Technology and Research Platforms


The METABOLOMICS platform offers analysis of small organic molecules. This may be quantification of target chemicals of interest, or a broader profiling of classes of chemicals, or even hunting for changes in untargeted analysis (“metabolomics”). The expert team can help you measure and identify your compound of interest, whether academic or industrial.

Techniques available include liquid chromatography, gas chromatography and associated mass spectrometry, including accurate mass.

Mass spectrometry can form part of a strategy to identify unknown compounds. We offer this as part of a multidisciplinary approach, coordinating with other platforms such as the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance platorm. The platform can also purify fractions for further analysis or assay, often working in conjunction with the Chemistry platoform.

Analysis The platform is able to help with analysis of your small organic compound of interest using the following techniques:

  • Targeted analysis of particular chemicals such as hormones, amino acids, sugars and secondary metabolites
  • Accurate mass (for confirmation of elemental composition)
  • Characterisation of natural products (including MS2)
  • Broad-scale metabolomics
  • Screening of populations for chemical features


The team can share their expert knowledge and experience with you through offering training in the following areas:

  • Operation of platform instruments
  • Data-handling, quantification and basic metabolomics


Using state-of-the-art equipment our infrastructure can help you with:

  • Heavily analytical projects
  • Identification and quantification of synthetic and natural compounds

Our primary purpose is to underpin research on the Norwich Research Park, we also undertake commercial work. Note – because this is an academic lab, it is not ISO17025 certified.

Prices vary according to the type of work involved, contact the team for a bespoke quote for your project.

Molecular Analysis equipment

  • Two Agilent GC-MS systems (7890B GC with 5977A/B MS) equipped with Gerstel MPS autosampler robotics. These can handle automated sample derivatisation, drying, mixing, heating and centrifugation
  • Waters Xevo TQS tandem LC-MS system. Provides high-sensitivity targeted analysis
  • Shimadzu Nexera UHPLC with 2020 single quadrupole MS. General purpose LC-MS, with PDA (UV/vis), fluorescence and CAD detection; mass-directed fractionation and semi-prep chromatography
  • Agilent 1290 UHPLC. Analytical and semi-prep scale chromatography with PDA (UV/vis) and ELSD detectors
  • QExactive Orbitrap with Vanquish UHPLC. Accurate mass and MS-MS, characterisation of unknowns and complex mixtures, “metabolomics” screening and quantitative work. Can be used with Compound Discoverer software for library searches, peak-finding, chemometrics and identification. Also has PDA and Charged Aerosol detection
  • Agilent 6546 Q-ToF with 1290 UHPLC. Accurate mass and MS-MS including data-independent acquisition. Also has PDA. Can be used with MPP software for chemometrics/metabolomic profiling
  • Agilent 1290 Infinity II preparative LC-MSD (also has PDA and ELSD). Prep-scale HPLC with mass-directed fractionation