Basic Research

Research and Development of Data Analysis Platform Based on Mass Spectrometers

Metabolomics is a technique for comprehensively investigating the phenomena associated with life in living organisms by detecting and analyzing all the varied metabolites generated from biological activities. Metabolites represent information about the last step in the process of genetic expression. Because they are closer to the expression of living organisms than genes and proteins, they more directly reflect the steadily changing phenomena of activities associated with life. Consequently, metabolite applications are being researched in a diverse range of fields, such as clinical medicine, pharmaceuticals, foods, the environment, and chemistry. On the other hand, metabolomics, which involves a mixture of life sciences, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and information science, is a new field that is still in its infancy in terms of developing technologies and operating methods. The Osaka University and Shimadzu Analytical Innovation Research Laboratory was established to research and develop applications that use pretreatment, analytical, or data analysis methods essential for metabolomics, including a newly developed data analysis platform.

Metabolite Measurement and the Mass Spectrometer

Quantitative metabolomics involves homogenizing the sample, measuring the total metabolite quantity, finding differences between groups, and detecting metabolite candidates (or marker candidates) that cause such differences. Imaging metabolomics involves using thin sample slices to measure information about the distribution of marker candidates on the sample surface.

Application Fields

Clinical Research

  • Elucidation of physiological and pathological mechanisms
  • Disease biomarker discovery
  • Drug discovery support and toxicity evaluation

Plant and Food

  • Elucidation of stress response
  • Genetically modified
  • Food function analysis


  • Improvement and optimization of fermentation process
  • Biofuel productivity improvement