Metabolomics refers to an array of techniques used to comprehensively detect and analyze various metabolites formed in vivo during biological activity. Metabolites represent the most downstream result of the gene expression information process, and compared to genes and proteins, they directly reflect the constantly changing phenomena of life due to their proximity to the biological phenotype. Therefore, metabolomics applications have spread throughout a wide range of fields.
- Elucidation of physiological and pathological mechanisms
- Disease biomarker discovery
- Drug discovery support and toxicity evaluation
- Elucidation of stress response
- Genetically modified
- Food function analysis
- Improvement and optimization of fermentation process
- Biofuel productivity improvement
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Metabolite Measurement and the Mass Spectrometer
In metabolomics, analytical techniques and instruments are selected according to the measurement objective. The mass spectrometer used for measurement will be selected depending on whether the analysis is directed towards determining the total amount of metabolites contained in a sample, whether the sample is in a state of fluctuation or transition, or if measuring a metabolite distribution in a sample.
Quantitative determination of the metabolites in a sample can be conducted by chromatographically separating the respective sample components, and then measuring those separated components using a mass spectrometer.
By measuring and superimposing an optical / fluorescence microscope image on an MS (MS/MS) imaging screen, it is possible to obtain both form and metabolite localization information.