This ECAI is located in the Proteomics Unit of the Central Research Support Services (SCAI) of the University of Málaga. It has advanced scientific infrastructure and highly qualified personnel. Its purpose is to conduct trials and provide scientific, technical, and teaching support in a comprehensive, centralised manner.

Proteomics is essential for the study and characterisation of the entire set of proteins (proteome) expressed by a genome in order to obtain a comprehensive vision of cellular processes. The proteome of a cell varies according to the condition it is in. The protein profile expressed will be different at each moment and in each type of cell. Proteins can be identified and classified with respect to their functions and the interactions between them. In this manner, it is possible to characterise the functional networks that they establish and their dynamics during physiological and pathological processes.

The main objective of the Proteomics Unit is to provide scientific and technical support and advising on the identification and characterisation of proteins and of other biomolecules, fundamentally through mass spectrometry techniques. Mass spectrometry is based on the differential behaviour of ionised molecules upon passing through electric and magnetic fields. This technique allows for these ions to be separated based on their mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) and later be detected.

Using mass spectrometry, it is possible to obtain structural information on proteins, such as their mass or the sequence of amino acids that compose them. This information can be used to identify proteins through database searches in order to identify and localise post-translation modifications and to quantify proteins in a relative and absolute manner. It is also useful for identifying proteins that interact with a target protein.


The Proteomics Unit has two platforms in which nano liquid chromatography is used in conjunction with mass spectrometries (ionic trap, quadrupole orbitrap, and time-of-flight), which differ in their sample ionising methods. The methods used in our unit to generate desolvated ions are MALDI (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation) and ESI (Electrospray Ionisation). Both MALDI and ESI are gentle ionising methods in which the sample is maintained relatively intact. The liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry tandem also allows for the identification of complex protein mixtures and their quantification.

The Unit is also equipped with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Medium-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (MPLC) which allow for the separation, purification, and quantification of proteins and other analytes.

In addition, this Unit has a Bio-Plex multiparameter analyser that allows for the simultaneous quantification and detection of different secreted proteins (cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, etc.). It produces results comparable to traditional ELISAs but with greater efficacy and dynamic range.

The Proteomics ECAI offers the following services:

  • Preparation of samples:
  • – Extraction of proteins
    – Desalting and concentration of samples
    – Purification of peptides via RP-HPLC
    – Manual and automated enzymatic digestion of proteins in gel and in solutions.
    – Preparation of histological sections for MALDI-Imaging

  • Chromatography:
  • – HPLC: High-Performance Liquid Chromatography
    – MPLC: Medium-Pressure Liquid Chromatography
    – TLC: Thin Layer Chromatography

  • Mass Spectrometry:
  • – Determination of the molecular mass of proteins
    – Identification of proteins in purified samples and complex mixtures
    – Relative quantification of proteins via: LFQ, TMT, SILAC
    – Study of post-translational modifications
    – Analysis of protein profiles
    – Study of the spatial distribution and relative abundance of analytes in intact samples of animal or vegetable tissues via MALDI-Imaging

  • Immunoassays
  • – Simultaneous detection and quantification of different secreted proteins (cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, etc.) via immunoassays based on Luminex technology


    Nowadays, proteomics represents one of the main fields of research in the life sciences, with applications in very diverse settings. In the biomedical field, the following applications are of note:
    – Identification of biomarkers for the development of diagnostic and prognostic methods for diseases
    – Search for therapeutic targets for the development of new drugs and vaccines
    Determination of the molecular mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis
    – Tumour classification
    – Distribution of drugs in tissues
    – Identification of micro-organisms
    – Ecological and evolutionary studies


Solicitud de Servicio

To request services from the Proteomics research support platform, please write to: and i the type of service you are interested in. The platform will send you an email to confirm receipt and begin the procedure for the requested service.


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