University of Hull, Chemistry Department
Q: WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF YOUR LAB’S RESEARCH?
A: My group are actively researching the application of mass spectrometry to a range of problems in both chemical and biomedical science. In particular we are involved in the application of mass spectrometry based proteomics for label free quantitation of proteins from human tissue samples and also in the identification of trace analytes from environmental samples. We are also investigating the synthesis of novel co-polymeric monolithic phases for sample extraction and separation.
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR PREVIOUS WORK FLOW OR CHALLENGES?
A: The Chemistry Department at Hull have long recognised the need for practical training on a wide range of chemical instrumentation. In particular we recognise the requirement from many companies in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical sectors for practical training in GC/MS and LC/MS. The Advion expressionL compact mass spectromater (CMS) was purchased to provide such training at an undergraduate level and has been incorporated into the range of instrumental analysis practicals for final year students. The expressionL CMS fits tidily on the bench-top next to the HPLC system and gives students the chance experience at first hand the use of LCMS as an analytical technique. The ease of use and robust nature of the system means that the expressionL CMS lends itself to the undergraduate laboratory where users will not be experts in mass spectrometry at this point in their careers.
Q: WHY DID YOU INCORPORATE THE EXPRESSION CMS INTO YOUR LABORATORY?
A: We use the expressionL CMS to give undergraduate students practical experience of using LC/MS to prepare and analyse a ‘mock’ urine sample. The sample has to be prepared by adding the internal standard and extracting the analytes using Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) to obtain a sample suitable for LC/MS analysis. The aim is to identify and quantify the compounds found in the sample by reference to the internal standard added. The HPLC separation is a rapid 10 min gradient elution and the ability to incorporate the data from the UV detector into the MS data provides an additional benefit. Purchasing the expression L CMS has allowed us to provide practical training in LC/MS for our undergraduate students at a time when prospective employers are actively seeking such skills.