A large variety of glycans is intricately located on the cell surface, and the overall profile (the glycome, given the entire repertoire of glycoconjugate-associated sugars in cells and tissues) is believed to be crucial for the diverse roles of glycans, which are mediated by specific interactions that control cell-cell adhesion, immune response, microbial pathogenesis and other cellular events. The glycomic profile also reflects cellular alterations, such as development, differentiation and cancerous change. A glycoconjugate-based approach would therefore be expected to streamline discovery of novel cellular biomarkers. Development of such an approach has proven challenging, due to the technical difficulties associated with the analysis of various types of cellular glycomes; however, recent progress in the development of analytical methodologies and strategies has begun to clarify the cellular glycomics of various classes of glycoconjugates. This review focuses on recent advances in the technical aspects of cellular glycomic analyses of major classes of glycoconjugates, including N
- and O
-linked glycans, derived from glycoproteins, proteoglycans and glycosphingolipids. Articles that unveil the glycomics of various biologically important cells, including embryonic and somatic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and cancer cells, are discussed.