mVision™ is Metabolon's full-featured service
offering, providing unparalleled insight into the biochemical and physiological
state of the organism.
Consultation with one of Metabolon's biochemists helps set the study's protocol
and determine the appropriate sample sizes. Samples are collected by the client
and received at Metabolon.
The samples proceed through a multi-step process including analysis using three
different platforms: LC-MS/MS(+ESI) LC-MS/MS(-ESI) GC-MS
Each detected biochemical is automatically compared to a reference standard in our
database, using retention index and mass spectrum. The result is a broad range of
biochemicals identified including amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids
Once biochemicals have been identified, the project manager analyzes the data to
check for quality and then applies statistical analysis to determine which biochemicals
show significant changes.
With hundreds of changing biochemicals in each experiment, the project manager organizes
the biochemicals by biochemical pathways and interprets the changes within the context
of the existing literature and the experimental design.
mVision provides information on a broad range of biochemicals and how they change
in response to experimental variables. The information is delivered to the client
in a variety of ways, at a number of different levels to provide a complete picture
of the biochemical effects.
Full Biochemical Plots
For each sample, the identified biochemicals are displayed on a z-plot, providing
a high-level view of how biochemicals change during the experiment. An example of
z-plots is shown below for a time course study, analyzing both urine and plasma.
Each dot represents a different biochemical, the red dots representing the experimental
sample, and the blue dots representing the control sample. Displacement along the
horizontal axis represents the extent of change, in terms of standard deviation,
from the control sample.
The next level of analysis involves applying statistics to determine the significant
biochemical changes. These heat maps allow a quick identification of biochemicals
which increase or decrease relative to control. This pathway-centric statistical
analysis of affected biochemicals allows the rapid identification of areas for further
Drilling further into the data, the significantly altered biochemicals are put into
the context of biochemical pathways. This allows detailed biochemical-by-biochemical
analysis within specific pathways. The example below shows the effect of a drug
on biochemicals on the citric acid cycle.
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