Metabolomics / Academic service
Swedish NMR Centre, University of Gothenburg and Umeå University
Swedish NMR Centre, University of Gothenburg and Umeå University
Swedish NMR Centre
NMR-based, metabolomics, chemical biology


NMR-based metabolomics and chemical biology studies are supported, both for solution-state and solid-state NMR samples. Typical samples can be biofluids such as serum, urine or CSF as well as solid samples such as biopsies or plant material.

Metabolomics is a research discipline that is expanding exceptionally fast, and NMR is one of the fundamental analytical tools in this area. NMR techniques emerged in recent years as powerful tools to provide a comprehensive and simultaneous profiling of metabolites in intact tissues and biofluids and to quantify their individual concentrations (metabonomics) and their cellular, systemic and even time-dependent fluctuations as a function of e.g. tissue phenotyping, drug response, life-style, disease progress, environment and many more external factors. While solid-state NMR on intact tissue samples provides chemical profiles (metabolites and tissue forming macromolecules such as lipids..) of intact biological systems in a non-invasive and non-destructive way, solution NMR techniques allow monitoring system-specific states of an organism by probing biofluids such as urine, blood or tissue/cell extracts. In combination with automation of the entire analysis, both NMR techniques are (especially in combination) ideal for high-throughput screening, in areas as diverse as clinical diagnostics and functional genomics; and even plant- and environmental sciences. Analysis of these complex NMR spectra is carried out by advanced bioinformatics tools by means of chemometrics,which extracts latent metabolic information in form of e.g. biomarker or biomarker patterns, sample classification and provides correlation to specific biochemical pathways.

NMR on intact samples:

To obtain comprehensive chemical profiles of intact biological systems that contain e.g. tissue specific and cellular information, HR and CP MAS Solid State NMR methods (up to 850 MHz) are available as a powerful non-invasive metabolomics/metabonomic tool. This approach allows the study of intact tissues, living cells or isolated organelles, and to elucidate specific biochemical processes by generating chemical profiles of the unique sets of system constituting macromolecules and metabolites. By retaining system integrity this NMR approach allows direct comparison with consecutive histopathological investigation of the same specimen. In addition, it is unique in detecting the response of intact tissues to physiological (e.g. drug) stimuli and even to evaluate biopsies prior to and after treatment.

Provided resource

High-throughput metabolomic profiling of biofluids and tissue extracts by solution NMR (600-900 MHz) and structure determination of metabolites. Chemical profiling of metabolites and tissue constituting macromolecules of intact samples by solid state HR MAS and CP MAS NMR on dedicated NMR machines ranging from 500 - 850 MHz NMR. Assistance in experimental design, sample preparation, automated acquisition and data processing is provided, as well as the consequent analysis via support through NBIS. The available instrumentation at the two nodes can be reviewed at

Specifications Comments
Input samples Bioliquids, biosolids, bioextracts; e.g. serum, urine, CSF, tissue, cell extract
Sample formats 96-well plate (regular or deepwell), REMP plates or cryovials (1.8 ml)
Sample volume 50-350 µl, depending on sample type Final NMR sample is prepared on site with a liquid handling robot
Analysis throughput 50-150 samples/day Sample, instrument and project dependent
Analysis output Different options available through NBIS
Analysis costs 50-200 SEK/sample depending on requested service
Further info
Stenson, M., Pedersen, A., Hasselblom, S., Nilsson-Ehle, H., Karlsson, B. G., Pinto, R., & Andersson, P.-O. (2016). Serum nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomics and outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients – a pilot study. Leukemia & Lymphoma, 1–9.

Katharina Stenman, Pär Stattin, Hans Stenlund, Katrine Riklund, Gerhard Gröbner and Anders Bergh: “1H HRMAS NMR derived bio-markers related to tumor cell fraction, tumor grade, and cell proliferation in prostate tissue samples.” Biomarker Insights 6 ( 2011) 39 – 47.

Katarina Stenman, Izabella Surowiec, Henrik Antti, Katrine Riklund, Anders Bergh, Gerhard Gröbner: “Detection of local prostate metabolites by HRMAS NMR spectroscopy. A comparative study of human and rat prostate tissues.” Magnetic Resonance Insights 4 (2010) 27 – 41.

Contact information
Prof. Göran Karlsson
Swedish NMR Centre at the University of Gothenburg
Medicinaregatan 5C, 41390 Gothenburg
Telephone: 031-7863881