Metabolomics is a newly emerging discipline that seeks to determine levels of large numbers (>2000) of metabolites in biological samples. This information is being used for: understanding physiologic networks at the cellular to whole organism level, defining states of health and disease, drug development, and nutrient effects on health and disease.
In metabolomics, most technologies in use and those being developed aim to determine the total amount of each metabolite in a biological sample. Currently, no single technique is capable of resolving the complete metabolome and therefore multiple techniques as well as extensive sample preparation are required.
In contrast, FFA Sciences is developing a complementary technology for the determination of the unbound metabolome. In work supported by the NIH Roadmap Initiative in Metabolomics Technology Development, we are developing individual fluorescent probes for the determination of the concentrations of unbound metabolites in both extra and intracellular fluids.
This technology has the advantage of determining the unbound and therefore biologically active form of the metabolite, requires virtually no sample preparation, uses a single technology and can provide accurate values for concentrations in real time.
We are currently focused on developing probes for unbound FFA and several such FFAu specific probes have been developed. At the same time we are expanding investigations to include other metabolites and would encourage partnerships to develop probes for specific metabolites.