The Analytical Core for Metabolomics and Nutrition (ACMaN) facilities are well-equipped with advanced analytical capabilities using mass spectrometers, high performance liquid chromatographs, gas chromatographs, automated immunoanalyzers and basic lab equipment such as spectrophotometers and osmometers. The facility is available to serve the analytical needs for all members of the research institute, any other UBC organization, other universities and academic institutions, or industrial partners.

Laboratory equipment

Abbott Architect i1000 automated immunoassay analyzer 

The Architect is a reagent kit based immunoassay system requiring low volumes (50-150ul) of plasma or serum that utilizes chemiluminescence detection of a total of 87 compounds from 13 different areas including:  cancer, metabolic, other infectious diseases, cardiac, congenitals, proteins, renal, retrovirus, fertility/pregnancy, therapeutic drug monitoring, thyroid, transplant and hepatitis.

Waters Alliance High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)

Waters is a leader in the field of chromatography instruments and their Alliance HPLC has been a reliable option for basic liquid chromatography for almost 20 years. The Alliance is a quaternary solvent system with temperature controlled column compartment capable of utilizing columns up to 30cm in length and a chilled autosample chamber for use with standard 2ml chromatography vials. The Alliance can be connected to a large number of detectors including, photodiode array (PDA), evaporative light scattering (ELSD) and fluorescence. A Waters Fraction collector (FCII) can be added to the system to collect compounds isolated from complex mixtures by HPLC and allow semi-purified compounds to be further analyzed by other equipment, or utilized for further experiments (cell culture, animal models).

Waters Acquity H-class Ultra-high Pressure Liquid Chromatograph and Xevo TQS Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (UPLC-MSMS)

The Acquity H-class is a quaternary solvent system designed to utilize state of the art 1.7u particle size columns for faster run times and optimal separations. It is equipped with a chilled auto-sample chamber capable of utilizing standard chromatography vials or 96 well plates, temperature controlled column compartments for 50 – 100mm columns and includes an external column compartment for longer 300mm columns if better separations are required.

The Xevo TQS triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with step-wave technology is one of the most sensitive instruments available today and is equipped with standard electrospray (ESI) or atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) inlet sources and can be operated in positive ion or negative ion modes. The UPLC-MSMS instruments are the gold standard for quantitation of compounds in a variety of matrices and typically utilize stable isotope labeled internal standards for optimal quantitation.

Agilent 1290 ultra-high pressure liquid chromatograph and Agilent 6530 Quadrupole Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (UHPLC-QTOF)

Agilent’s 1290 UHPLC is a state of the art instrument designed for high efficiency 1.7um particle size columns that provide the best in sensitivity and resolution.

The 6530 is an Accurate mass QTOF with 2ppm mass accuracy for discovery work and Mass Profile Professional (MPP) metabolomics software for comparison of multiple sample groups and identification of potential biomarkers. This system can be used for quantitative analyses but is typically used for qualitative discovery experiments.

Waters Acquity I-class

Waters Acquity I-class UHPLC and Quattro Micro Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer

The Acquity I-class is one of Waters best instruments with high precision, low dispersion and the ability to utilize UHPLC columns for shorter run times and better chromatographic resolution.

The quattro micro is an older triple quadrupole instrument that is ideal for quantitation of analytes in the micromolar concentration range such as amino acids, choline, betaine and dimethylglycine.

Agilent 6890 Gas Chromatograph (GC) with Waters Quattro Micro Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer

Waters Quattro micro GC-MSMS system equipped with electron impact (EI) and chemical ionization (CI) inlet sources is ideal for analysis of thermally stable small molecules. This instrument has been used for analysis of sterols and TCA cycle intermediates and is equipped with principle component analysis software for metabolomic experiments.


Agilent 6850 Gas Chromatographs equipped with flame ionization detectors (GC-FID)\

The 6850 GC’s are equipped with autosampler, split/splitless injectors and flame ionization detectors and have been heavily utilized for analysis of fatty acids. GC’s are versatile and can be configured to analyze other types of compounds that can be detected by FID (basically any compound with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen as the main elements).

Sample preparation equipment

Savant SpeedVac Concentrator

Savant SPD131DDA SpeedVac Concentrator

The Savant SpeedVac Concentrator uses centrifugation, vacuum, and heat to remove solvents and concentrate samples from 2ml tubes or 96 well plates. SpeedVac systems are ideal for applications ranging from the traditional drying down of DNA preparations in water and methanol, to more complex applications presented by sectors of the pharmaceutical industry. Teflon coated centrifuge and condensation chambers allow use of strong acids and aggressive solvents in this system.

Labconco Freeze Dryer

FreeZone 2.5 Liter Benchtop Freeze Dry System

Samples remain frozen using Labconco freeze dryer to prevent potential breakdown of compounds of interest while vacuum pressure removes liquid and concentrates the sample. This instrument works best with water and does not work well if solvents are being used in preparation.

Nitrogen Evaporator

Organomation 80 position MULTIVAP for evaporation of volatile solvents and concentration of samples. Dry heat block maintains sample warmth to minimize evaporative cooling allowing for faster evaporation of solvents under an inert gas (Nitrogen) atmosphere to prevent oxidation of sample components.