Chapter 4: Mass spectrometry in metabolomics

by Angela Amoresano, Piero Pucci 


Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique highly spread in several fields from health to food science. In recent years an exponential growth of interest in the application of MS to metabolomics has emerged. Metabolomics investigations focused on the quantitation of several metabolites in a single analysis within complex matrices. This aim is particularly challenging as the set of metabolites constitutes a very complex pool of molecules whose relative abundance is constantly changing. The improved sensitivity and resolution of modern mass spectrometry greatly increased metabolite identification and metabolome coverage resulting in a higher usage of MS-based techniques in these studies. Mass spectrometry coupled to gas and liquid chromatography methods (GC-MS and LC-MS techniques) have been developed to cope with these analyses. This chapter will describe the principal techniques and strategies and the major characteristics of the mass spectrometry-based metabolomics highlighting the sensitivity, fast data acquisition, opportunities and challenges.

Piero Pucci

Prof. Piero Pucci got his degree in Chemistry at the University of Napoli in 1978 was Assistant Professor of Biochemistry first, then Associate Professor of Biochemistry and is now Full Professor of Biochemistry at the Department of Chemical Sciences, University Federico II of Napoli. Prof. Pucci has been Post doctoral fellow and Visiting Associate at the Biochemical Department of the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London, U. K.
Prof. Pucci is Member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Proteomic Foundation and Member of the Director Board and the Executive Comittee of the INBB Consortium. He was a former Member of the World Council of the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO), President of the Italian Human Proteome Organization (IHUPO), Member of the Council of the Italian Proteomic Association (ItPA) and Coordinator of the Protein Group of the Italian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SIBBM). At present, Prof. Pucci is Coordinator of the Technological Facilities and Responsible of both the Proteomic Laboratory and the Proteomic Facility at CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate.
Prof. Pucci delivered lectures to national and international Meetings, published more than 260 refereed papers on international journals with a H-Factor of 46 and is Consultant and Collaborator of several public and private Enterprises in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical field