Ex vivo high-resolution Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (1H & 13C metabolic profiling) on intact tissues

Commonly used acronym: HR-MAS-MR spectroscopy

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Animal health
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
  • Translational - Applied Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Human derived cells / tissues / organs
Specify the type of cells/tissues/organs
tumor biopsies


Method keywords
  • metabolic profiling
  • tumor
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • biopsies analysis
  • 1H & 13C-MRS
Scientific area keywords
  • cancer research
  • tumor metabolism
  • metabolomics
  • cancer diagnosis
  • treatment monitoring
  • cancer treatment
Method description

HR MAS analysis of intact tissues consists in the metabolic profiling of entire tumor biopsies using high resolution NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) using 1H and/or 13C MRS (magnetic resonance spectroscopy). The technique allows combination of metabolomic data with genomic or proteomic data, and can therefore be used both for exploring the molecular biology of cancer and for clinical improvements in cancer diagnostics, prognostics, treatment planning, and treatment monitoring.

Lab equipment

High Resolution NMR (600MHz magnet) equiped with a spinning system for HR-MAS (magic angle spinning) to allow study of intact tissues.

Method status
  • History of use
  • Published in peer reviewed journal

Pros, cons & Future potential


One of the best nondestructive method for study of biopsies composition.


Signal is better when acquired on tissue extracts.


No modifications are planned in the near future.

Future & Other applications

The technique will remain 'limited' to the analysis of tissue biopsies.

References, associated documents and other information


High-Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HRMAS) NMR Methods in Metabolomics. Tilgner M, Vater TS, Habbel P, Cheng LL. Methods Mol Biol. 2019;2037:49-67. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9690-2_4.

Contact person

Bénédicte Jordan


Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Louvain Drug Research Institute, Nuclear and Electron Spin Technologies platform (NEST)
Brussels Region