Metabolite Fingerprinting by Capillary Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry

  • Antonia Garcia
  • Shama Naz
  • Coral BarbasEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1198)


Changes in metabolite concentrations in response to specific diseases, treatments, diets, or other factors can be used to understand the complex mechanisms that control and regulate the human body and potentially detect the onset of disease prior to the observation of symptoms in a patient. Different analytical and chemometric platforms are necessary to detect as many metabolites as possible in different biological fluids.

Capillary electrophoresis (CE) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) is a particularly attractive, although still not common, approach for metabolomics for the detection of mainly polar and ionic metabolites. Among its main features, CE provides the capability to separate complex mixtures with high resolution and minimum sample treatment. However, the routine, automated use of CE-MS is not without challenges. In this chapter we describe a well-tested method for fingerprinting serum and urine using CE-TOF-MS. We describe below a sensitive and quite robust method for metabolomics with CE-MS including sample treatment, separation conditions, instrumental setup, and identification of 76 metabolites in the profile. Useful advice for daily practice is also included for every step of the procedure.

Key words

Capillary electrophoresis Mass spectrometry Metabolomics Fingerprinting Serum Plasma Urine Biofluids 



Shama Naz receiving funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under grant agreement no. 264864. The authors gratefully also acknowledge the financial support from Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (previously Ciencia y Tecnología) grant MCIT CTQ2011-23562.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEMBIO (Center for Metabolomics and Bioanalysis), Facultad De FarmaciaUniversidad CEU San PabloMadridSpain

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