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Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics Core

Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics Core

The RTSF Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics Core is an ‘open access’ resource where MSU researchers and Core staff perform chemical analyses for small molecules and intact macromolecules. The Core features 12 autosampler-equipped mass spectrometers that collectively provide GC/MS, GC/MS/MS, LC/MS/MS, accurate mass (high resolution), and MALDI-TOF capabilities. Analyses performed here typically involve compound identification, quantification, and statistical analysis. Core staff are available to provide expert consultation regarding method development and data interpretation. Students and other researchers are encouraged to become certified users of the instruments; training includes discussions of theory and operation of the Core instrumentation; following training, users are provided 24/7 access to the instruments. Methods currently running include nontarget metabolite profiling (metabolomics) and high-throughput profiling and quantification of amino acids, phytohormones, nucleotides signaling oxylipins, structural lipids, and central and specialized metabolites. Capabilities for MALDI-TOF tissue and surface imaging have also been developed. The Core performs analyses of samples from more than 100 institutions from across North America.


LC/MS/MS (tandem quadrupole)

  • Waters TQ-D UPLC/MS/MS
  • Waters Xevo TQ-S UPLC/MS/MS
  • Waters Xevo TQ-XS UPLC/MS/MS
  • Waters Xevo TQ-S Micro UPLC/MS/MS

LC/MS/MS (High Mass Resolution Systems)

  • Quadrupole/Time-of-Flight systems
    • Waters Xevo G2-XS UPLC/MS/MS (2 instruments)
  • Quadrupole/Orbitrap system
    • Thermo Q-Exactive UPLC/MS/MS


  • Agilent 5975 GC/single quadrupole MS
  • Agilent 7010 GC/triple quadrupole MS/MS
  • Thermo DSQ-II GC/single quadrupole MS
  • Waters GCT Premier GC/time-of-flight MS


  • Shimadzu Axima cfr-plus with imaging capabilities


The Core is, if time allows, accessible to academic investigators from any institution. Samples will be accepted provided they are appropriate for current Core capabilities. Access is also granted to occasional industrial clients on a time-available basis. Prior to sending samples, investigators are recommended to contact the Core staff to discuss the required analysis. This is necessary to insure that the most efficient and cost-effective analytical methods are employed. Samples are normally analyzed in the order of their receipt, but special arrangements can be made for unstable samples. A sample submission form should accompany each set of samples. The information requested on this form should be filled out completely to assure that the analyses can be carried out properly. Missing information from the form (e.g., sample solubility, stability, molecular formula, if known) will result in delays in the requested analyses.

Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics Core billing codes and rates

Submitting Radioactive Samples

The Core is licensed to handle samples containing 3H, 14C and 32P and 35S isotopes. However, to meet NRC regulations a different sample submission protocol through the MSU Office of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Safetyis necessary (see below). Michigan State University requires that this mailing procedure be followed even for trace levels of radioactive material.

All radioactive samples must be initially processed by the MSU Safety BEFORE they can be received by the MSU Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics Core.

  • Contact Kristin Bronson (Radiation Safety Officer) in advance by telephone 517-355-5008 or e-mail ( to alert her that a sample will be shipped.
  • NRC license information must be exchanged between your home institution’s Radiation Safety Office and MSU  before shipments are mailed.
  • Address overnight delivery package (FEDEX, UPS) as follows:
    c/o Professor David Dewitt
    C-124 Research Complex-Eng.
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Samples will be checked, logged and delivered them the same day to the Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics Core in Biochemistry.