LC-MS Validation online course 8th run has finished!

On February 8, 2024 the on-line course (MOOC) LC-MS Method Validation offered by the University of Tartu finished successfully.

Eventually, altogether 1014 people registered from 109 countries. Around half of them, 508 participants actually started the course (i.e. tried at least one graded test at least once) and out of them 311 successfully completed the course. The overall completion rate was 31%. The completion rate of participants who started the studies was 61%. The completion rates of active participants (i.e. who started the course) seems to have stabilized at around 60%, which can be considered good. In addition, the overall completion rate is starting to increase again. In any case, there is some food for thought for us on how we could improve the overall completion rate…

LC-MS Validation online course 8th run has finished

At the same time, those participants who actually took part in the course, were very active and asked lots of questions. The questions 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 during the course period the overall number of forum posts was above 400 (!) (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 of 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. Importantly, thanks to active participants, several mistakes were found and corrected in the course materials. As a result, the overall quality of the course improved.

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

We plan to repeat this course again in Autumn 2024.

Measurement Uncertainty online course, March 19 – May 2, 2024: Registration is open!

The 2024 edition of the web course (MOOC) Estimation of Measurement Uncertainty in Chemical Analysis will be running from March 19 to May 2, 2024. Registration is now open!

The full course material (as well as the registration link) is accessible from the web page. The course materials include videos, schemes, calculation files, and numerous self-tests (among them also full-fledged measurement uncertainty calculation exercises) and examples. Almost all areas of analytical chemistry are addressed, ranging from simple volumetric operations and titrations to sophisticated instrumental analysis, such as determining pesticide residues by LC-MS. Efforts are made in the course to address also such uncertainty sources encountered in chemical analysis that are difficult to quantify, e.g. uncertainty due to possible interference effects (incomplete selectivity), analyte losses, etc.

In order to pass the course, the registered participants have to take six graded tests and get a higher than 50% score in every graded test. These tests are available to registered participants via the Moodle e-learning platform.

Participants who successfully pass the course will get a certificate from the University of Tartu. A digital certificate of completion is free of charge. A certificate of completion on paper can be requested for a fee of 60 euros.

You are welcome to distribute this message to potentially interested people!

 

On-line LC-MS Method Validation Course 2023-2024: Registration is open!

The eighth edition of the online course LC-MS Method Validation is open for registration (registration link is here)! The course will be offered as a Massive Open On-line Course (MOOC) during Nov 21, 2024 – Feb 02, 2024.

This is a practice-oriented on-line course on validation of analytical methods, specifically using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) as technique, mostly (but not limited to) using the electrospray (ESI) ion source. The scope of the course is sufficiently broad, so that it will be useful also to chromatography practitioners using other detector types. The course introduces the main concepts and mathematical apparatus of validation, covers the most important method performance parameters and ways of estimating them. More information about the course can be found in Course introduction page.

Participation in the course is free of charge. Receiving digital certificate (in the case of successful completion) is also free of charge. Printed certificate (to be sent by post) is available for a fee of 60 EUR. Registration is possible until the start of the course. The course materials are available from the above address all the time and can be used via web by anyone who wishes to improve the knowledge and skills in analytical method validation (especially when using LC-ESI-MS).

We are also glad to announce, that the course has been added into the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) e-learning platform. The BIPM is the most important international metrology organization established by the Metre Convention, through which Member States act together on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards. BIPM is also the home of the International System of Units (SI) and the international reference time scale (UTC). The Institute of Chemistry of University of Tartu is a designated institute by the BIPM since 2010.

Dr. Andre Leesment – PhD thesis on the acidity in biphasic systems and gas-phase

Last Friday, June 9th, 2023, Andre Leesment successfully defended his PhD thesis titled Quantitative studies of Brønsted acidity in biphasic systems and gas-phase. The opponent was Prof. Kiyohiko Sugano from the Ritsumeikan University, Japan.

Dr. Andre Leesment (on the right) after his PhD defence with his supervisor Prof. Ivo Leito (on the left).

Experiments for measuring acidity of medicines, catalysts, and other chemicals are almost always performed under monophasic conditions. However, many of them are lipophilic compounds, and in biphasic systems they prefer the nonpolar organic phase, where their properties are much different from their properties in an aqueous phase. Yet the interactions with the organic phase are completely ignored in a typical acidity measurement. It’s like seeing only half of the picture. Why is such an incomplete approach being used for something this important?

Until recently, there was no theoretical basis or experimental method to conduct measurements of acidity under more relevant conditions. Andre’s PhD thesis focuses on providing the tools to measure acidity, and by extension, many other properties of molecules in biphasic systems in a more realistic and accurate way. Hopefully, these tools lead to a more effective drug development, catalyst research, etc.

Congratulations to you, Andre!  

 

LC-MS Validation online course 7th run has finished!

On February 10, 2023 the on-line course (MOOC) LC-MS Method Validation offered by the University of Tartu finished successfully.

Eventually, altogether 903 people registered from 104 countries. Less than half, 376 participants actually started the course (i.e. tried at least one graded test at least once) and out of them 218 successfully completed the course. The overall completion rate was 24%. The completion rate of participants who started the studies was 58%. The completion rates of active participants (i.e. who started the course) seems to have stabilized not too far from 60%, which can be considered good. However, the overall completion rate is still in decline (although there is no statistically significant difference between the 25% and 24% of the last two editions). In any case, there is some food for thought for us on how we could improve the overall completion rate…

At the same time, those participants who actually took part in the course, were very active and asked lots of questions. The questions 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 during the course period the overall number of forum posts was above 400 (!) (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 of 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. Importantly, thanks to active participants, several mistakes were found and corrected in the course materials. As a result, the overall quality of the course improved.

