Methods and advances in metabolic flux analysis: a mini-review

  • Maciek R. AntoniewiczEmail author
Systems Biotechnology


Metabolic flux analysis (MFA) is one of the pillars of metabolic engineering. Over the past three decades, it has been widely used to quantify intracellular metabolic fluxes in both native (wild type) and engineered biological systems. Through MFA, changes in metabolic pathway fluxes are quantified that result from genetic and/or environmental interventions. This information, in turn, provides insights into the regulation of metabolic pathways and may suggest new targets for further metabolic engineering of the strains. In this mini-review, we discuss and classify the various methods of MFA that have been developed, which include stoichiometric MFA, 13C metabolic flux analysis, isotopic non-stationary 13C metabolic flux analysis, dynamic metabolic flux analysis, and 13C dynamic metabolic flux analysis. For each method, we discuss key advantages and limitations and conclude by highlighting important recent advances in flux analysis approaches.


Metabolism Isotopic labeling Metabolic network model Flux quantification 



Metabolic flux analysis


Dynamic metabolic flux analysis


13C-metabolic flux analysis


13C dynamic metabolic flux analysis


Isotopic non-stationary 13C-metabolic flux analysis


Variance-weighted sum of squared residuals



This work was supported by NSF MCB-1120684 grant.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Metabolic Engineering and Systems Biology LaboratoryUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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