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Capillary Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry for Metabolomics


This information is without prejudice. Alterations can be made for next year.


Capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) has become a very useful analytical technique for the profiling of highly polar and charged metabolites in biological samples. In this course, the unique features of CE-MS for metabolomics studies are highlighted and a comprehensive overview of recent technological developments will be given. Topics covered include CE separation modes, capillary coatings and practical aspects of CE-MS coupling. Attention will also be devoted to sample pretreatment and data analysis strategies specifically relevant for CE-MS. Special emphasis will be given to advanced interfacing techniques for coupling CE to MS and on their implications for metabolomics. The utility of electrophoretic preconcentration procedures to improve the concentration sensitivity of CE(-MS) for metabolic profiling studies will also be outlined. The applicability of CE-MS for metabolomics will be demonstrated using samples ranging from plasma and urine to cells and tissues. In particular, the utility of CE-MS for metabolic profiling of volume-restricted samples will be considered. Finally, a comparison of CE-MS with other analytical technologies will be provided to illustrate the complementary character of CE-MS for metabolomics studies.

Dr. Rawi Ramautar (, group leader Biomedical Microscale Analytics (

Admission requirements
Master students BPS. The course is also open to third-year BFW students and to other MSc students with a basic background in analytical chemistry or separation sciences.

Mode of instruction
Lectures, self-study and student presentations.

Reading list
The following book is required for this course: Capillary Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry for Metabolomics by Rawi Ramautar, ISBN: 9781788012737, publisher: The Royal Society of Chemistry (

Course objectives
At the end of the course, the candidate is able to:

  • explain the basics of capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS)

  • explain the concept of metabolomics and how to set-up a CE-MS-based analytical workflow to address a biological/clinical question

  • give an overview of the main developments in CE-MS for metabolomics studies

  • discuss the strengths and limitations of CE-MS for metabolomics studies

Assessment method
The assessment comprises a group assignment (case study, 70% of final grade) and an individual/group (depends on the number of students) research presentation (30% of final grade).

November 2018

Application via uSis. Registration closes 1 month before the start of the course or earlier if the maximum number of students is reached.

A minimum of 5 and a maximum of 24 participants applies to this course. Placement is based on the registration date.