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Stable Isotope Analysis Services

Stable isotope tracers have been widely used in medicine, agriculture, biology, food, environment, etc. Analysis of stable isotopes is particularly important for the study of changes in the environment, as well as the growth and metabolism of plants. BOC Sciences has been involved in the field of biotechnology for more than twenty years, focusing on the provision of high-quality stable-isotope-based analytical services. With our specialized experience and analytical capabilities, we can offer highly accurate and traceable data related to a variety of applications from ecological research to forensic investigations.

What is Stable Isotope Analysis?

Stable isotope analysis is an advanced scientific method to measure stable isotopes from a sample. Stable isotopes are not subject to radioactive decay and provide the most detailed information over long times scales and are ideal for long-term studies and applications. The technique exploits the small differences in the atomic mass of isotopes to provide unprecedented insight into biological, environmental and geological processes.

Principle of Stable Isotope Analysis

A group of nuclides with the same protons number but different neutrons numbers are called isotopes. Stable isotopes are a class of isotopes that are not radioactive. Usually, molecules containing stable isotopes have the same macro-chemical and biological properties as normal molecules, but there are differences in physical properties. Nevertheless, the difference in physical properties between isotopes can be used to separate and analyze isotopes effectively.

Stable Isotope Analysis Services from BOC Sciences

BOC Sciences offer stable isotopes (eg, carbon 13, nitrogen 15, oxygen 18, deuterium, etc.) analysis and determination services to meet different research needs. We possess state-of-the-art facilities that include isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS), element analysers, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometers and other equipment that are necessary for analysing the isotopic and elemental composition of samples. We have professional technical team to carry out the relevant test, to ensure year after year test results are precise, accurate, repeatable. Customers are well served by our tests for stable isotopes, provided in a timely and accurate fashion in addition to ultra-high quality technical consultation support.

Stable isotope analysis process. – BOC Sciences.The process of stable isotope analysis service.

Key Isotopes in Analysis

  • Carbon Isotopes (12C/13C): These isotopes are important for determining the origin of carbon within an ecosystem, identifying types of plants (C3 vs. C4), and tracing dietary practices in archaeology and ecology.
  • Nitrogen Isotopes (14N/15N): These isotopes are used to ascertain trophic positions within food webs, to infer soil processes, and to trace nitrogen sources in a range of environmental studies.
  • Oxygen Isotopes (16O/18O): These are used extensively for paleoclimatology to reconstruct past climate during the time life was alive on Earth, and used for Geographic Origin Determination Iso-Arrays based on the isotopic signature of the water consumed by the organism..
  • Hydrogen Isotopes (1H/2H or Deuterium): These isotopes are used to characterize water sources, plant types, and animal migration reflecting regional water values.
  • Sulfur Isotopes (32S/34S): Sulfur isotopes can also separate marine and terrestrial food sources and give some information about sulfur cycles operating within ecosystems.

Isotope Analysis Items

Types of Analysis ItemsDescriptionPrices
Isotopic Composition Analysis Isotopic composition refers to the relative content of each isotope of an element in a sample. It can be expressed by abundance, but also by ratio or delta value.Inquiry
Isotopic Abundance DeterminationThe relative amounts of various isotopes of an element present in nature are called isotopic abundances. Isotopic abundance determination has important applications in geology, chemistry, biology, medicine and other fields.Inquiry
Isotopic Content Determination The content of stable isotopes in nature can change with physical and chemical changes. The detection of stable isotope content is of great significance to the study of environmental changes, plant growth, metabolism, etc.Inquiry
Chemical Purity Analysis In the development and analysis of stable isotope-labeled reagents, chemical purity is a very important indicator.Inquiry
Impurity Analysis It is very important to detect relevant impurities and control the purity for the development and production of isotope-labeled reagents.Inquiry
Structure Identification BOC Sciences has an experienced professional team that can identify a large number of compounds and provide structural identification technical services for global customers.Inquiry
Analytical Capabilities BOC Sciences has many years of industry experience, comprehensive analysis capabilities, complete instruments and a strong team to provide isotope analysis services.Inquiry

Isotope Analysis Equipments

Isotope-Ratio Mass Spectrometers(IRMS)

Using modern "continuous flow" technology to determine isotope ratio of the sample with high precision and accuracy.

Element Analyzer

In conjunction with IRMS to convert solid and liquid samples into gases for isotope ratio measurement, enhancing a complete stable isotope analysis.

Gas Chromatograph(GC)

Used for stable isotope analysis of monomer compounds.

Mass Spectrometer(MS)

MS is a common method in stable isotope analysis technique for almost all elements.

BOC Sciences possessed advanced analytical instruments related to stable isotope determining, and can analyze and determine the isotope of C, H, O, N and other elements in different substances. We provide comprehensive support in stable isotope analysis and determination for customers' research projects.

