Bob Pirok wins Csaba Horváth Young Scientist Award 2017
At the HPLC2017 international symposium on high performance liquid-phase separations, held 18-22 June in Prague, PhD researcher Bob Pirok of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences has won the Csaba Horváth Young Scientist Award, an important prize in the field of Analytical Chemistry.
Pirok outcompeted nine other finalists with his lecture on “Extended multi-dimensional liquid-chromatography systems for comprehensive analysis of complex polymeric nanoparticles”. He presented the use of the novel, comprehensive MANIAC analysis method for the characterization of complex nanoparticles. MANIAC, an acronym for Making Analytically Incompatible Approaches Compatible, was developed at HIMS and CASA, the Centre for Analytical Sciences Amsterdam.
Making the incompatible compatible
MANIAC aims to combine completely different and (seemingly) incompatible separation and characterization systems into a single highly efficient and extensively optimized instrument. It encompasses the integration of various chemical, physical and microbial processes with (multi-dimensional) separation systems. At HPLC2017, Bob Pirok discussed its application in the field of complex polymeric nanoparticles that are, for example, encountered in various coatings (decorative, antireflective and anti-microbial), and drug delivery systems.
Samples containing nanoparticles feature a multitude of parameters, such as particle-size distribution, surface composition, molecular weight and chemical composition. A successful technique for the separation of such complex mixtures is comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography (LC×LC). In LC×LC, a modulator is used to couple the two separation dimensions with different time scales (spanning about two orders of magnitude). The potential of modulators can be further enhanced by allowing fast, controlled chemical reactions to take place.Samples containing nanoparticles feature a multitude of parameters, such as particle-size distribution, surface composition, molecular weight and chemical composition. A successful technique for the separation of such complex mixtures is comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography (LC×LC). In LC×LC, a modulator is used to couple the two separation dimensions with different time scales (spanning about two orders of magnitude). The potential of modulators can be further enhanced by allowing fast, controlled chemical reactions to take place.
Proof of principle
Pirok and co-workers first use hydrodynamic chromatography (HDC) to separate the nanoparticles based on size. Next, the modulator is used to dissolve the nanoparticles, yielding a homogeneous molecular solution for each separated fraction. The molecules are then separated in the second dimension based on their chemical composition, by liquid chromatography (LC) or two-dimensional liquid chromatography (LC×LC), in combination with MS detection when appropriate.
A successful application of the complex interplay of the above-mentioned techniques faces a number of challenges (including solvent and sample incompatibility between the two dimensions). As Pirok demonstrated, these can be overcome by applying the MANIAC approach. He presented proof-of-principle with the analysis of polystyrene and PMMA nanoparticle samples.
Lifetime Achievement Award for Sjoerd van der Wal
Sjoerd van der Wal, emeritus professor of Bioterials Analysis at the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, has been awarded the second ever 'SCM Lifetime Achievement Award' for his outstanding achievements in separation science. The award was presented to him at the Eighth International Symposium on the Separation and Characterization of Natural and Synthetic Macromolecules, held earlier this month in Amsterdam.
Sjoerd van der Wal is well known for his unique and in-depth view on separation based challenges and solutions. Both during his industrial and academic career he contributed to various developments in the field of separation science.
Van der Wal is internationally recognized for his in-depth knowledge of column-based separation, including the analysis of both small and large molecules by size-exclusion chromatography, (interactive) liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography and combinations hereof.
Sjoerd van der Wal graduated at the Separation Science Group of the University of Amsterdam headed by professor J.F.K. Huber. After obtaining his PhD (1977) he started his industrial career at Perkin Elmer but moved quickly to the US to work at the Technicon (New York) and Varian (California) companies. In 1986 Van der Wal returned to Europe to start at DSM Research (Geleen, The Netherlands), first as group leader HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography – Special Projects) and then as research fellow Chromatography. From 2003 up to his retirement in 2013 Van der Wal was principal scientist Chromatography at DSM Resolve. In 2006 he was named professor by special appointment of Bioterials Analysis at the Faculty of Science (Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences) at the University of Amsterdam.
Dr. Bert Wouters (CHIS) wins Solvay Award
The 2016 “Solvay Prize” is awarded to Dr. Bert Wouters (promotor Prof. Dr. S. Eeltink) for his work on groundbreaking research on the development of a microfluidic chip for spatial three-dimensional liquid chromatography. The prize will be presented on October 23rd 2016 at the ceremony in Brussels during the “Public Lectures” day organized by the International Solvay Institutes.
Dr. Bert Wouters performed his PhD research in the BioAnalytical Separation Science group within the Department of Chemical Engineering at the VUB in collaboration with the Schoenmakers group of the University of Amsterdam. The aim of his research was to realize a novel multi-dimensional liquid-chromatography (LC) concept, i.e., comprehensive spatial three-dimensional (3D-)LC, which has unrivalled possibilities for high-efficiency LC separations. Therefore, a microfluidic chip was developed in which analytes migrate to different positions in a three-dimensional body.
Peter Schoenmakers wins CASSS Award
CASSS recognizes a scientist’s outstanding contribution to the field of separation science and technology with particular consideration give to those who have developed new methods and techniques. Once a year, Directors, Associate Directors, and all previous CASSS award winners nominate a living person that meets the award citation requirements. The 20th annual award for life-long contributions to the field of separation science was awarded to Peter Schoenmakers. Peter held his CASSS Award Speech at the HPLC 2015 meeting in Beijing, China.
NanoCity 2015 Poster Award
Marta Mourao from the University of Amsterdam won the 3rd place poster award at NanoCity 2015 in Amersfoort for her poster entitled: “Can we use biomarkers in sputum for early diagnosis of Tuberculosis?”.
Marta’s poster was one of the five to be selected by a jury from a total of 200 posters.
Shimadzu Young Scientist Award
Young Scientist Awards were presented to four Chinese Scientists and to Bob Pirok from the UvA for exceptionally good presentations.
Bob Pirok presented a lecture about PIOTR, an attractive MatLab-based software Program for the Interpretive Optimization of Two-dimensional Resolution in liquid chromatography, which he created from scratch in a very short time this summer. Using the current version of PIOTR, the typical time needed for developing an LCxLC method can be brought down from 2 to 4 months to two weeks or less.