Small molecules are analyzed using ultra-sensitive Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) assays targeted to the molecules of interest.
Here’s how we go about it:
Pick your molecule(s) of interest;
Either we buy some of each molecule to use as an analytical standard, or you bring some to us;
We design the assay using your molecule(s);
We determine the lowest possible detection limit for each;
We discuss with you the best method for extracting or enriching your molecule(s) from your biological material.
Level of Analysis
If you need only relative amounts, we can run the assay as is. This allows you to compare relative signals from different samples (useful for ratios).
If you require semi-quantitative results, we assess the mass spec’s linear response for the molecule(s) (i.e., run a standard curve) and compare this to the relative signals. We can then calculate approximate absolute amounts of your molecule(s).
If you require more precise data, we also buy stable isotopically labeled internal standards of the molecule to use as control spikes, permitting the calculation of very precise absolute amounts of the molecule. This method is technically similar to the rigorous methods used for CLIA-certified LC-MS assays in clinical labs.
Please note that our platform
is not a GLP or CLIA certified lab.