Isotope Analysis Service Workflow

(1) Customers fill out inquiry forms.

(2) Telephone or email communication for sample delivery (from customers).

(3) BOC Sciences conducts an initial samples inspection and develops a test plan.

(4) BOC Sciences quotes prices based on customer testing needs and testing types.

(5) Both parties confirm test plan and sign confidentiality agreements.

(6) Testing begins.

(7) Upon experiment completion, BOC Sciences sorted out all data and issued a test report.

(8) Mailing of test report.

(9) After-sales service, solve difficult after-sales problems.

BOC Sciences' stable isotope testing service preferentially selects IRMS for continuous analysis to ensure high accuracy. The detection samples range from natural abundance to tracer samples. With our advanced laboratory equipment and professional technical team, BOC Sciences provides customers with comprehensive scientific and experimental solutions and strong technical support.

What is Stable Isotope Analysis Used for?

The versatility of stable isotope analysis spans numerous scientific disciplines, including:

  • Ecology: Understanding food webs, nutrient cycles, and ecological interactions by analyzing the isotopic composition of plant and animal tissues.
  • Archaeology: Reconstructing ancient diets, migration patterns, and cultural interactions through the isotopic analysis of bones, teeth, and artifacts.
  • Forensic Science: Tracing geographic origins and movement patterns of individuals through isotopic signatures preserved in hair, nails, and bones.
  • Environmental Science: Monitoring pollution sources, tracing nutrient pathways, and studying climate change impacts through isotopic analysis of environmental samples.
  • Food Science: Authenticating the geographic origin and quality of food products, and detecting food fraud through isotopic fingerprinting.

Advantages of Our Isotope Analysis Services

  • Extensive experience and comprehensive services
  • Short detection cycle, low detection cost, and accurate data science
  • Advanced testing equipment and strong testing team
  • Strictly protect customer privacy
  • Satisfying after-sales service

Stable isotope analysis is a powerful tool that provides detailed insights into a wide array of scientific questions across multiple disciplines. By analyzing the isotopic composition of samples, researchers can uncover information about dietary habits, ecological interactions, climatic conditions, and more. At BOC Sciences, we leverage this advanced technique to support our clients' diverse research needs with precision and reliability.

Case Study

Case study 1 Leveraging Stable Isotope Tracer Analysis in Cardiovascular Research

Steps of stable isotope analysis in metabolomics. Steps in stable-isotope metabolomics analysis. (Anja, K, 2021)

The pathway plays a broad role in disease pathogenesis, as indicated by the results of a computational model that simulates the progression of cardiovascular diseases. Stable isotope tracer analysis has been used to unravel the basis for these metabolic adaptations. Using stable isotope labeling from glucose tracers in the computational model allows for real time tracking of glucose metabolism through the simulated cardiac tissue. Sophisticated analytic platforms and mathematical models that extracted whole organism flux distributions provide new tools to assess metabolic changes accompanying CVD. In summary, this case study illustrates the value of applying stable isotope tracer analysis to computational simulations of CVD. This helps provide insights into disease processes and targets for therapy by defining differences in metabolic pathways and flux distributions. Thus, a combination of mathematical modeling, and analytical techniques provides a seamless integration to probe cardiac metabolic pathways in toto and can effectively be used in predicting personalized therapy for managing cardiac disorder in the future.


1: What are the advantages of isotopic analysis?

The isotope analysis is so amazing that it can determine the source of environmental pollution, archaeological activities, and dating of geological structures. It can also track energetic/ metabolic processes, which is useful for diagnosis and treatment of diseases in Medicine. It also verifies the food source. The precision of this technique allowed new virology questions to be addressed that provided insights across multiple scientific disciplines.

2: How is stable isotope analysis done?

It all starts with sample collection, then preprocessing the sample, analysis of isotopic data (measurements) using instruments like mass spectrometers. By comparing these isotopic ratios to known standards, scientists are able to determine the source or process of the samples. The ability to solve a range of problems in different scientific domains is an advantage of this approach.

3: What is an isotope analysis in archaeology?

In archaeology, isotope analysis is the examination of organic material for weathering by the application of acceleration to elements that have been discovered by the use of archaeochemical analysis, such as bones, teeth or plant remains. Isotopic ratios provide clues on the diets of the ancients, where they moved, where they traded, and what kind of world surrounded them.

4: What is the basic of stable isotope analysis?

The premise upon which stable isotope analysis operates is the determination of the stable isotope ratios of a selection of elements in a sample. The technique works because isotopes of an element all behave chemically similar but have slightly different masses due to different numbers of neutrons in their atomic nuclei. Scientists can determine where a sample came from, the environmental conditions it experienced, or the processes that occured by being comparing the isotope ratios of a sample to those found in standard materials.


  1. Anja, K. Stable Isotopes for Tracing Cardiac Metabolism in Diseases. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. 2021(8): 734364.

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