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The Application of Stable Isotope Assisted Metabolomics in Biomedicine

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During the last years, metabolomics has been established as a standard technique in biomedical research to analyze changes in metabolite levels. Currently, mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) are the two major technologies to acquire metabolomics data. These technologies have been proven to be invaluable tools for the detection of disease related metabolic biomarkers. However, the obtained data only describe static metabolite concentrations and do not provide information about the dynamics of the system. Based on stable-isotope assisted metabolomics experiments, metabolic flux analysis (MFA) intends to quantitatively analyze intracellular metabolite conversion rates, thus providing a readout of enzyme activities. Although many studies have been published about disease related metabolomics, only a few publications about stable-isotope assisted metabolomics related to biomedicine are available. Especially in the context of personalized medicine, stable-isotope assisted technologies will become more important, since they provide patient and disease specific information about the metabolic state of the patient. In the following review we will point out the importance of stable-isotope related technologies for biomedical sciences. First, we will introduce analytical techniques required for metabolomics and MFA. In the second part, two biomedicine related stable-isotope based studies are summarized.

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Keywords: HPLC; Metabolomics; UHPLC/MSxMS injections; biomedicine; cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); chromatographic separation; dysregulations; ice-cold methanol-water; mass spectrometry (MS); metabolic flux analysis; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; personalized medicine; stable isotopes; stable-isotope assisted technologies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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  • Current Biotechnology is an international peer-reviewed journal, which publishes expert research, reviews and thematic issues in all core areas of biotechnology including basic and applied research. Topics covered include, molecular engineering of nucleic acids and proteins; genomics and bioinformatics, molecular therapy; imaging technology and large scale biology; medical biotechnology, regenerative medicine, industrial biotechnology, biochemical engineering/bioprocess engineering, nano-biotechnology, bio-nanotechnology, analytical biotechnology; food and agricultural biotechnology; environmental biotechnology.
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