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R&D Projects development to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies

OWL strives to provide a top quality service for cutting-edge research, using strictly controlled analytical procedures and state-of-the-art facilities under expert supervision

Initial Contact and experimental planning
On receipt of a request, a qualified bioanalytical chemist from OWL will contact the client to discuss the details of the project.
OWL metabolomics services include technical discussion and guidance from experts in the field, offering an optimal experimental design (sample collection, sample preparation procedures, analytical methodology and data processing methods) to provide a high quality, fast turnaround, cost efficient final product.

Metabolite extraction / Sample Preparation
Sample preparation is a fundamental step, which decides on the coverage of metabolites. As thousands of endogenous compounds are present in biological samples, varying in their concentration and physico-chemical properties, specific sample preparation is needed depending upon the nature of the project in question. OWL provides a series of validated metabolite extraction techniques available for a wide range of biofluids and tissues. An optimal choice of method will be made, depending on the medium and the section of the metabolome considered to be of prime interest (e.g. lipids, amino-acids, etc).

Analytical Platform
Mass spectrometry (MS) based metabolomics offers selective, sensitive analyses with the potential to identify metabolites. The analytical platform at OWL includes several liquid-chromatography interfaced mass spectrometers ideally suited to metabolomics applications.

Samples are typically analysed in positive and negative electrospray ionisation (ESI) modes, scanning from m/z 50-1000, on a reverse phase column packed with sub 2 µm particles; the specific bonded phase (typically C8, C18 or HSS) depending on the application. Accurate mass (<5 ppm) is assured for all ions detected, whilst a range of MS/MS possibilities provide powerful fragmentation analysis tools for compound identification.

The analytical platform at OWL includes:

Waters LCT Premier XE:
Orthogonal acceleration time-of-flight (oa-TOF) mass analyser delivers high full-scan sensitivity, resolution, and exact mass measurements ideal for the high throughput, selective analysis of 100s-1000s of metabolites found in biological fluids and tissues.

Waters Q-TOF Premier:
All the above features with the added benefits of quadrupole precursor ion selection and controlled fragmentation in a collision cell prior to TOF analysis.
The unique design of this instrument allows MS data to be captured with alternating low-and high collision cell energy. This MSE approach can be used to obtain both precursor and product ion information in the same analytical run.

Waters Acquity SQD:
The single quadrupole detector could successfully be used to provide adequate sensitivity and selectivity for quantitation of metabolites of interest in biological matrices. The sensitivity of that LC/MS analysis can be extended by selected ion monitoring (SIM) of a molecular ion(s) that corresponds solely to the compound(s) of interest, rather than scanning across a large mass/charge range.

Waters Acquity UPLC:
All mass spectrometers are coupled to a UPLC system, using sub 2 µm particle technology to provide optimum cromatographic resolution and sensitivity, essential for high throughput metabolite analysis.

Data Analysis and report Writing
Metabolomics data sets can only be managed by powerful informatics and statistical applications. OWL analytical platform is supported by a state-of-the-art suite of software products complemented by visualization tools, allowing complex data sets to be transformed into informative charts and graphs. OWL applies chemometric tools such as principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares difference analysis (PLS-DA), and orthogonal partial least-squares to latent structures (OPLS). Those multivariate statistical methods are typically used to analyse the results obtained, providing a versatile approach to modelling, monitoring and prediction in complex problems encountered within the metabolomics discipline.
A list of biomarkers is also presented in the final report, together with the results of identification experiments where appropiate. On conclusion of the project raw data are made available to the client and removed from OWL´s records.

OWL is a trading name of
Parque Tecnológico de Bizkaia
Edificio 502 - Planta 0
48160 Derio - Bizkaia - Spain
+34 94 431 85 40

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qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions/circunstances.
Last update: 07/20/2022

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