How One Lab Automated GC/MS Analysis of 33 Amino Acids

Because of their involvement in various metabolic processes, amino acids like alanine, lysine, glutamine, serine, and valine are vital to human life and important markers for metabolic disorders.

As such, mapping the levels of amino acids within a body (through urine and blood analysis) can lead to the diagnosis of congenital metabolic disorders, such as Phenylketonuria (PKU), which has an adverse effect on mental development. In addition, analyzing the amino acids in food – even in basics such as milk, fruit juice, beer and soy sauce – allows scientists at food companies to create better foods, and nutritionists to recommend the right foods to the right person.

Traditional methods for determining amino acids and levels in biological matrices have been time-consuming and not suitable for high sample throughput. While GC/MS is the ideal tool for the determination of amino acids in biological matrices, to meet the efficiency requirements of modern diagnostic laboratories the analytical procedure needs to be highly automated.

Scientists at the Institute of Functional Genomics at the University of Regensburg, Germany, have developed an automated procedure (MPS-CIS-GC/MS) to analyze amino acids in biological samples including blood, plasma, and urine using the GERSTEL MPS PrepStation.

This GC/MS method is successful in determining the concentrations of 33 amino acids using a dual-rail version of GERSTEL’s MultiPurpose Sampler for GC/MS. In addition, the method fully automates an 8-step process, reducing the analysis run to less than 10 minutes – a significant improvement over the conventional method. Sample preparation is automatic, resulting in high efficiency, reproducibility, and reliability.

Learn more about this GC/MS process for amino acids and see the chromatogram from a sample of whole milk in our Solutions Worldwide magazine article, “Metabolomics II:  Fully Automated GC/MS Determination of Amino Acids.”

For a deeper conversation on how you might configure a GC MPS for higher throughput efficiency at your lab, feel free to contact us.