Detection and analysis of chiral molecules as disease biomarkers

Yaoran Liu, Zilong Wu, Daniel W. Armstrong, Herman Wolosker, Yuebing Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The chirality of small metabolic molecules is important in controlling physiological processes and indicating the health status of humans. Abnormal enantiomeric ratios of chiral molecules in biofluids and tissues occur in many diseases, including cancers and kidney and brain diseases. Thus, chiral small molecules are promising biomarkers for disease diagnosis, prognosis, adverse drug-effect monitoring, pharmacodynamic studies and personalized medicine. However, it remains difficult to achieve cost-effective and reliable analysis of small chiral molecules in clinical procedures, in part owing to their large variety and low concentration. In this Review, we describe current and emerging techniques that detect and quantify small-molecule enantiomers and their biological importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-373
Number of pages19
JournalNature Reviews Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Humans
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry


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