Two days course 27-28 August (9-17)

Measurements in research and its applications

If your scientific curiosity goes beyond a single discipline (e.g. chemistry) you are invited and welcome to attend this two day course where we will show how your research can contribute to improved wellbeing of citizens in Europe through better EU legislation.

Attendees of the course will learn about integration of science of measurements in research and test laboratories and about the underpinning structure (standardisation, accreditation and metrology) at national, European and global level. To ensure sustainable progress and improvements in research for the benefit of society, science communication and legislative aspects of scientific discoveries when it comes to environmental, health and safety will be addressed.

Following interactive sessions, with real life examples, participants will also receive a comprehensive list of references, most of which are freely available on-line.
The two-day course consists of four modules, each of three hours:

Module 1: Landscape (metrology, standardisation, accreditation at global, European and national level)
Module 2: New in a lab –  What do I need to know apart from chemistry?
Module 3: Drafting a measurement procedure
Module 4: Societal impact and communication

Each module has introductory presentation, followed by a team work on selected examples.

Half day courses 28 August (9-12)

Basic capillary electrophoresis

This course explains the fundamentals of CE from the ground up and starts off with an introduction of the fundamentals and the different operating modes of capillary electrophoresis.

After this course you will have a good understanding on what happens inside a capillary during a CE separation. What you have learned will demystify the secrets of CE. With better understanding of the different CE modes, you will be better able to select the proper one for your analytical question. You will also be well prepared for the follow-up course in the afternoon, Robust CE methods: method development and good working practices. At the end of the course, all participants will receive a Training Certificate for their personal training record.

Basic chemometrics

Chemometrics may be defined as the discipline which makes use of mathematical and statistical tools to extract relevant information from chemical data. This short course will give the participants an introductory overview of the main chemometric tools for exploratory and predictive analysis, with particular focus on projection (i.e., component-based methods). Indeed, the basic concepts behind data display and characterization using Principal component analysis (PCA) and predictive modeling using partial least squares regression (PLS) will be discussed by means of real world examples.

The course participants will be instructed on model building, model selection and on the interpretation of the results obtained, and particular attention will be posed on the model validation steps.

For those who wish and have a computer with Matlab installed, there will be the possibility of hands-on exercises, where the participants will be able to learn how to practically fit a chemometric exploratory or regression model, how to choose the optimal model complexity and how to validate the obtained results.

Half day courses 28 August (14-17)

Robust CE methods: method development and good working practices

In order to deliver consistent, reliable and accurate CE data, you need reliable, robust and sensitive CE methods. For this, you need both the scientific knowledge and experience on good working practice, as well as to be able to validate a specific method for its intended use. This short course follows on the Basic Capillary Electrophoresis course in the morning and will discuss many practical CE method development and programming tips to obtain fit-for-purpose methods.

After this course, you have acquired many tips on and understanding of instrumental parameters so that your next CE method development will be more successful. You will find that perplexing and frustrating issues you experienced have simple and logical solutions and you will have learned to prevent them. You will have a better understanding what the critical parameters in CE are and you will be able to apply your knowledge of good working practices of CE. This will reduce the amount of trouble shooting needed in daily practice, but if you still do need to troubleshoot, you’ll have a good understanding of where to start and what to look for. At the end of the course, all participants will receive a Training Certificate for their personal training record.

Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) and other sampling and sample preparation technologies for laboratory and on-site applications

In this course several microextraction technologies will be discussed, namely solid phase microextraction (SPME), thin film microextraction (TFME) and needle trap devices (NT). The main principles of these techniques, different calibration methods, coupling strategies to GC, LC, and MS, method development steps, and advantages and disadvantages of each microextraction approach will be covered. In addition, during this short course, recent advances, developments and applications of each technique in fields such as forensic, environmental, food and flavor, and clinical analysis will be described. Other topics that will be covered involve the application of SPME for ligand-receptor binding and plasma protein binding studies, in vivo sampling of freely moving animals for pharmacokinetic and metabolomic studies, direct tissue analysis, and automation of SPME and related technologies in high-throughput format.

Practical maintenance and troubleshooting in gas chromatography

In Gas chromatography 90% of the trouble experienced, is happening in the injection system. In this course we will discuss the purpose and impact of the critical parts (consumables) present in split and splitless injection and how this impact in a maintenance schedule.

In this half day course we will discuss the maintenance challenges for Split and Splitless injection techniques that are used in GC. We will zoom in carrier gas choice and purity, tubing, connections, septa, ferrules, seals, liners, column-coupling, installation and column maintenance.. Also column operation/optimization and extending column life time will be discussed.  All will be discussed by a series of practical examples.

Introduction to metabolomics

Learn about mass spectrometry based metabolomics and how to analyse metabolomics data.

Metabolomics is considered to provide a direct functional readout of the physiological state of an organism. Mass spectrometry based metabolomics is a rapidly emerging field which provides a “snapshot” of all metabolites present in a biological sample.
Untargeted metabolomics can be measured using different technologies such as LC-MS and NMR. In medium and even sometimes in small sized experiments the number of files and accumulated data that needs to be processed and analysed rapidly grows. In large studies the data sizes may be very large and the computational resources and time needed to analyse the data can be very large.

The course series gives you a short overview of a mass spectrometry based metabolomics study; from sample to scientific result.
What do you need to be aware of? What are the common pitfalls? How do you analyse your data? And how can you analyse large datasets on a simple laptop using computational resources from the outside – the Cloud.
In this course, we will give you the full picture of a typical metabolomics study. However, the main focus will be on data analysis, using available tools and how to combine them – picking the raisins from the cookies. The course will give you an overview of open source and freely available tools and strategies for handling and analysing metabolomics data.
In the first session, we will cover the experimental procedure, going from sample to generated data, including a short overview of mass spectrometry. The following session will show workflows for data analysis and metabolite identification. Finally, we will demonstrate how you can run your analysis on-the-go, right from your cell phone.