Optimized metabolite extraction from blood serum for 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Stefano Tiziani, Abdul Hamid Emwas, Alessia Lodi, Christian Ludwig, Christopher M. Bunce, Mark R. Viant, Ulrich L. Günther*

*Corresponding author for this work
119 Citations (Scopus)


Blood serum is commonly used for clinical diagnostics because its protein composition bears a wealth of information about the health of an organism. More recently the analysis of the small molecule composition, the metabolome, has received increased attention because the metabolite composition is influenced by many diseases, by the administration of drugs and toxins, and by the diet and life style of an individual. When nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is used as an analytical tool it is often preferable to remove catalytically active proteins, in particular for longer measurements, because metabolite concentrations are otherwise in constant flux. Here we have compared different protocols for the separation of proteins and metabolites, including precipitation methods and ultrafiltration. Whereas most extraction methods involving protein precipitation deplete some metabolites, ultrafiltration is superior in retaining metabolite concentrations and offers excellent reproducibility. We also describe a new method to recover the hydrophobic fraction for ultrafiltration with good reproducibility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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