Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

UK Lipidomics Biomarker Initiative to Use Thermo Scientific Mass Specs


Thermo Fisher Scientific said this week that the Human Nutrition Research unit of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK, will use the Thermo Scientific LTQ Orbitrap Velos, MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL, and Exactive mass spectrometer systems for research in metabolomics and lipidomics.

The purchase comes as part of a £2 million ($3.3 million) award that Dietrich Volmer, head of the Bioanalytical Sciences division at HNR, recently received to establish the Cambridge Lipidomics Biomarker Research Initiative.

In line with this, the MRC purchased four mass specs based on Orbitrap technology: an LTQ Orbitrap Velos biomarker discovery platform, a MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL instrument, and two Exactive benchtop LC-MS systems. The Exactive instruments will be used in the high-throughput biomarker screening stages of the CLBRI projects, whereas the Orbitrap Velos will be applied to more detailed structural identification research such as those performed in biomarker qualification applications.

Thermo said that MRC selected the Orbitrap technology for high-throughput and high-performance metabolomic and lipidomic profiling "that has not been possible using traditional mass spectrometry instrumentation."

Volmer will use the technology to support research into nutrition-related human diseases such as obesity and diabetes. The group aims to build a population-based lipidomics platform that will enable studies of 10,000 or more samples and identify biomarkers of nutritional intake, health, and disease.

Thermo said that "initial experiments" performed by Volmer’s team in collaboration with company researchers "have demonstrated the unique capability of Orbitrap technology to perform both targeted and non-targeted lipidomics profiling experiments in large sample sets."

The Scan

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.

Tumor Microenvironment Immune Score Provides Immunotherapy Response, Prognostic Insights

Using multiple in situ analyses and RNA sequence data, researchers in eBioMedicine have developed a score associated with immunotherapy response or survival.

CRISPR-Based Method for Finding Cancer-Associated Exosomal MicroRNAs in Blood

A team from China presents in ACS Sensors a liposome-mediated membrane fusion strategy for detecting miRNAs carried in exosomes in the blood with a CRISPR-mediated reporter system.

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.