Metabolomics: A First-Line Phenotyping Technology for Assessing Health

Metabolomics is the study of chemical processes involving metabolites, the small-molecule intermediates and products of metabolism. It is an integral technology for understanding the function of biological systems.

Surveying metabolites promotes insight by creating a more complete picture of the phenotype (the observable characteristics of a living system) to advance programs in translational science, biomarker identification and the study of disease and treatment mechanisms. Our technology is used across multiple research areas including cancer, metabolic and cardiovascular disease, immunology, neurology, genomics, plant and animal biology, and more.

Metabolomics is also a cornerstone technology for precision medicine, because its sensitivity and specificity allow for the accurate measurement of metabolites on an individual patient level to improve our understanding of and the influences of genes, microbiome, diet, lifestyle and drug treatment.

The Metabolome: The Key to Understanding Living Systems & Health

Metabolism refers to life-sustaining biochemical processes that occur within all living organisms. Every organism strives for metabolic homeostasis and constantly produces a variety of metabolites to achieve this biological balance. This biochemical composition is also known as the metabolome.

metabolism.pngWhen an organism's biological systems are disturbed by disease, genetic mutations or environmental factors, its metabolic profile often changes. This makes metabolites excellent candidates for biomarkers and particularly useful for understanding disease states, toxicities, drug interactions, mechanisms of action and other areas of biology.

Nearly every internal and external factor impacting a living organism exerts its influence by subtly altering metabolite levels. Because the metabolome is at the nexus of all these factors, it serves as a surrogate to the phenotype itself.

Not only is the metabolome vitally important, it is also well understood. The pathways within the metabolome have served as the foundation of life sciences research for more than a century and have been extensively explored and mapped.

Metabolomics, Genomics & Microbiome: Completing the Picture

Over the past two decades, a great deal of research has focused on genomics. While this science has made significant advances, it has not yet delivered on its full potential to help us understand and cure diseases. Even though genetics serve as the blueprint for an organism's biological functions, it is rare that a single mutation will result in a disease. Rather, in most circumstances, disease is the result of multiple genetic mutations interacting with environmental factors, diet and lifestyle choices, microbiome differences and metabolic responses.

Because metabolites both influence and are influenced by genetics, proteins and microbiomes, metabolomics can be used alone or in conjunction with genomics to create a more complete understanding of health.

Putting Powerful Metabolomics in Reach

In the past, comprehensive metabolomics studies were prohibitive for most research projects. The challenge is not in data capture, but in data processing. A single sample can yield hundreds of metabolites and tens of thousands of data points. Processing and interpreting this data is not only time and labor intensive, it is also prone to significant error.

Our Precision Metabolomics™ technology is comprised of a vast metabolite library, proprietary platforms, informatics and quality controls that overcome this challenge. We can quickly and accurately pinpoint the metabolites and pathways of interest to deliver actionable results to researchers and clinicians. Metabolon's advanced metabolomics technology provides broad metabolite identification and quantification across nearly every metabolite class, as well as focused metabolite panels and targeted assays.

Learn more about the wide variety of metabolomics applications for our technology.

For more information about our services or to get a quote for a metabolomics project, click here.

Learn more about metabolomics and how Metabolon is advancing this technology and data.