library of more than 800 chemical standards available on hand. We can customize existing assays to measure additional compounds of interest or create new assays to fit your needs.

Normalization

Data quality is critical in metabolomics. Extensive data QC analysis is performed for every project to ensure data quality and integrity.

The Molecular Determinants Core has high-throughput sample preparation capacities to process a large number of samples and increase reproducibly, and has implemented multiple normalization strategies to ensure the best quality of your data:

  • Heavy standards spiked  at different stages of the process
  • QC POOL for intra and inter batch normalization
  • Osmolarity measurements for urine & saliva normalization

Absolute quantitation

Our assays do not include the use of a heavy internal standard for quantitation. However, we can develop custom quantitative assays to fit your needs. Since quantitation requires both internal and external standards, a flat rate will is applied to each calibration curve. A calibration curve must be generated for each batch of samples. Beyond that, normal sample fees apply.

Data analysis

Rigorous data analysis is essential to the validity of metabolomics studies. Our team of metabolomics experts is here to help with the data processing and statistical analysis:

  • Preprocess and Normalization
  • Univariate Analysis
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Clustering Analysis
  • Classification and Feature Selection
Correlation networks of the metabolites with significant variations with age and gender from metabolomics analysis of 200 human urine (right). Multivariate modeling of physiological variations using OPLS on the same dataset (left).  Source: Thévenot EA, Roux A, Xu Y, Ezan E, Junot C.  J Proteome Res. 2015 Aug 7;14(8):3322-35. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00354. Epub 2015 Jul 2.