From high-resolution mass spectrometry in art to measurement of receptor-anion binding

Anu_Teearu_Kristjan_HaavThis is the range of topics addressed on Aug 16, 2017 as PhD dissertations addressing these topics were defended at UT Institute of Chemistry.

 

Anu_Teearu_presenting_her_PhD_ThesisAnu Teearu (left on the photo) in her thesis titled Development of MALDI-FT-ICR-MS methodology for the analysis of resinous materials addressed the analysis of resinous materials in order to obtain the maximum amount of high-accuracy data from these complex materials. Several important methodological developments (novel calibrants, novel matrix materials, etc) were introduced to MALDI-FT-ICR-MS and its capabilities were assessed during the analysis of three case study samples originating from different types of cultural heritage objects.

 

Kristja_Haav_presenting_his_PhD_ThesisThe central aim of the thesis of Kristjan Haav Quantitative relative equilibrium constants measurements in supramolecular chemistry was development of highly accurate binding constant measurement methods. The key development was measuring relative equilibrium constants instead of absolute ones, which enables eliminating or strongly reducing the influence on several error sources. Kristjan tested the applicability of this approach on two instrumental techniques: UV-vis spectrophotometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (NMR). Comparison of the two – completely independent – techniques showed good agreement between the obtained results and thus supports the reliability of both of them.

Kristjan Haav is an alumnus of the Applied Measurement Science programme – the predecessor programme of EACH.

MSC Summer School 2017 successfully finished!

UT_Students_at_ASC_Summer_School_Druskininkai_2017On Saturday 22.07.2017 The MSC Euromaster Summer School 2017 (Druskininkai, Lithuania) finished. Extensive learning programme combined with a lot of fun, meeting new people and sharing experience. The feedback from some of the UT participants is below and it indicates that the Summer School was again a success!

 

Malika_Beishanova

 

 

Malika Beishanova (Kazakhstan) (photo: taking a water sample for analysis):
MSC Summer School was as much useful as it was fun. The study program was intensive and allowed to review and apply what we have learnt at the EACH program in Tartu as well as gain new knowledge and experience. The two weeks were packed with activities and time flew by so fast. The school is truly international, and the atmosphere extremely friendly. I enjoyed a lot!

 

Nguyen Duc Khanh Tho

 

 

Duc Khan Tho Nguyen (Vietnam) (photo: during lab visit):
It was an excellent summer school ever with so much fun and a lot of works as well. It brought me not only great chance to learn more about Metrology in Analytical Chemistry but also interesting practical works. Our door activities and the trips to different laboratories were also the amazing time. Two weeks passed by in a blink of an eye, but it was just a beginning for the lifetime friendship we have made with so many interesting people. I would like to give a big thank to professor Ivo, professor Philip and all lecturers for providing us such a great opportunity.

Thi Duong Bui

 

Thi Duong Bui (Vietnam) (Photo: group work presentation):
MSC- Summer School 2017 in Druskininkai, Lithuania was the unique and special experience for me. It was a precious chance to practice and revise the knowledge that professor Ivo Leito taught us during the Metrology in Chemistry course and to have a deeper understanding in Metrology and Measurement.
The MSC- Summer School 2017 was far better than what I expected with intensive courses, group works, and individual works. Besides that, I had a really good time with friends from different countries from all over the world, we had great excursions to nature, explored Vilnius, Druskininkai, had fun in the Aqua Park, etc.
Thank you for giving me a good opportunity to participate in the Summer School.

Emeka Emecheta

 

 

Emeka Ephraim Emecheta (Nigeria):
I now feel quite confident as an Analytical chemist having fully participated in this practical oriented programme. I achieved beyond my expectations. However, am earnestly greatful to UT for equipping me with the underlying knowledge about Analytical Measurement which apparently gave me strong advantage during this programme.

 

Jay Pee Ona MSC Summer School

 

 

 

 

Jay Pee Oña (Philippines):
I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated the opportunity to join the Summer school. It has been an amazing learning experience for me. I was able to meet a fellow Filipino there and I was thinking that since we have the materials we could partner up to open the topic of metrology to a wider audience back at home. Again my sincerest thanks for this opportunity!

 

The 2018 MSC Summer school will take place in Estonia.

 

 

MSC Summer School 2017

MSC_Summer_School_2017During 9-22 July 2017 the 10th MSC Euromaster summer school in Druskininkai, (Lithuania, 130 km from the capital Vilnius).