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

We plan to repeat this course again in Autumn 2023.

LC-MS Method Validation web course: 904 participants from 104 countries!

On Tuesday, November 22, 2022 the web course LC-MS Method Validation was launched for the fifth time as a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course). There are 904 registered participants (the largest number ever in this course) from 104 countries, ranging from Sudan to Suriname and from Malaysia to Macedonia. Image on the left shows the countries where the participants come from.

This is a practice-oriented on-line course on validation of analytical methods, specifically using LC-MS as technique. The course introduces the main concepts and mathematical apparatus of validation, covers the most important method performance parameters and ways of estimating them. The LC-MS validation course is delivered by a team of 7 teachers, each with their own specific area of competence. This way it is expected to offer the best possible knowledge in all the different subtopics of analytical method validation.

The full set of course materials is accessible from the web page https://sisu.ut.ee/lcms_method_validation/. The course materials include videos, schemes, calculation files and numerous self-tests (among them also full-fledged calculation exercises). In order to pass the course, the registered participants have to take all tests and get higher than 50% score from each of them. These tests are available to registered participants via the Moodle e-learning platform. Participants who successfully pass the course will get a certificate from the University of Tartu.

From anion receptor design to real sensor prototypes – PhD thesis of Alo Rüütel

On the 18th of November, 2022, Alo Rüütel successfully defended his PhD thesis titled Design principles of synthetic molecular receptors for anion-selective electrodes.

Alo’s thesis starts by expanding a fundamental question asked by Otto S. Wolfbeis back in 2013: when so much research is done on binding anions with various molecular receptors, why do we see so few real sensors that could be used in real-life applications?

 

 

In response to this, Alo has outlined a sensor development strategy flowchart and identified a “dead zone” – space between receptor evaluation and prototype fabrication stages – on the sensor development pathway where the research most often gets stuck. Alo’s dissertation connects the research fields of receptor design and sensor preparation. The thesis demonstrates the challenges of creating new ion-selective electrodes for carboxylate sensing. This process is accompanied by several scientific challenges at the fundamental level of supramolecular chemistry. To address these problems, influencing factors are explored, such as improving binding, lipophilicity, biphasic binding environments etc. A big outcome of the thesis was a compilation of accurate binding constants of one hundred (!) anion receptors. Perhaps the most tangible result of the thesis were real sensor prototypes, capable of sensing carboxylate anions (e.g. benzoate).

Alo’s performance at the defence was one of the best we have seen. He single-handedly and seemingly effortlessly answered all the (numerous!) questions from the opponent, as well as from the committee.

Please accept our big congratulations, Alo!

LC-MS Method Validation Course 2022-2023: One week left until start!

In one week, on Nov 22, 2022 the online course LC-MS Method Validation will start!

Registration is still open (here). The course will run as a Massive Open On-line Course (MOOC) during Nov 22, 2022 – Feb 03, 2023.

This is a practice-oriented on-line course on validation of analytical methods, specifically using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) as technique, mostly (but not limited to) using the electrospray (ESI) ion source. The course will also be of interest to chromatography practitioners using other detector types. The course introduces the main concepts and mathematical apparatus of validation, covers the most important method performance parameters and ways of estimating them. More information about the course can be found in Course introduction page.

Participation in the course is free of charge. Receiving digital certificate (in the case of successful completion) is also free of charge. Printed certificate (to be sent by post) is available for a fee of 60 EUR. Registration is possible until the start of the course. The course material is available from the above address all the time and can be used via web by anyone who wishes to improve the knowledge and skills in analytical method validation (especially when using LC-ESI-MS).

Acidities (pKa values) of Fluorocompounds at ESFC 2022

On Aug 15, 2022 Ivo Leito gave a presentation Acidities of Fluorocompounds at the 20th European Symposium on Fluorine Chemistry taking place in Berlin (Germany) during Aug 12-19, 2022.

Fluorination, especially polyfluorination is a powerful means for acidifying molecules. So, many fluorine-containing compounds are acidic (Scheme on the left) and some are remarkably strong acids, e.g. the well-known trifluoromethanesulfonic acid CF3SO3H or the bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide (CF3SO2)2NH.

The first part of the presentation gave a brief overview of the acidity of molecules, expressed as pKa values, acidity scales (pKa scales) on the example of the acetonitrile pKa scale and discussed two important pKa measurement methods: UV-Vis and NMR spectrometry.

The second part of the presentation specifically addressed the relative pKa measurement method based on 19F NMR for accurate measurement of pKa values of fluorocompounds (Scheme on the right). The presentation demonstrated that 19F NMR has a number of advantages, compared to most other methods: accurate concentrations of acids not needed, method is tolerant to impurities in compounds, several compounds can be measured simultaneously, solvent or titrant signals do not hinder measurements and deuterated solvents are not needed. Using multiple relative measurements against several reference compounds with known acidities, it is possible to obtain highly reliable pKa values.

LC-MS Validation online course 6th run has finished!

On February 11, 2022 the on-line course (MOOC) LC-MS Method Validation offered by the University of Tartu finished successfully.

Eventually, altogether 850 people registered from 97 countries. Less than half, 380 participants actually started the course (i.e. tried at least one graded test at least once) and out of them 209 successfully completed the course. The overall completion rate was 25%. The completion rate of participants who started the studies was 55%. These completion rates are lower than we usually have. So, here is some food for thought for us on how we could improve the success rate…

At the same time, those participants who actually took part in the course, were very active and asked lots of questions. The questions 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 during the course period the overall number of forum posts was above 200 (!) (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 of 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 Autumn 2022.