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Our Center


The Cal Poly Metabolomics Service Center (CP-MSC) is a fee-for-service, core analytical chemistry lab launched by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science (CAFES) in partnership with the Sponsored Programs office of Cal Poly Corporation.


We offer a suite of quantitative and semi-quantitative small molecule detection methods to match the diverse research interests of our collaborators. Services are available at standardized prices and include an initial consultation, sample processing, analysis, and biological interpretation assistance. We are continually developing new methods and we welcome the opportunity to customize existing methods to best fit client needs.


Analyses are performed primarily by ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC)-mass spectrometry (MS), although UPLC-diode array detection (DAD) and gas chromatography (GC)-flame ionization detection (FID) are also used.

Semi-Targeted Assays

Primary Metabolomics

Semi-targeted UPLC-MS method identifying up to 208 metabolites. Metabolites captured include several TCA cycle and glycolysis intermediates, ketone bodies, carbohydrates, carbohydrate derivatives, bile acids, and purines/pyrimidines and their nucleotides.


Semi-targeted UPLC-MS method identifying up to 201 metabolites. Metabolites captured include amino acids, amine derivatives, one carbon metabolism compounds, neurotransmitters, glutathione, water-soluble vitamins, purines/pyrimidines and their nucleotides, and acylcarnitines.

Cell Membrane Lipids

Semi-targeted UPLC-MS method identifying up to 60 metabolites. Metabolites captured include  phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, lysophosphatidylcholines, lysophosphatidylethanolamines, and sphingomyelins.

Bile Acids

Targeted UPLC-MS method identifying up to 28 bile acids. Bile acids consist of primary and secondary conjugates and unconjugates, including both human and those unique to different animal species. 

Short-Chain Fatty Acids

Targeted GC-FID method identifying up to 6 short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in fecal, cecal, or intestinal matter. SCFAs include acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, isobutyric acid, valeric acid, and isovaleric acid.

Important note: Service center rates have yet to be established.


Targeted UPLC-MS method identifying up to 8 ceramides and 3 sphingolipids. Compounds include ceramides, dihydroceramides, a sphinganine, and sphingosines.

Targeted Assays