Metabolic Phenotyping

The Metabolic Phenotyping Core offers several services to help investigators evaluate metabolic phenotypes in multiple model organisms. Our services are offered to the University of Utah research community and off-campus researchers. Services include mitochondrial bioenergetics (Seahorse (XFe96 and XF24)for cells and isolated mitochondria), determination of whole animal energy expenditure using the Columbus Instruments Oxymax Lab Animal Monitoring System, determination of body composition by NMR, determination of circulating metabolite and hormone concentrations using the MAGPIX magnetic based system that can measure up to 50 analytes in a 25µl sample. We are also willing to consult on more complex projects that require more detailed in vivo metabolic phenotyping such as glucose clamps. We are also happy to offer protocol consultation as needed.

We are pleased to announce that the Metabolic Phenotyping Core is now offering glucose and insulin clamps for mice and rats. Please refer to the website to schedule your runs.

If you would like to make a reservation to use our equipment or services, please go to

Please acknowledge the University of Utah Metabolic Phenotyping Core when presenting data obtained using the core services.
e.q. “Work was performed by the Metabolic Phenotyping Core, a part of the Health Sciences Cores at the University of Utah”

Thank you for your adherence to this policy.

Services We Offer

Determination of Body Composition using Bruker Minispec NMR

Bruker Minispec NMR

Measures body composition analysis in non-anesthetized mice (no imaging capability). The NMR is located in Emma Eccles Jones Medical Research Building (EEJ, bldg 565, Rm A450). Any mice in EEJ can be used with the NMR. If your mice are outside of this facility there is a 4 week isolation time before they can be transferred to EEJ.


U of U Users: $120/hr
Non-U of U Users:
Academic: $180/hr
Non-Academic: $240/hr

Reserve for use

Glucose Tolerance Test and Insulin Tolerance Test

The most commonly used method for assessing glucose homeostasis in rodent is the glucose tolerance test (GTT). The glucose (1g of glucose/kg) will be given intraperitoneally after 6 hour fasting. Blood samples are taken at intervals (0, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120 minutes post injection) to determine how quickly the glucose is cleared from the blood.

Insulin tolerance test (ITT) is technically very similar to the GTT as it involves monitoring blood glucose levels over time, but in response to insulin administration(0.75U/kg) rather than glucose loading. ITTs are usually carried out in 6 hour fasted animals and blood glucose levels are measured every 5 min for 60-90 min following insulin injection.

Reserve for use

Indirect Colorimetry using CLAMS Metabolic Cages

CLAMS Metabolic Cages

We have 8 metabolic chambers available that measure x-, y- and z-axis movement; food and water consumption; heat production; O2 consumption; CO2 production in mice. Availability varies so please schedule as far in advance as possible.

The Columbus Instruments (Columbus, OH) mouse metabolic chamber is an open circuit system that directly measures five parameters over a 72 hour period.

  1. Oxygen consumption
  2. Carbon dioxide production
  3. Food intake
  4. Water intake
  5. Activity over X Y & Z axis

Gas measurements are performed on an open system, meaning that air is pumped through the test chambers and gasses measured prior to being expelled into the atmosphere. The percent O2 and CO2 gas levels of the test chamber environment are measured periodically and compared to an external source.

Gas exchange is derived by monitoring both flow and the difference in gas concentration appearing between inlet and outlet of a sealed chamber through which flows a known mass of air. Knowledge of air mass and gas fractions provide the basic information required for the determination of volumes of both O2 and CO2 present at the inlet and outlet. Subtraction of the respective inlet and outlet volumes yield the volume of oxygen consumed and the volume of carbon dioxide produced. The ratios of produced and consumed gasses provides the Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER) which should fall between 0.7-1.0 depending on the dietary mixture of fats and carbohydrates consumed.

Food intake is measured and recorded using a modified electronic balance (Mettler-Toledo).

Liquid intake is measured using a Volumetric Drinking Monitor (VDM) which operates by dispensing a measured amount of liquid to a sipper tube. Liquid consumed from the sipper tube is electronically monitored, recorded and replaced.

Movement is detected by three sets of light beams (8 beams per set) that measure activity on an X Y & Z axis. A record is made each time the beam path is broken by the animal. Total and ambulatory movements are recorded separately.

Raw data are collated using Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software.

