Quantification of Chemicals through High-Resolution Metabolomics

In a recent article published in Toxicological Sciences, HERCULES researchers demonstrate the use of high-resolution metabolomics (HRM) to reliably quantify exposures. Detection and measurement of both known and unknown chemicals are key to characterizing cumulative complex exposures. Although HRM has been well-established as a tool for distinguishing these exposures, quantification of chemical signatures under the platform remains a challenge.


Traditional biomonitoring is typically used for quantification of individual chemicals but has limitations due to the high costs associated with individual analyses. Since exposome characterization must consider thousands of environmental, dietary and microbial exposures, HRM offers a promising strategy to overcome some of the challenges related to measuring complex exposures. HRM has particular advantages due its relatively low cost and the ability to use small sample volumes while still obtaining broad coverage of exposures.

“Reference Standardization for Mass Spectrometry and High-Resolution Metabolomics Applications to Exposome Research” by Go et al. presents the potential of a new approach to overcome the long-standing limitation of quantifying chemicals through HRM. The team describes their system to quantify amino acids under a blinded analyses design. Through developing this protocol and expanding upon it, they demonstrated a reproducible approach that can be broadly applied to the quantification of thousands of chemicals.

Read the full article here.

Learn more about the research of the Clinical Biomarkers Laboratory and the HERCULES Metabolomics Core.