Services to academics

The NPAC offers a range of solutions to researchers who need chemical analysis of biological or synthetic molecules. Projects may be carried out on a collaborative or service basis at competitive rates (please contact us for prices and terms). The Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics Unit has strong expertise in the targeted and/or untargeted analysis of small molecules present in various biological matrices.

  • • Targeted metabolite analysis:

    UHPLC-DAD-MS/(MS) is used for the quantification of selected compounds with high sensitivity. Standard methods routinely applied in our facility are:

    - Quantification of neonicotinoids in honey, soil, plants, insects etc.

    - Quantification of steroid hormones in plasma, urine, hair and water

    - Quantification of phytohormones (JA, JA-Ile, OPDA, ABA, SA, IAA)

    - Quantification of prenyllipids in plants (e.g. tocopherols, vitamin K, plastoquinone)

    - Quantification of tocopherols in plasma

    - Quantification of carotenoids in plants

    - Quantification of glucosinolates in plants

    - Quantification of benzoxazinones in crops (e.g. DIMBOA)

    - Quantification of malondialdehyde in plasma, RBC and sperm

    - Quantification of organic acids in soil

    - Quantification of phenolics in plants


    We also have a range of non-routine methods developed for specific applications (e.g. alkaloids, cyanogenic glycosides, iridoid glycosides, napthoquinones, some pesticides, gluthathion, bêta-aminobutyric acid) and can perform custom method development for your research needs.

  • • Untargeted metabolite analysis:

    In the field of metabolomics, various analytical instruments may be employed to provide the broadest picture possible of metabolomes. At the NPAC, we use reverse phase ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole-ion mobility-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-Q-IMS-TOF) in this purpose. We apply high peak capacity gradients coupled to either fast data dependent acquisition (DDA) workflows or selective data independant acquisition (DIA) using the so-called HDMSE mode to obtain high quality MS2 spectra. Feature detection and statistical data treatment are then performed using dedicated softwares to reveal relevant markers. Compound annotation is performed by integrating information from accurate mass measurements, fragmentation patterns and comparison with existing databases as well as generation of molecular networks. Additionally, targeted isolation followed by NMR analysis may be performed for challenging metabolites. Scientists working at the NPAC are recognized experts in plant metabolomics (see our publication list) and are willing to take on the new challenges posed by your applications.


    Figure 1: typical worflow used for untargeted metabolomics.



Dr. Gaëtan Glauser gaetan.glauser@unine.ch
Dr. Armelle Vallat armelle.vallat@unine.ch