Group seminar at Pühajärve

Ernesto giving his talk

From 24th to 25th of November our group had a traditional biannual seminar in Pühajärve Spa hotel. The seminar is a nice opportunity to learn about what the group members are doing and which challenges they are tackling. The presentations covered a broad domain of analytical chemistry from fundamental acid-base studies to bioanalyses and analyses of cultural heritage.

Ambient ionization and fluoroalcohols to improve bioanalysis

The first session was focusing on the bioanalytics. Max, a PhD fellow doing an internship in London right now, presented the results of drug analyses from a music festival. Next to strongly varying drug dose, the problem is the strongly varying dissolution of corresponding dose. Next two presentations presented by Rūta, a PhD fellow, and Krit, her undergraduate student introduced fluoroalcohols as novel LC eluent additives and their effect on retention mechanism and electrospray sensitivity. It was really interesting how strongly and unexpectedly differently some fluoroalcohols may change the retention mechanism.

The reliability of fluorescence measurement

The second session focused on acid-base and coordination chemistry. Alo, a PhD fellow, presented his improvements and challenges in the synthesis of bambusuril derivatives. Elisabeth, a master student, introduced 19F NMR measurements of pKa of fluorinated compounds in acetonitrile. Sigrid, a PhD fellow, gave a lecture on how to measure correct fluorescence spectra accounting all effects that may affect the spectra. She showed the importance of concentration and the inner filter effects correction on fluorescence spectrum. Andre, a PhD fellow, wrapped up the seminar with the presentation of his results in gas phase acidity measurements.

Did I get real cashmere scarf from the market?

The third session was focusing on the analysis of cultural heritage. Eliise, a PhD fellow, presented the comparison of four most applied derivatization procedures for analysis of binders in GC. Pilleriin, a PhD fellow, presented her results of textile analyses and a model developed  to classify unknown textiles using ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy. Markus, a master student, presented his work on coupling LC with nano-ESI FT-ICR-MS. Juhan, an undergraduate student, introduced his work on acid-base measurements of fluorophoric pH sensor molecules.

After inspiring presentation and fruitful discussions, we had a nice opportunity to relax in the spa and sauna. Additionally, group members discussed with Prof. Leito and Associate Prof. Herodes the SR-15 report from IPCC.

Is open science in terms of metadata really possible?

Next day was kicked off by Astrid, a PhD fellow, who compared the measurement of binding constants using isothermal calorimetry and NMR. Next, Piia, a PhD fellow, introduced her results on using the data from the literature to test, validate and improve the electrospray ionization efficiency prediction model. The take-home message from Piia’s presentation was the need for data integrity on results one is reporting and clear explanations on how one obtained these results. Additionally, a machine-readable format of the structure is a great help to simplify data mining from literature. Next, Jaanus, a PhD fellow introduced the results from a collaboration with a visiting PhD fellow Tingting Wang from DTU, Denmark. He showed the results of standard substance free quantification in the example of pesticides in food matrices. Ernesto, a PhD fellow, introduced his doctoral project on designing and describing the anionic derivatization reagents in LC/MS.

What’s causing this smell?

The second day was wrapped up by Associate Prof. Koit Herodes. He showed us a case study on the analysis of smell of ruined goods. Finally, he presented the current edition of validation software our group is developing to simplify and automate the validation in LC/MS analyses.

Thanks to all participants for interesting and inspiring presentation and for fruitful discussions.

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