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Bioinformatics. 2019 Jan 1;35(1):167-169. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bty499.

pyTFA and matTFA: a Python package and a Matlab toolbox for Thermodynamics-based Flux Analysis.

Author information

Laboratory of Computational Systems Biotechnology, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
CentraleSupélec, Université Paris Saclay, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France.



pyTFA and matTFA are the first published implementations of the original TFA paper. Specifically, they include explicit formulation of Gibbs energies and metabolite concentrations, which enables straightforward integration of metabolite concentration measurements.


High-throughput analytic technologies provide a wealth of omics data that can be used to perform thorough analyses for a multitude of studies in the areas of Systems Biology and Biotechnology. Nevertheless, most studies are still limited to constraint-based Flux Balance Analyses (FBA), neglecting an important physicochemical constraint: thermodynamics. Thermodynamics-based Flux Analysis (TFA) in metabolic models enables the integration of quantitative metabolomics data to study their effects on the net-flux directionality of reactions in the network. In addition, it allows us to estimate how far each reaction operates from thermodynamic equilibrium, which provides critical information for guiding metabolic engineering decisions.


We present a Python package (pyTFA) and a Matlab toolbox (matTFA) that implement TFA. We show an example of application on both a reduced and a genome-scale model of E. coli., and demonstrate TFA and data integration through TFA reduce the feasible flux space with respect to FBA.

Availability and implementation:

Documented implementation of TFA framework both in Python (pyTFA) and Matlab (matTFA) are available on

Supplementary information:

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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