The Mass Spectrometry Core Facility (plate-forme de spectrométrie de masse, PFSM) is a structure from the “Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine de l’Ouest” (CRNH-Ouest), a public cluster which federates research units from the West of France around a common thematic: the human nutrition and the prevention of metabolic diseases (obesity, diabetes, cholesterolemia). The CRNH-Ouest currently includes more than 200 full-time equivalent researchers who work in synergy on the following research fields: the neonatal nutrition, the enteric nervous system and its relationship with the central nervous system, the food allergies, the food lipids and chronic pathologies.

CRNH-Ouest relies on research units from INRA, Inserm, ONIRIS, university (University of Nantes) and hospital services (CHU Nantes). CRNH-Ouest also relies on research and service core-facilities, such as the PFSM, which is also attached to the CORSAIRE structure of Biogenouest.

The PFSM mainly works on metabolic diseases and related cardiovascular diseases, through targeted or non-targeted explorations (in vivo and in vitro) of the main components of human and animal lipoproteins. The PFSM also works on metabolite and lipoprotein component kinetics (metabolic fluxes) by the use of stable isotope labelled tracers.

Photo Crédit : University of Nantes

Know how

The PFSM offers various types of analyses in numerous types of biological matrices (in vivo, in vitro, animal and human). We regularly work on the following matrices:
  • Serum, plasma
  • Tissues
  • Urine
  • Breastmilk
  • Faces
  • Cells
And perform different types of analyses:
  • Non-targeted analyses (lipidomics, metabolomics)
  • Targeted and quantitative analyses (lipids and apolipoproteins, amino acids and proteins, organic acids, sphingolipids to approach insulin resistance, methylamines and short-chain fatty acids to approach the intestinal microbiota, xenobiotics ...)
  • Kinetic analyses in protocols involving stable isotope labeled tracers (protein and metabolite flux analyses)
  • Structural and elemental composition (exact mass measurement)


  • UPC²-ESI-MS/MS (QqQ)
  • Ultracentrifuge