The Helmholtz Institute for Metabolism, Obesity, and Vascular Research (HI-MAG) in Leipzig has recently inaugurated two cutting-edge metabolic chambers designed to investigate the impact of obesity and other metabolic disorders on human energy metabolism. These chambers, developed by Maastricht Instruments, were unveiled on June 11, 2024, in the presence of notable figures including Thomas Romes, Deputy Director-General at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); Dr. Andreas Handschuh, State Secretary for Science, Culture, and Tourism of Saxony (SMWK); and Professors Matthias Tschöp and Michael Frieser, CEOs of Helmholtz Munich. The scientific and administrative leadership of the University of Leipzig’s Medical Faculty and University Hospital Leipzig were also in attendance. The event allowed guests from the scientific and political communities to explore the chambers and learn about the planned clinical studies. 

Metabolic Chambers 

Maastricht Instruments’ metabolic chambers are specialized rooms used in clinical research to measure energy expenditure and metabolic processes. These chambers provide precise data on metabolic rates, enhancing our understanding of disease mechanisms and aiding in the development of customized treatments. 

The chambers employ indirect calorimetry to assess energy consumption during various daily activities and rest phases by monitoring oxygen intake and carbon dioxide production. This is achieved through continuous monitoring of fresh air intake and the air within the chamber over periods ranging from an hour to several days. Designed for comfort, the chambers include sanitary facilities and can accommodate individuals weighing up to 250 kg. This unique feature allows researchers to focus on a wide range of metabolic disorders associated with obesity. 

Professor Matthias Blüher, Director of HI-MAG, expressed the importance of this innovation: “The new metabolic chambers significantly enhance our existing methods for determining resting energy expenditure, opening up entirely new research approaches.” 

Professor Matthias Tschöp, CEO of Helmholtz Munich, added, “These chambers at HI-MAG mark a significant advancement in addressing the obesity epidemic. They enable precise analysis of human energy metabolism, allowing us to develop more accurate therapeutic interventions.” 

Promoting International Collaboration 

The metabolic chambers in Leipzig are not intended to function in isolation. HI-MAG plans to promote national and international collaborations. Thomas Romes from BMBF emphasized the potential for new European partnerships to explore human metabolic processes. This initiative aims to facilitate a vibrant exchange of knowledge and experiences, standardized research conditions, and multicentric studies, forming the bedrock of high-quality research. 

Established in 2018 as a collaborative effort between Helmholtz Munich, the University of Leipzig Medical Faculty, and University Hospital Leipzig, HI-MAG aims to bridge the gap between basic and clinical research, translating scientific discoveries into clinical practice. Dr. Handschuh noted, “The inauguration of these metabolic chambers is a milestone in our partnership. In terms of translational research, HI-MAG, alongside the University of Leipzig and University Hospital Leipzig, is poised to lead in metabolic medicine.” 

The upcoming clinical studies conducted in these metabolic chambers will significantly contribute to the improvement of prevention and treatment strategies for obesity and other metabolic diseases. 

Related products 

Whole body room calorimeters 

The Room Calorimeter, used in numerous research studies, is spotlighted for its unparalleled accuracy and reproducibility in measuring energy expenditure in various contexts. This tool is vital for generating reliable data in studies exploring energy expenditure during various activities, from 24-hour energy expenditure evaluations to high-intensity exercise testing. 

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Maastricht Instruments creates equipment in the field for indirect calorimetry measurements. We provide support for studies, research and measurements alongside our indirect calorimetry products. Consult us about our indirect calorimetry metabolic  cart,  whole room calorimeter  systems or  accelerometry  add-ons. Please  contact us or find more information on our information pages.