Archive for September, 2014

SPEC 2014

The International conference, SPEC 2014: Shedding New Light on Disease, was held on the 17th – 22nd August in Krakow, Poland. The conference was Co-chaired by Prof. Malgorzata Baranska, Jagellonian University, Krakow, Poland, Prof. Hugh J. Byrne, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland, and Prof. Anna Sulkowska, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.

The event was the 8th in the series of biennial conferences, the aim of which is to bring together clinicians and scientists who have joined forces in the quest for novel biomedical applications of Infrared and Raman spectroscopy to improve patient care. Recent advances in the biological sciences and medicine have led to an increasing demand for real time and minimally invasive chemical and structural informa¬tion on biological materials. Due to its unique fingerprinting capability, vibrational spectroscopy plays a significant role in histopathology, cytology, biopsy targeting, surgical targets, treatment monitoring and drug studies.

The conference aimed to highlight further advances in state of the art and emerging biomedical applications of Vibrational Spectroscopy framed under the themes of:

Translational research into in vivo clinical applications

Ex vivo tissue biopsies, body fluids and cytological samples for diagnostics and disease studies

In vitro cell culture and 3D models for Research and Medical applications

while reviewing the challenges in the context of other emerging technologies. The programme was constructed in an attempt to prioritise real world applications from the outset, systematically progressing from research towards in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro applications, as well as emerging technologies and data processing, and featured Plenary, Invited and Contributed presentations in each session. The Flash Presentation session provided an opportunity for Early Stage Researchers to orally summarise their poster presentations to the audience in a one minute pitch on the Monday evening (18th), in advance of the formal poster session, on the Tuesday (19th). The Renishaw prize for Best Flash presentation was awarded to Helena Ukkonen, for her presentation entitled “FTIR Imaging Identifies the Changes in the Tumor Microenvironment Caused by Different Cancer Cells”.

Prof. Hugh J. Byrne presents the Analyst prize for best poster presentation to Niels Kröger, Heidelberg University, Germany

Niels Kröger, Heidelberg University, Germany, was awarded the Analyst Poster Prize for his presentation on “Rapid Hyperspectral Imaging of Biological Tissue Using Quantum Cascade Lasers”, while best poster prizes were also awarded to Elisa Barroso and Roeland Smits, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, for the presentation “High-Wavenumber Raman Spectroscopy to Discriminate Squamous Cell Carcinoma From Healthy Tissue Based on Water Content” sponsored by WITec, and Mohamed Abu Ayoobul Ansary, Jagiellonian University, Poland, for the presentation “Optimization of conjugation of Au/Ag-core/shell nanoparticles with antibodies for SERS studies on endothelial cells” sponsored by Bruker.

A feature of the conference was the daily discussion sessions which were aimed at a critical assessment of the routes towards the further development of clinical applications, under the heading “Quo Vadis? Spectropathology for the next generation” and were moderated by members of the SPEC International Advisory Board. The discussions, based around the three themes above, were loosely based on the agreed framework of:

(i)       What are the most achievable, strategic target applications
(ii)      What are the technical challenges, and how can they be addressed
(iii)     What are the challenges to implementation (legislative, clinical trials etc.), and how can they be addressed

The deliberations of the discussion groups will contribute to a “Roadmap” paper in the special edition of international peer reviewed journal, Analyst, co-authored by the IAB moderators. The discussion sessions also enabled outline presentations of the UK EPSRC CLIRSPEC (Clinical Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy for Medical Diagnosis) and the EU COST network Raman4clinics (European Network on Raman-based applications for clinical diagnostics) and their respective workprogrammes to promote and progress the translation of vibrational spectroscopic technologies into the clinical environment.

Prof. Peter Gardner (Uni. Of Manchester), addresses the Gala Dinner on behalf of the SPEC International Advisory Board, outlining proposals for the establishment of the International Clinical Spectroscopy Society.

The programme and discussions clearly demonstrated that there has been much progress in the understanding of the complexity of spectroscopic characterisation of biological materials, and data preprocessing and postprocessing methods can be applied with confidence to give true biochemical representations of tissue, cells and bodily fluids. Spectroscopic techniques remain a powerful tool for basic research and may find applications in vitro for toxicology and drug screening. Emerging technologies continue to push the performances in terms of acquisition speed, spatial resolution and multimodality. In terms of translation to a clinical environment, there remains a lack of standardisation of measurement and data analysis protocols ex vivo, while cost implications need also to be considered. The increased development of fibre probes shows great promise for in vivo intra-operative applications. However, the need to engage the medical community remains an imperative.

A significant outcome of the satellite meeting of the SPEC IAB was the agreement in principle to the establishment of an International Clinical Spectroscopy Society, as a not-for profit Private Company Limited by Guarantee with charitable status. The Society will primarily promote the translational of spectroscopy into the clinical environment to improve patient diagnosis and prognosis. The SPEC Conference Series will be the primary vehicle of the Society towards this goal. The IAB also accepted the proposal that the next in the series, SPEC 2016, will be held in Montreal, Canada.

The conference attracted 282 participants from 32 countries around the globe. The programme included 62 oral and 191 poster contributions. It was sponsored by a number of commercial enterprises and other organisations, including: Witec, Renishaw, Agilent Technologies, Bruker, NT-MDT, Art Photonics, Thermo-Scientific, Comef, Horiba Scientific, Bio-Tools, Photon Etc., London Spectroscopy, Analyst, CLIRSPEC, PAN, PAU, ABE, KNOW im. Smoluchowskiego, LOT Quantum Design.

The conference was held against the backdrop of the 650th anniversary celebrations of the Jagiellonian University, and enjoyed honorary patronage of the Jagiellonian University, the Mayor of the City of Krakow, the Malopolska Voivodeship and the Marshal of the Małopolska Voivodeship.

