Low-field, benchtop NMR spectroscopy as a potential tool for point-of-care diagnostics of metabolic conditions: Validation, protocols and computational models

Benita C. Percival, Martin Grootveld, Miles Gibson, Yasan Osman, Marco Molinari, Fereshteh Jafari, Tarsem Sahota, Mark Martin, Federico Casanova, Melissa L. Mather, Mark Edgar, Jinit Masania, Philippe B. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Novel sensing technologies for liquid biopsies offer promising prospects for the early detection of metabolic conditions through omics techniques. Indeed, high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facilities are routinely used for metabolomics investigations on a range of biofluids in order to rapidly recognise unusual metabolic patterns in patients suffering from a range of diseases. However, these techniques are restricted by the prohibitively large size and cost of such facilities, suggesting a possible role for smaller, low-field NMR instruments in biofluid analysis. Herein we describe selected biomolecule validation on a low-field benchtop NMR spectrometer (60 MHz), and present an associated protocol for the analysis of biofluids on compact NMR instruments. We successfully detect common markers of diabetic control at low-to-medium concentrations through optimised experiments, including α-glucose (≤2.8 mmol/L) and acetone (25 µmol/L), and additionally in readily accessible biofluids, particularly human urine. We present a combined protocol for the analysis of these biofluids with low-field NMR spectrometers for metabolomics applications, and offer a perspective on the future of this technique appealing to ‘point-of-care’ applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages33
Issue number1
Early online date27 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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