As in previous years, a core aim of the Summer school is shifting the activities away from the classical lecture-type of teaching by increasing the share of discussions, hands-on work, teamwork. A key activity of the summer school is the contest of student teams (setting up virtual laboratories and interacting with customers), which tests their knowledge and skills in all areas of metrology in chemistry.

Five students from University of Tartu take part in the summer school. Four students are from the EACH programme: Thi Duong Bui, Duc Khan Tho Nguyen, Malika Beishanova, Jay Pee Oña. One student, Emeka Ephraim Emecheta is from the AMS programme.

We wish exciting and enjoyable Summer school to all participants!

(Photo: Philip Taylor)

 

The first EACH Master Thesis Defence: Uppsala 2017!

EACH_Master_Thesis_Defence_at_Uppsala_2017On June 26, 2017 the first master thesis defence in the history of the EACH programme took place at Uppsala University! Monika Kish, Cenyi Li, Nikola Radoman, Rabin Neupane, Ru Fang, Sandy Abujrais and Santosh Acharya successfully defended their master’s theses.

Congratulations to all of you!

The topics of the theses embraced a wide area of modern biomed- and environmental analytical problems (LC-MS analysis of aggregates of antibody drug conjugates, quantification of peptide drugs, analysis of dissolved organic matter in natural waters, etc). All of them featured the use of highly sophisticated analytical instrumentation, such as high-resolution MS, liquid-handling robots, etc. This choice of topics is rooted in the world-famous biomedical analysis research direction at Uppsala University led by prof. Jonas Bergquist.

(On photo from the left: Jonas, Sandy, Monika, Ivo, Santosh, Ru, Nikola, Cenyi, Rabin)

 

LC-MS Validation tutorial review and online course at Euro Mass Spectrometry 2017

Leito_LCMS_Validation_EuroMS_2017On 21.06.17 Ivo Leito gave a talk titled Review on validation of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry methods at the Euro Mass Spectrometry 2017 meeting (London, UK). The talk focused on the two-part Tutorial review on validation of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) methods

as well as on the related on-line course (MOOC) LC-MS Method Validation and the ValChrom validation software.

The reception of this talk was one of the warmest during the meeting! Several participants came later to say words of thank for offering such a valuable resource to the LC-MS community. There were also some interesting ideas proposed regarding topics that could be covered in the online course. LC-MS and MiC issues, such as validation, are among core competences of the UT Analytical Chemistry research group. The tutorial review, the on-line course, as well as the ValChrom software together form a nice outcome of joining these competences together.

Concerning the topics of the meeting in general, they were remarkably diverse and not so heavily dominated by biomedical MS as is often the case at mass spectrometry meetings. Interesting presentations were given on gas-phase ion processes, different laser techniques in MS (e.g. for analysis of solids without sample preparation), advanced catalysis studies by MS, LC-ICP-DRC-MS for trace element speciation, the possibility of making a high-end LC-HRMS system an “open access” system within an organization, etc.

 

Dissolved Oxygen Measurement Training in Uruguay

Irja_Helm_Conducting_Dissolved_Oxygen_Measurement_Training_in_UruguayDuring Jun 12-16, 2017 research fellow Irja Helm from University of Tartu, Institute of Chemistry is conducting a training session on high-accuracy dissolved oxygen measurement in Montevideo (Uruguay). The local organiser of the training is LATU (Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay). There are 8 participants in the training, from Uruguay, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru.

The training is centered around the high-accuracy Winkler titration method of dissolved oxygen concentration measurement that Irja developed during her PhD study: I. Helm, L. Jalukse, I. Leito “A highly accurate method for determination of dissolved oxygen: Gravimetric Winkler method” Analytica Chimica Acta 2012, 741, 21–31. The training is interesting in the sense that most of it is carried out in laboratory, where participants do measurements hands-on. The experimental setup was assembled jointly by LATU and by Irja. The practical orientation is well in line with the main purpose of the training – to introduce the high-accuracy Winkler method to the reference laboratories in the participant countries.

The training is organised in the framework of the project „Regional Quality Infrastructure Fund for Biodiversity and Climate Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean“ (VH-No.: 95094) coordinated by PTB (Germany).

(Photo: Irja Helm, on the left, together with training participants in laboratory)

 

University of Tartu ranked as 314 by QS World University Rankings!

University of TartuIn a recent ranking of world universities by QS, one of the world’s leading compilers of university performance ratings, the University of Tartu scored a high 314. place (up by 33 places from the last year) and maintains the highest rank among Estonian and Baltic universities.

Out of the criteria used by QS the improvement was especially strong in the category “Employer reputation”: up by 90 places from the last year. The criteria “Faculty student ratio”, “Number of international students” and “Research” also improved. Considering that there are around 26 000 universities in the world, this result places UT within the best 1.2% universities in the world!

