ASMS 2018 in San Diego

Piia Liigand giving her talk

On 3rd-7th June three members of our group focusing on ionization efficiency studies Dr. Anneli Kruve-Viil, PhD students Piia Liigand and Jaanus Liigand, participated in the 66th Annual Conference of American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) in San Diego, CA. The conference was a huge success. There were altogether about 7500 scientists participating, ca 200 oral presentations and 3300 of posters. We had two oral presentations and one poster presentation.

The conference was kicked off by a presentation by Lisa Shipley from Merck who gave a very informative talk about smart trials and moving to patient-centric clinical trials – most probably the future of clinical trials. It was very inspiring to see how a field that is considered to be relatively conservative is picking up the most modern technical solutions such as clever packages and home-based sample collection.

The first full day of the conference started with a presentation by our PhD student Piia, who gave a talk about achieving more accurate semi-quantitative analysis by predicting electrospray ionization efficiencies. She first gave an overview of the research carried out so far and then, introduced her latest results. She showed that with the help of using ionization efficiencies, concentration estimation in various biological matrices was improved by more than an order of magnitude.

Jaanus Liigand presenting his poster

Jaanus presented a poster on semiquantitative LC/ESI/MS via ionization efficiency prediction. He presented the simple and user-friendly approach of predicting ionization efficiencies using only 2D structures. We are now able to predict ionization efficiencies in both ESI positive and negative mode and in different solvent compositions without time-consuming DFT-COSMO calculations. Additionally, we have shown that using ionization efficiency predictions the validation with LC gradient elution resulted in 2.7-fold mispredicted concentrations compared to 44-fold mispredictions using directly peak areas. We were happy to see that numerous groups were interested in our studies and fruitful discussions about the results did not stop until the end of the poster session.

Dr. Anneli Kruve-Viil giving her talk

Dr. Anneli Kruve-Viil presented some of the latest results obtained in FU Berlin. She talked about using mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry for investigating interlocked nature of catenanes and knots. These results will soon be shared with everyone.

In conclusion, this year’s ASMS was very successful for our group. We saw a lot of interest in our work, met our collaborators and got some new friends and possible future collaborators. We are already looking forward to the next ASMS in Atlanta. We are also grateful for our financial supporters, who made this conference possible to us: instrumentation provided by Estonian Center of Analytical Chemistry (, Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia by smart specialization doctoral stipend, Graduate School of Functional Materials and Technologies, and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

More information about the group focusing on ionization efficiency studies can be found on the webpage

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