Bioanalytic Core Facility

Mass Spectrometry Laboratory

The Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at the Bioanalytical Core Facility of the CBBM was established in February 2016. The lab`s main mission is to support research groups by providing metabolomic and lipidomics analyses. Moreover, it aims to promote mass spectrometry research competence in Lübeck by increasing the number of publications, research grants and personnel trained in metabolomics/lipidomics in a financially efficient manner.

Services | Instruments | Publications

Metobolomics and Lipidomics Services

The Mass Spectrometry Laboratory offers metabolomics and lipidomics research services including:

  • LC/MS method development
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of small molecules or drugs in biological samples
  • Sample preparation (e.g. homogenization, extraction)
  • Omics data analysis and help with the experimental design for omics studies.

Range of metabolites covered (by established methods or methods in development)

Targeted analysis

  1. α-Dicarbonyls
  2. Advanced glycation end-products
  3. Monomethylfumarate
  4. Sphingoid bases and sphingosine 1 phosphate

Untargeted and semi-targeted anaylsis

  1. Metabolomics: metabolites covering glycolysis, TCA cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, amino acids, nucleotides and vitamin and cofactor metabolism
  2. Lipidomics: metabolites covering sphingolipid, phospholipid, cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism

For new method development projects, the mass spectrometry committee has to approve the project funding and secure that number of sample that will cover the cost of method development.

Standard prices as stated in the user guidelines are € 40,-/sample for targeted analyses and € 80,-/sample for untargeted analyses, e.g. Lipidomics and Metabolomics screens. Method development for new methods, which are not covered by the core facility's current scope, costs € 70,-/h; cost for method development can be negotiated, depending on the amount of samples to be analysed with the given method.


LC/MS lab

The lab is equipped with two state-of-the art liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC/MS) systems to cover both the targeted and untargeted metabolomics research questions

On the Q-Exactive, untargeted analysis (profiling) is performed which is usually applied for global screening of the metabolomics/lipidomics profile. Moreover, the TSQ-Endura platform offers a better sensitivity to quantify a specific metabolite or set of metabolites in a targeted fashion. This dual untargeted and targeted analysis allows for both discovery and validation, while also providing a standardized workflow for routinely analyzing large cohort studies.

Sample Preparation lab, includes

  • Liquid handling devices, ultrasonic bath, heating oven, sample concentrator with gas chamber, lyophilisator and medium-throughput tissue homogenization device.


  1. Alecu I, Othman A, Penno A, Saied EM, Arenz C, von Eckardstein A, Hornemann T. Cytotoxic 1-Deoxysphingolipids Are Metabolized by a Cytochrome P450-Dependent Pathway. J Lipid Res. 2016 Nov 21. pii: jlr.M072421
  2. Steiner R., Mostafa E.,  Othman A., Arenz C., Maccarone A. T., Poad B.L.J., Blanksby S.J., von Eckardstein A., and Hornemann T., Elucidating the chemical structure of native 1-deoxysphingosine, J Lipid Res. 2016 Jul;57(7):1194-203
  3. Ziv C. , Malitsky S. , Othman A. , Ben-Dor S. , Wei Y., Zheng  S., Aharoni A. , Hornemann T and Vardi A., Viral serine palmitoyltransferase induces metabolic switch in sphingolipid biosynthesis and is required for infection of a marine alga, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 29;113(13)
  4. Othman A, Bianchi R, Alecu I, Wei Y, Porretta-Serapiglia C, Lombardi R, Chiorazzi A, Meregalli C, Oggioni N, Cavaletti G, Lauria G, von Eckardstein A, Hornemann T: Lowering plasma 1-deoxysphingolipids improves neuropathy in diabetic rats. Diabetes 2015;64:1035-1045
  5. Othman A, Rutti MF, Ernst D, Saely CH, Rein P, Drexel H, Porretta-Serapiglia C, Lauria G, Bianchi R, von Eckardstein A, Hornemann T: Plasma deoxysphingolipids: a novel class of biomarkers for the metabolic syndrome? Diabetologia 2012;55:421-43