 

Measurement uncertainty online course (MOOC) 2017 edition successfully finished!

Measurement_Uncertainty_MOOC_Successfully_FinishedOn May 18, 2017 the MOOC Estimation of measurement uncertainty in chemical analysis offered by University of Tartu finished successfully.
Eventually altogether 363 people registered (270 in 2014, 489 in 2015, 757 in 2016) from 69 countries (a number of participants joined after the start of the course). The significantly lower number of participants is understandably due to the fact that this year for the first time the certificate on paper was not free of charge. 219 participants actually started the course (i.e. tried at least one graded test at least once) and out of them 148 successfully completed the course (141 in 2014, 169 in 2015, 308 in 2016). The overall completion rate was 41% (52% in 2014, 34% in 2015, 40% in 2016). The completion rate of participants who started the studies was 68% (67% in 2014, 60% in 2015, 67% in 2016). The completion rates of participants who actually started the course are nicely consistent over the years and can be considered very good for a MOOC, especially one that has quite difficult calculation exercises, which need to be done correctly for completing the course.

The participants were very active and asked lots of questions. These were often very much to the point and addressed things that are really important to analysts in their everyday work. The course has several forums (general and by topic) and the overall number of posts to them during the course period reached beyond 300 (!) (overall number of posts, both from participants and from teachers) and the forums are still active and posts are still coming in.

This active participation made teaching this MOOC a great experience also for us, the teachers. The discussion threads gave a lot of added value to the course and some of them triggered making important modifications to the course materials, even during the course.

We want to thank all participants for helping to make this course a success!

We plan to repeat this course again in Spring 2018.

 

Textile analysis using ATR-FT-IR at Technart 2017

Pilleriin Peets presenting at Technart 2017
Pilleriin Peets presenting at Technart 2017

On May 02, 2017, the first day of the Technart 2017 conference (Bilbao, Spain) doctoral student Pilleriin Peets from UT Analytical Chemistry group made a presentation Identification and classification of textile fibres using ATR‐FT‐IR spectroscopy with chemometric methods (Photo on the left).

The presentation outlines the recent results by Pilleriin in creating the method for quick, easy and non-destructive classification and semi-quantitative analysis of textiles using ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy combined with chemometric data analysis methods.

She investigated altogether 89 individual textile materials – Wool, Silk, Cotton, Linen, Cellulose acetate, Lyocell/Tenzel, Viscose, Polyester fibre, Polyamide fibre, Polyacrylic fibre, Elastane and their different combinations – and created a discrimination/classification model using principal component analysis (Image on the right).

Classification of textiles by ATR-FT-IR and principal component analysis, PCA (single-fibre model)
Classification of textiles by ATR-FT-IR and principal component analysis, PCA (single-fibre model)

As a side-product of this work, a collection of ATR-FT-IR spectra of textile materials containing one or two different fibres was composed and is deposited in the Supplementary data of the paper that she recently published: P. Peets et al. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 2017, 173, 175–181.

This collection of ATR-FT-IR spectra helps to identify a different kind of single- and two-component mixed textiles.

Technart conference series is a premier scientific forum dedicated to applying analytical techniques in the field of art and cultural heritage.

 

 

Measurement Uncertainty MOOC: 336 participants from 62 countries!

UT_Measurement_Uncertainty_MOOC_Participants_2017On Monday, March 27, 2017 the web course “Estimation of Measurement Uncertainty in Chemical Analysis” was launched the third time as a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course).

Currently 336 participants from 62 countries are registered. The somewhat decreased popularity of the course is most probably due to the fact that starting from this year certificate of completion on paper is not free of charge (digital certificate is still free). Given this change, we are actually surprised that we still have so many participants! Image on the left shows the countries where the participants come from. As in the previous years, the majority of participants are from analytical laboratories, once again demonstrating the continuing need for training in measurement uncertainty estimation in analytical chemistry.

The full course material is accessible from the web page https://sisu.ut.ee/measurement/uncertainty. Some developments and improvements have been made to the course material, in particular, better description of course organisatsion a self-test on sophisticated uncertainty estimation taking numerically into account the limited selectivity of the technique (potentiometry with ion-selective electrode). Some changes are still in the pipeline. The course materials include videos, schemes, calculation files and numerous self-tests (among them also full-fledged measurement uncertainty calculation exercises). In order to pass the course the registered participants have to take six graded tests and get higher than 50% score. These tests are available to registered participants via the Moodle e-learning platform.