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Small Molecule Research

Our Small Molecule Technology Hub provides customised analytical solutions for primary and secondary metabolites, and environmental analyses.

Analytical Unit
Small Molecule Technology Hub

We offer hi-tech facilities and equipment for sampling, sample preparation and analysis, along with advice and expertise in data interpretation and evaluation.

Staff in the College of Biomedical & Life Sciences can use these facilities for both research and teaching-related work. We also undertake external work for companies and external academic institutions.

Training and advice on the development of analytical methods and the use of our equipment is available on a chargeable basis.

Equipment and services

The hub houses a brand new Thermo Scientific Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry system consisting of Trace 1300 GC and ISQ LT MS with AS1310 auto-sampler for up to 155 samples and SSL injector module.

The system allows sensitive and flexible analyses of a range of analytes including fatty acids, terpenes/essential oils, pesticides, ECDs, POPs, amino acids and petroleum hydrocarbons. Data acquisition and analysis is supported by the latest versions of Chromeleon software, NIST library and search programmes.

Our combination of thermal desorption (TD100, Markes International) with GC (Agilent 7890A) and a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (BenchTOFdx, ALMSCO International) provides a highly sensitive versatile platform for the analysis of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.

Our Agilent Gas Chromatography (6890N) with Flame Ionisation Detector provides a cheaper alternative for the analysis of less complex and well-established targets, such as fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiling.

Our Thermo Separation Products HPLC system, comprising a quartenary gradient pump (P4000), autosampler (AS300) and photo diode array detector (UB 6000 LP), provides separations for a wide range of small and medium-sized polar compounds, including small acids, amino acids polyamines, peptides, pharmaceuticals and their metabolites.

Users can also benefit from a Water Auto-purification system consisting of  a TAW 2767 sample manager, TAW 2545 pump, TAW 2998 PDA detector and Waters 2424 ELS detector. This system operates flow rates suitable for analytical and preparative work, and provides full software support for up-scaling analytical runs to preparative chromatography with signal-guided fraction collection.

The hub offers access to a CaryEclipse (Varian) fluorescence spectrophotometer and a Helios UV/vis spectrophotometer.

We provide a range of equipment for sample preparation including centrifuges, centrifugal evaporation, and analytical balance (Ohaus Explorer).

Solid phase extraction (SPE) and solid phase micro extraction (SPME) are well-established methods within the hub and are fully supported.

We support data quantification and interpretation, and training is available in the use of software such as Chromeleon, MassLynx, Excalibur and AMDIS.

Contact us

For more information on our Small Molecule research facilities, please contact:

Dr Carsten Müller

Dr Carsten Müller

Reader, Postgraduate Divisional Tutor

+44 (0)29 2087 5263