Elemental metabolomics

Ping Zhang, Constantinos A. Georgiou, Vladimir Brusic

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Elemental metabolomics is quantification and characterization of total concentration of chemical elements in biological samples and monitoring of their changes. Recent advances in inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry have enabled simultaneous measurement of concentrations of > 70 elements in biological samples. In living organisms, elements interact and compete with each other for absorption and molecular interactions. They also interact with proteins and nucleotide sequences. These interactions modulate enzymatic activities and are critical for many molecular and cellular functions. Testing for concentration of > 40 elements in blood, other bodily fluids and tissues is now in routine use in advanced medical laboratories. In this article, we define the basic concepts of elemental metabolomics, summarize standards and workflows, and propose minimuminformation for reporting the results of an elemental metabolomics experiment. Major statistical and informatics tools for elemental metabolomics are reviewed, and examples of applications are discussed. Elemental metabolomics is emerging as an important new technology with applications in medical diagnostics, nutrition, agriculture, food science, environmental science and multiplicity of other areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-536
Number of pages13
JournalBriefings in Bioinformatics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomonitoring
  • Chemometrics
  • Clinical laboratory testing
  • Ionomics
  • Metallomics
  • Mineralomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Elemental metabolomics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this