Archive for December, 2013

The Emerging Technologies competition open for applications

The Royal Society of Chemistry launches the 2014 UK Emerging Technologies Competition

Applications are invited from university researchers and small companies working in the UK in applied research in the chemical, life and materials sciences for a chance to turn their research into commercial success. The prize consists of ongoing mentoring and support from high profile multinational companies, up to £10,000 cash prize and more. We are proud to announce the mentor companies Procter and Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Catalent Applied Drug Delivery Institute, Croda and more will be joining soon.

Emerging Technologies Competition 2014

The applicants can be individuals or teams and they must submit a brief online application to the Royal Society of Chemistry. The entries will be judged by an independent panel of science and business experts and the shortlisted applications will be invited for the second round of the competition. Each team will pitch to a specialist panel at a public event and up to 5 teams will be crowned as winners. But everyone is a winner! The finalists will be able to access one to one FREE advice from business and finance specialists. In addition this is an excellent opportunity to practice pitching ideas to high profile multinational companies and to meet and network with fellow entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders.

Key dates:
First round closes on 1 March 2014
Second round takes place on 25 June 2014,
Chemistry Centre, London

Visit www.rsc.li/emerging-technologies for full details.
UK applications only please

If you have any questions please contact Aurora Antemir antemira@rsc.org.

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Crime scene chemistry – Analyst articles on Chemistry World 2013

What discoveries caused the biggest buzz in chemistry labs in 2013? With the help of an expert panel of journal editors Chemistry World reviews the ground breaking research and important trends in this year’s crop of chemical science papers.

Find out which Analyst articles have been featured in Chemistry World this year:

Crime scene chemistry Graphical abstract: Solid-state Forensic Finger sensor for integrated sampling and detection of gunshot residue and explosives: towards ‘Lab-on-a-finger’

Improvements in forensic techniques have also featured on our pages this year. A team in the US developed a device that investigators can wear on their fingertips to rapidly identify traces of explosives and gunshot residue. The sensor consists of an electrode screen-printed onto a stretchable sheath worn on the index finder, and a sheath for the thumb coated with a solid-state ionogel electrolyte. To analyse a sample the investigator simply squeezes their finger and thumb together after swiping a surface, completing the electrochemical cell. A portable analyser then reads the voltammetric signal, identifying distinct peaks for explosives or gunshot residue. The process takes just a few minutes, cutting down the lengthy practice of sample collection and lab analysis.

Another group has developed a bioassay that can be used to analyse blood samples on-site to give investigators an early indication of a suspect’s ethnicity. Evgeny Katz at Clarkson University, US, in collaboration with Jan Halámek, now at the State University of New York at Albany, analysed levels of two biomarkers – creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase – in the blood of people of Caucasian and African American ethnicity. They then developed a bioassay to amplify the differences in these levels. The test could successfully distinguish between ethnicities in real human blood samples, as well as samples a day old, as could well be the case at a crime scene.

To find out more, read the full article on Chemistry World.

Solid-state Forensic Finger sensor for integrated sampling and detection of gunshot residue and explosives: towards ‘Lab-on-a-finger’
Amay J. Bandodkar, Aoife M. O’Mahony, Julian Ramírez, Izabela A. Samek, Sean M. Anderson, Joshua R. Windmiller and Joseph Wang
Analyst, 2013,138, 5288-5295
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01179H, Paper

Biocatalytic analysis of biomarkers for forensic identification of ethnicity between Caucasian and African American groups
Friederike Kramer, Lenka Halámková, Arshak Poghossian, Michael J. Schöning, Evgeny Katz and Jan Halámek
Analyst, 2013,138, 6251-6257
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01062G, Communication

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‘Google map’ of a prostate

UK researchers have used vibrational spectroscopy to chemically image the cross section of a prostate to such an incredible level of detail that each of the 66 million pixels in the image represents a piece of tissue only 5.5 × 5.5µm.