And remember, attendees of the SPEC 2014 conference are all invited to submit to the upcoming themed issue in Analyst: deadline 17th October, 2014
Contact us here for more information

Take a look at our previous SPEC themed issue; Optical Diagnosis

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4th Symposium on Structural Proteomics 2014

The Symposium on Structural Proteomics will take place this year
Antwerp, Belgium
November 27th-28th 2014

This meeting started off in Canada in 2011 on a small scale, but has already grown into a major forum for scientists working at the nexus of native MS, HDX, crosslinking and computational methods.

We invite you to attend and contribute to this meeting, and are keen to cover the spectrum of emerging methods in this dynamic field.

Please note that places are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. We tried to keep the registration costs as low as possible, but hope to have a great time scientifically and socially, if last year’s meeting is anything to go by…!” Registration closes Nov 1st, 2014

Elzenveld Conference Centre

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The Chemical Analysis Metadata Platform

Image of computers

The ChAMP project is focused on making it easy for the community to identify the important aspects of methods of chemical analysis. The project will develop a set of fields (metadata) that can be used to characterize methods such that groups and individuals in the area of chemical analysis can build standards applicable for their needs. In this way, we hope ChAMP will accelerate the semantic annotation and linking of analytical method data while making the underlying metadata uniform across applications.

This project needs lots of input from the community so it can truly cover all potential use cases, so we encourage you to get involved. Follow the progress of this project on the ChAMP website (http://champ-project.org) and tell us what you think/need for your application.

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Urine test could catch lung cancer early

Graphical Abstract

Lung cancer could be identified earlier, thanks to a new test that uses surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to detect a cancer biomarker in urine

Detecting lung cancer is difficult as it is hidden in the body, and current clinical methods are not effective at an early stage; the one-year survival rate after diagnosis in the UK is just 29–33%. Acetyl amantadine (AcAm) is recognised as an exogeneous cancer biomarker because it is the product of a metabolic process known to be significantly up-regulated in cancerous cells. After ingestion, the antiparkinson and antiviral drug amantadine is acetylated in the body by the enzyme spermidine/spermine N1 acetyltransferase to give AcAm, which can be detected in patient urine. However, techniques previously used to quantify AcAm in urine, such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), are undesirable for clinical adoption due to high costs and long run times.

Interested to know more? Read the full article in Chemistry World here…

Quantification of an exogenous cancer biomarker in urinalysis by Raman Spectroscopy
Guangyi Cao, Ghazal Hajisalem, Wei Li, Fraser Hof and Reuven Gordon
Analyst, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4AN01309C

Do you fancy submitting an article to Analyst? Why not submit to us here today or alternatively email us with your suggestions!

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Top ten most accessed Analyst articles from April to June 2014

During the months April – June 2014, the most downloaded Analyst articles were:

Single molecule sensing by nanopores and nanopore devices
Li-Qun Gu and Ji Wook Shim  
Analyst, 2010, 135, 441-451
DOI: 10.1039/B907735A

A bioelectronic sensor based on canine olfactory nanovesicle–carbon nanotube hybrid structures for the fast assessment of food quality
Juhun Park, Jong Hyun Lim, Hye Jun Jin, Seon Namgung, Sang Hun Lee, Tai Hyun Park and Seunghun Hong
Analyst, 2012, 137, 3249-3254
DOI: 10.1039/C2AN16274A

Measurement of biomarker proteins for point-of-care early detection and monitoring of cancer
James F. Rusling, Challa V. Kumar, J. Silvio Gutkind and Vyomesh Patel
Analyst, 2010, 135, 2496-2511
DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00204F 

Upconversion nanoparticles in biological labeling, imaging, and therapy 
Feng Wang, Debapriya Banerjee, Yongsheng Liu, Xueyuan Chen and Xiaogang Liu 
Analyst, 2010, 135, 1839-1854 
DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00144A 

Recent advances in sample preparation techniques to overcome difficulties encountered during quantitative analysis of small molecules from biofluids using LC-MS/MS 
Caroline Bylda, Roland Thiele, Uwe Kobold and Dietrich A. Volmer    
Analyst, 2014, 139, 2265-2276 
DOI: 10.1039/C4AN00094C 

Aptamer-based biosensors for biomedical diagnostics
Wenhu Zhou, Po-Jung Jimmy Huang, Jinsong Ding and Juewen Liu    
Analyst, 2014, 139, 2627-2640
DOI: 10.1039/C4AN00132J 

Illuminating disease and enlightening biomedicine: Raman spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool 
David I. Ellis, David P. Cowcher, Lorna Ashton, Steve O’Hagan and Royston Goodacre    
Analyst, 2013, 138, 3871-3884 
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN00698K 

Recent advances in electrochemical sensing for hydrogen peroxide: a review 
Wei Chen, Shu Cai, Qiong-Qiong Ren, Wei Wen and Yuan-Di Zhao    
Analyst, 2012, 137, 49-58 
DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15738H 

Simultaneous targeted analysis of five active compounds in licorice by ultra-fast liquid chromatography coupled to hybrid linear-ion trap tandem mass spectrometry 
Weijun Kong, Jing Wen, Yinhui Yang, Feng Qiu, Ping Sheng and Meihua Yang    
Analyst, 2014, 139, 1883-1894 
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN02209A 

Quantum dots in diagnostics and detection: principles and paradigms
R. Pisanic II, Y. Zhang and T. H. Wang    
Analyst,2014, 139, 2968-2981 
DOI: 10.1039/C4AN00294F 

If you have any comments or thoughts on any of these articles, we welcome you to write these in the comment box below.

Do you fancy submitting an article to Analyst? Why not submit to us here today or alternatively email us with your suggestions!

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