our triple quadrupole MS with high-throughput autosampler
We use liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for high-throughput measurements of primary metabolites. The analysis is fast (2-minutes) and quantifies metabolites in amino acid, nucleotide, cofactor and central metabolism. We spike each sample with 13C labelled internal standard, and measure metabolites in the 12C and the 13C channel. This so-called isotope ratio approach corrects matrix effects and drifts, but it also improves identification of metabolites. The method captures around 200 metabolites at concentrations between 1 nM and 10 µM. Details are described in our method paper (Guder et al. 2017).
Metabolomics is fast, both sampling and analysis with mass spectrometry. This means we can directly inject living cells into a mass spectrometer and measure hundreds of metabolites in real-time (Link et al. 2015). Currently, we use this flow-injection method to measure the metabolome of large CRISPR libraries.