Biopsies are regularly taken to diagnose cancer and provide a snapshot of the disease. Trained histopathologists examine the samples under powerful optical microscopes using several specialist stains to highlight particular characteristics of cells or tissues in a time-consuming process.

Peter Gardner of the University of Manchester and colleagues hope their technique, which uses Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) chemical imaging, will eventually be turned into an automated system that can grade and stage biopsy samples 24 hours a day by identifying certain chemical signatures.

To read the full article, please visit Chemistry World.

Whole organ cross-section chemical imaging using label-free mega-mosaic FTIR microscopy
Paul Bassan, Ashwin Sachdeva, Jonathan H. Shanks, Mick D. Brown, Noel W. Clarke and Peter Gardner
Analyst, 2013,138, 7066-7069
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01674A, Communication

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Nanoparticles for platelet adhesion and aggregation

On-chip evaluation of platelet adhesion and aggregation

The use of nanoparticles in diagnostic and therapeutic roles requires that we understand their interactions and behaviour within complex biological systems. Where clinical applications would involve intravenous injection of nanoparticle-based therapeutics, it will be necessary to understand the interaction between nanoparticles and native blood components.

To address this issue, Christy Haynes and coworkers from the University of Minnesota, USA, have created a microfluidic device coated with endothelial cells to mimic the walls of the vascular system. This initial in vitro approach was carried out with both activated and unactivated platelets in the presence of various (therapeutically-relevant) concentrations of fluorescently-labelled, mesophorous silica nanoparticles. The impact of nanoparticles on the critical platelet functions of adhesion and aggregation was assessed.

Microfluidic platforms are readily customised and future work would be expected to expand upon these initial conditions to advance our understanding of nanotoxicology and interaction studies.

To read more about this study and the impact of nanoparticles on platelet interactions you can access this Analyst HOT Article free until 6 January 2014:

On-chip evaluation of platelet adhesion and aggregation upon exposure to mesoporous silica nanoparticles
Donghyuk Kim, Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn, Katie R. Hurley, Joseph T. Buchman and Christy L. Haynes 
Analyst, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01679J

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Prizes and Awards nominations open

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences. There are over 80 Prizes and Awards available covering all areas of the chemical sciences, with prize money of up to £5000 to be won.

The main categories are:

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Biosciences

Environment, Sustainability and Energy

Inorganic Chemistry (Dalton Division)

Materials Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Physical Chemistry (Faraday Division)

Industry & Technology

In addition, we have a new award this year, the Industrial Analytical Science Award, to recognise and celebrate the great contribution of analytical science in industry.

To view the full list of Prizes and Awards and to make a nomination, visit www.rsc.org/awards

Nominations open until 15 January 2014

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Enhancing transmission Raman spectroscopy (TRS) for pharmaceutical analysis

Data sub-selection in transmission Raman spectroscopy

Data sub-selection in transmission Raman spectroscopy

The analysis of compound mixtures in powder and tablet form has a range of purposes, from monitoring the stability of a formulation over time and quality control of a product, to the forensic analysis of illicit substances. Transmission Raman spectroscopy is a promising candidate for this type of analysis. TRS is fast and non-destructive, it produces data that is easy to interpret, and has good penetration depth for opaque samples such as powders.

Researchers led by Jonathan Burley at the University of Nottingham (UK) have investigated ways to improve the accuracy of TRS for quantitative analysis. In this HOT Analyst paper, they report the first detailed analysis of data sub-selection for a set of transmission Raman data obtained from a model pharmaceutical formulation. Burley and co-workers also focus on the utility of low-wavenumber data, which has only become accessible in recent years. The authors anticipate that their findings may shape the future development of Raman instrumentation.

To read more about this work, please access the link below. This paper will be free to read until 6 January 2014.

Quantification of pharmaceuticals via transmission Raman spectroscopy: data sub-selection
Jonathan C. Burley, Adeyinka Aina, Pavel Matousek and Christopher Brignell
Analyst, 2014,139, 74-78
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01293J

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