Mass spectrometry (MS) allows us to capture and analyze the complex array of small molecule metabolites within a biological sample. While global non-targeted metabolomics enables in-depth analysis of complex, measurable sample analytes (incl. chemical unknowns), targeted metabolomics allows us to quantify known metabolites and generate standard curves for copies per cell of biospecimen analytes of interest.

CIT Instrumentation Overview

Biospecimens and Sample Handling

Sample preparation/extraction procedures are optimized based on sample source (e.g. plasma, serum, tissue, cultured cells, or bioreactor effluent), sample type (intracellular vs. extracellular metabolomics studies), and sample amount available. The CIT has also established quality assurance procedures in accordance with EPA guidelines.

  • Simple Preparation

    1. Direct injection
    2. Protein precipitation
  • Complex Fractionation

    1. Liquid-liquid extraction
    2. Solid phase extraction
    3. Membrane dialysis
    4. Ultracentrifugation
    5. Electrophoresis
    6. Prep. chromatography
Multi-Omics Discovery Approach
  • Cell Media
    e.g. organ-on-chip, microfluidic devices, micro-organs
  • Cultured Cells
    e.g. suspended, adherent
  • Other
    e.g. saliva, serum, plasma, tissue

Services and Pricing

Waters Synapt G2 Mass Spec Instrumentation at Vanderbilt


  • Global Untargeted (hypothesis generating analysis)

Routine global untargeted analysis includes raw data processing, retention time alignment, peak picking, feature annotation, and statistical evaluation. Additional efforts, when possible, include identifications (see level analysis workflow) by library matching, network activity analysis (mummichog metabolomics) and metabolite validation using analytical standards.

  • Targeted (hypothesis testing, pathways or species of interest are pre-defined)

More detailed information can be found on our Data Analysis page.



Please contact us to schedule a meeting to discuss your needs and to obtain a quote for services rendered. Vanderbilt researchers must provide an active VU Center Number before samples will be accepted.

Prices are subject to change to ensure that we remain a non-profit Recharge facility.

Note: In the event of unsuccessful analyses attributed to poor sample quality/contamination, users will still be charged for consumables, instrument time, and analysis time. If there are concerns regarding sample preparation or method development needs, please discuss these with CIT personnel prior to submission.