Advances in mass spectrometry based single-cell metabolomics
Metabolomics has grown into a prominent field contributing to the molecular understanding of complex biological processes in both health and disease. Furthermore, single-cells are known to display metabolic differences between seemingly homogeneous populations of cells. Single-cell metabolomics attempts to analyze many cellular metabolites from single cells to understand phenotypic heterogeneity, which is a significant challenge due to the low analyte abundances and limited sample volumes. Label-free metabolite detection can be achieved with mass spectrometry, which is capable of simultaneously analyzing hundreds of metabolites. Herein, we review the recent advances in mass spectrometry based single-cell metabolomics, highlighting the current state-of-the-art within the last three years, and identify the challenges to move the field forward.