Analytical chemistry : NMR, 2D NMR, IRMS

Our experts in analytical chemistry provide your projects with exceptional technical resources and know-how.

Our Capacités experts in analytical chemistry have developed an exceptional know-how in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1D NMR and 2D NMR) and in Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS).
Access to a large pool of equipment allows us to support industrial projects, from sample preparation to characterization.

We are specialized in very high precision quantification projects and in the analysis of complex matrices. We help our clients to innovate in the study of metabolism, the fight against counterfeiting, the determination of the purity of active molecules, or the monitoring of chemical transformations.


Strategy and consulting

Diagnosis and selection

Process development

Quality control

Development of methods

Metabolomic and lipidomic analyses

Validate a therapeutic target or refine the description of a pathology through the identification and qualification of biomarkers responsible for changes between two states.

Our experts master different types of analyses of biological samples. They perform targeted and non-targeted profiling and highlight changes between states of the biological matrices studied.

In a nutshell
Targeted analysisMetabolomic profilingMetabolic FootprintAnalysis of matricesData processing

Targeted analysis

  • Structural elucidation by screening of unknowns: NMR, mass spectrometry (low and/or high resolution), mainly in LC-MS: HPLC-MSn base resolution, HPLC-DAD-MSn high resolution, HPLC-UV, HPLC-FLR, GS-MS, UV-vis and NIR
  • On-line monitoring of chemical and biochemical transformations by benchtop NMR
  • Dosing : pigment by spectrometry, proteins by colorimetric method, total bones by colorimetric method
  • Performing statistical analyses such as PCA and PLS-DA

Metabolomic profiling

  • Compound profiling: polar by GCMS and water-soluble by HPLC
  • Class profiling by HPTLC
  • Family profiling by FTIR
  • One dimensional (1D) and/or two dimensional (2D) NMR profiling of biological matrices. Targeted or non-targeted analyses

Metabolic Footprint

  • Possible biomarkers identification
  • Targeted quantification of key metabolites in biological samples

Analysis of matrices

  • Metabolic or lipidomic extracts obtained from animals or plant matrices, bacteria, etc.
  • Biofluids: urine, blood, plasma, culture supernatants, etc.
  • Validation of regulatory status for commercial pure molecules
  • Synthesized or manufactured molecules not available on the market
  • Internal reference substances

Data processing

  • Pre-processing of NMR and MS spectra for statistical analysis
  • Statistical analysis of mass spectrometry and NMR data

Quantitative NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance)

Our expertise is to qualify reference substances, determine the purity of molecules and certify their compliance with international quality standards.

Our experts assist pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies in certifying the purity of their reference molecules using NMR methods.

In a nutshell
NMR acquisition parametersNMR processing parametersMethod validation and parameter verificationProduct origin authentificationOptimization of the NMR tool

NMR acquisition parameters

  • Measurement of longitudinal relaxation time
  • Recording of NMR spectra with a very high signal/noise ratio
  • 13C decoupling to avoid the appearance of satellites, etc.
  • Quantitative 1H NMR with very high precision and accuracy (<0.1%)
  • High precision multi-dimensional quantitative NMR

NMR processing parameters

  • Manual phasing of spectra
  • Baseline correction
  • Spectra deconvolution
  • Score correction if 13C satellites are present

Method validation and parameter verification

  • Selectivity
  • Repeatability (precision)
  • Uncertainty calculation

Product origin authentification

  • Non-targeted profiling by high field or benchtop NMR
  • Isotopic analyses on target molecules
  • Quantitative and targeted NMR analysis
  • Development of metabo-isotopomic approaches

Optimization of the NMR tool

  • Ongoing European Research Council project: SUMMIT (Site-specific Ultrasensitive Magnetic resonance of Mixtures for Isotopic Tracking). Development of an analysis workflow based on two NMR methods: dynamic nuclear polarization by dissolution and ultrafast 2D NMR
  • Development of new rapid multi-dimensional methods for targeted and non-targeted metabolomics studies
  • Development of new methods for real-time monitoring of transformations


Didier G. Diomande, Estelle Martineau, Alexis Gilbert, Pierrick Nun, Ariaki Murata, Keita Yamada, Naoharu Watanabe, Illa Tea, Richard J. Robins, Naohiro Yoshida, and Gérald S. Remaud Position-Specific Isotope Analysis of Xanthines: A 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Method to Determine the 13C Intramolecular Composition at Natural Abundance.v

Analytical Chemistry 2015 87 (13), 6600-6606. DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b00559

Quantitative 2D NMR (2D nuclear magnetic resonance)

Development of fast and quantitative 2D NMR acquisition methods.

