Avinash Rayala and Asha Deepti C.*


Metabolomics is a scientific study of various chemical processes involving metabolites, the small molecule intermediates and products of metabolism. Metabolic profiling that can give an instantaneous snapshot of the physiology of that cell, and thus, metabolomics provides a direct “functional read out of the physiological state” of an organism. Metabolomics offers a platform for the comparative analysis of metabolites that reflect the dynamic processes underlying cellular homeostasis, there are numerous analytical platforms that have been used for metabolomic applications, such as NMR, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and MS coupled to separation techniques, including NMR, GC-MS, LC-MS, FT-MS and UPLC-MS. Whilst NMR spectroscopy is particularly appropriate for the analysis of bulk metabolites and GC-MS to the analysis of volatile organic compounds and derivatised primary metabolites, LC-MS is highly applicable to the analysis of a wide range of semi-polar compounds including so many secondary metabolites of interest. Since LC-MS can avoid chemical derivatization, it is a widely used instrument. MS-based metabolomics offers high selectivity and sensitivity for the identification and quantification of metabolites, therefore, parallel application of several techniques, for example GC-MS, LC-MS or NMR, is desirable to study the global metabolome. In this review the application of each hyphenated technique along with their strengths and limitations are discussed.

Keywords: Metabolomics, Metabolome, Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Mass spectrometry (MS), Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC–MS), capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry (CE-MS).

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