Orbitrap Illustration

TCM & Natural Products

The use of natural materials to treat illness has a long history. Natural products and traditional Chinese medicines have been pursued across the world, often as a parallel course to other drug discovery endeavors.  The complex nature of plant and animal extracts requires a metabolomic-style approach to determine the active constituents of a product.

These products often do not derive their activity from a single ingredient but from a balance of multiple components acting in concert.  The study of variations components and therapeutic response to preparations from different regions, seasonal changes, and strains are all areas of interest as researchers try to understand the mechanism of action and how to improve upon these interesting therapeutics.

Mass spectrometers based on Orbitrap™ technology aid in this research by providing high-resolution, accurate-mass data for the analysis of complex organic extracts.

Workflow Overview for TCM & Natural Products


Plant or animal samples must be extracted for study. Representative extraction of the sample provides a more complete understanding of the components within. These samples are often complex by their very nature and require separation by high performance chromatographic techniques before being introduced to the mass spectrometer.In addition, to accurately determine the components of interest, biological and technical replicates are commonly prepared to help account for biological and preparation variability.