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NMR Spectroscopy for Metabolomics Research

Core Labs, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
Centre of Biomedical Research, Formerly, Centre of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences Campus, Uttar Pradesh 226014, India
Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2W2, Canada
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy
Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Biology Wageningen University & Research, Stippeneng 4, 6708 WE Wageningen, The Netherlands
Northwest Metabolomics Research Center, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, 850 Republican St., Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Department of NanoMedicine Research, Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, Dammam 31441, Saudi Arabia
Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E8, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metabolites 2019, 9(7), 123;
Received: 19 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 27 June 2019
Over the past two decades, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has emerged as one of the three principal analytical techniques used in metabolomics (the other two being gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography coupled with single-stage mass spectrometry (LC-MS)). The relative ease of sample preparation, the ability to quantify metabolite levels, the high level of experimental reproducibility, and the inherently nondestructive nature of NMR spectroscopy have made it the preferred platform for long-term or large-scale clinical metabolomic studies. These advantages, however, are often outweighed by the fact that most other analytical techniques, including both LC-MS and GC-MS, are inherently more sensitive than NMR, with lower limits of detection typically being 10 to 100 times better. This review is intended to introduce readers to the field of NMR-based metabolomics and to highlight both the advantages and disadvantages of NMR spectroscopy for metabolomic studies. It will also explore some of the unique strengths of NMR-based metabolomics, particularly with regard to isotope selection/detection, mixture deconvolution via 2D spectroscopy, automation, and the ability to noninvasively analyze native tissue specimens. Finally, this review will highlight a number of emerging NMR techniques and technologies that are being used to strengthen its utility and overcome its inherent limitations in metabolomic applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolomics; NMR; MS; analytical platform; GC-MS; LC-MS; sensitivity; resolution metabolomics; NMR; MS; analytical platform; GC-MS; LC-MS; sensitivity; resolution
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Emwas, A.-H.; Roy, R.; McKay, R.T.; Tenori, L.; Saccenti, E.; Gowda, G.A.N.; Raftery, D.; Alahmari, F.; Jaremko, L.; Jaremko, M.; Wishart, D.S. NMR Spectroscopy for Metabolomics Research. Metabolites 2019, 9, 123.

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