Our experts have developed a protocol for the implementation of targeted and non-targeted metabolic and lipidomic studies.

In a nutshell
Rapid quantification for metabolomics and lipidomicsQuantification of polysaccharides by 2D NMR
  • Concentration measuring of the small molecules in complex samples
  • Exploitation of standard addition methods
  • Development of quantitative approaches for polysaccharide analysis
  • Profiling of biological matrices
  • Targeted and non-targeted analyses

Rapid quantification for metabolomics and lipidomics

  • Production of accurate quantitative data
  • Optimal separation between overlapping resonances
  • Development of fast acquisition methods
  • Representative and complementary experiments: UF COSY, ZF-TOCSY with irregular sampling
  • HSQC with irregular sampling

Quantification of polysaccharides by 2D NMR

  • Characterization of molecular structures
  • Development of powerful quality control methods
  • Measurement of polysaccharide concentration
  • Molecular behavior studies
  • Development of the quantification method
  • Definition of the optimal analytical workflow


Estelle Martineau, Serge Akoka, Renaud Boisseau, Benoît Delanoue, and Patrick Giraudeau. Fast Quantitative 1H–13C Two-Dimensional NMR with Very High Precision. Analytical Chemistry 2013 85 (9), 4777-4783

Estelle Martineau, Kamel El Khantache, Marion Pupier, Patricia Sepulcri, Serge Akoka, Patrick Giraudeau, Non-linear effects in quantitative 2D NMR of polysaccharides: Pitfalls and how to avoid them, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, Volume 108, 2015, Pages 78-85, ISSN 0731-7085

Estelle Martineau, Jean-Nicolas Dumez, Patrick Giraudeau. Fast quantitative 2D NMR for metabolomics and lipidomics: A tutorial Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry. 04 June 2019

IRMS (Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry)

To analyze the 13C, 15N, 2H, 18O and 34S isotopes present in organic matter, for a better understanding of metabolism in the fields of health and nutrition.

The mastery of compound-specific analysis allows to obtain 13C and/or 15N profiles of different matrices.

In a nutshell
Average isotopic composition by EA-IRMSGC-IRMS analyse

Average isotopic composition by EA-IRMS

  • Sample preparation
  • Analysis 13, 15N, 2H, 18O, 34S

GC-IRMS analyse

  • 15N profiling of amino acids (after hydrolysis of proteins, derivatization, chromatography separation and 15N determination


Tea, I., Martineau, E., Antheaume, I. et al. 13C and 15N natural isotope abundance reflects breast cancer cell metabolism. Sci Rep 6, 34251 (2016).

Olivier L Mantha, Caroline Goupille, Jean-François Dumas, Richard Robins, Philippe Bougnoux, Régis Hankard, Arnaud De Luca, Natural isotopic abundances as markers of compliance in clinical trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 111, Issue 5, May 2020, Pages 1109–1110

Tea I, Le Guennec A, Frasquet-Darrieux M, Julien M, Romek K, Antheaume I, Hankard R, Robins RJ. Simultaneous determination of natural-abundance δ15N values and quantities of individual amino acids in proteins from milk of lactating women and from infant hair using gas chromatography/isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2013 Jun 30;27(12):1345-53.

Laboratoire de chimie de Nantes

Engineering at CAPACITÉS

Our Analytical Chemistry experts perform their engineering duties in the very research laboratories of the University of Nantes themselves, most notably at CEISAM. They strive to combine technical resources and scientific discovery to meet your R&D needs.

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