Please be aware that in order for us to accommodate your metabolic cages run, you can contact us as soon as you set up your experiment so we can help you schedule your run in advance.

Reserve for use

Mitochondrial Bioenergetics-

Seahorse XF24 Flux Analyzer

Seahorse XF24 Flux
The Seahorse Extracellular Flux (XF) Analyzer performs bioenergetic studies in small material samples. XF Analyzers non-invasively profile the metabolic activity of cells or isolated mitochondria, providing data on oxygen consumption, glycolysis rates, ATP turnover and respiratory capacity. More details can be obtained here.


U of U users: $228/plate for cells; $257/plate for tissue; Self-Run Price: $180/plate for cells, $209/plate for tissue

Non-U of U users:
Academic: $344/plate for cells; $388/plate for tissue
Non-Academic: $400/plate for cells; $420/plate for tissue

Seahorse XFe96 Analyzer

Seahorse XF-96 Analyzer

The Seahorse XFe96 Analyzer provides the highest capacity for XF assays at the lowest per-sample cost. The Seahorse XFe96 enables a large number of experimental groups per assay, making it ideal for labs seeking to maximize design flexibility and sample throughput. The Seahorse XFe96 Analyzer can analyze individual spheroids with the Seahorse XFe96 Spheroid Microplate. More details can be obtained here.


Standard (Core Run) Self Run
Core Provides Cartridge and cell culture plate
Calribrant and XF Assay Media
Mito stress and Glycolysis test kit
Cartridge and cell culture plate
User Provides Sample XF Assay Media
Mito stress or Glycolysis test kit


U of U users: $265/plate for cells; Self-Run: $215
Non-U of U users:
Academic: $401/plate for cells
Non-Academic: $531/plate for cells

Reserve for Use

Respirometry/Isolated Mitochondria/ATP

Respirometry includes measuring oxygen consumption rates and ATP production in saponin permeabilized tissues from the heart and soleus muscle, and from isolated mitochondria from any tissue.


U of U users: $46/isolation & respiration; $92/isolation & respiration + ATP
Non-U of U users:
Academic: $92/isolation & respiration; $184/isolation & respiration + ATP
Non-Academic: $138/isolation & respiration; $276/isolation & respiration + ATP

Reserve for Use


Analytical assays- Hormone, growth factors, cytokines, adipokines, metabolites



The MAGPIX is a multiplexing machine that uses magnetic bead mapping technology to get concentrations of cytokines in samples (blood, media, and tissue extraction). This multiplexing unit performs up to 50 different tests in a single reaction volume and reads a 96-well-plate in just 60 minutes. This system features an innovative design based on CCD imaging technology that allow for a more compact, robust system. And MAGPIX is supported by a broad menu of commercially available assay kits. As well as reagents to build your own assays.

Advantages- Low cost than ELISA, Powerful – more than 125 magnetic bead-based assay kits, Multiplex – measure up to 50 target in 25ul of samples

To know more detail, please contact the core with a kit or a list of cytokines you want to test.


U of U users: $350/plate (kit purchased separately)

Non-U of U users:
Academic: $525/plate
Non-Academic: $700/plate (kit purchased separately)

Reserve for Use



The Luminex 100/200 System is a flexible analyzer based on the principles of flow cytometry. The system enables you to multiplex (simultaneously measure) up to 100 analytes in a single microplate well, using very small sample volumes. The system delivers fast and cost-effective bioassay results on many assay formats including nucleic acid assays, receptor-ligand assays, immunoassays and enzymatic assays.

“The Luminex 100/200 System is the combination of three core xMAP Technologies. The first is xMAP microspheres, a family of 100 fluorescently dyed 5.6 micron-sized polystyrene microspheres that act as both the identifier and the solid surface to build the assay. The second is a flow cytometry-based instrument, the Luminex 100/200 analyzer, which integrates key xMAP detection components such as lasers, optics, fluidics and high-speed digital signal processors. The third component is the xPONENT® software, which is designed for protocol-based data acquisition with robust data regression analysis.”

More details here.


U of U users: $425/plate (kit purchased separately)
Non-U of U users:
Academic: $642/plate (kit purchased separately)
Non-Academic: $850/plate (kit purchased separately)

Reserve for Use

Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm


15 N 2030 E, Radiology Building

Building No. 585, Room No. 151

Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Ying Li, Director