As our sessions are getting defined, the chairs named and the keynote lecturers invited, one gradually starts to sense the excitement about the oral program format that the MSB symposium series characterizes. A challenging theme in the field of the session topic has been defined by the session chairs, superb keynote speakers that lead of the session invited, leaving space for 4-5 contributed oral presentation in the session. A double-blind peer review process ensures top science contributions regardless reputation and seniority.

Below are the sessions and corresponding keynote lecturers. The "More Info" buttons give you more detail about each session theme and mentions some of the controversy behind it. One should feel compelled to be part of the program as a contributor or in the discussions for which 1/3 of the slot time/contribution will be allocated.

To Be Robust or Not to Be Robust: That is the Question?

Session Chair: Jeff Chapman

We continue to see growth in the use and integration of capillary electrophoresis, microfluidics and related microscale techniques as a separation front-end to mass spectrometry. The push for improved quantitation, lower detection limits and the analysis of more complex sample types has driven new technology developments as well as the commercialization of a large number of new methods and tools in this space.

However, there are many who continue to have the perception that these microscale techniques have the reputation of being difficult to use, and are inherently non-robust – limiting their use compared to more conventional analytical methodologies coupled with mass spectrometry. With this session we will probe into this perception, diving deeply into assays and methods that have been employed using these techniques and examining whether they are indeed too complex for the average laboratory – or whether the advancements made can be realized by the masses and implemented in a robust and routine way.

It is not About Size Only!

Session chair: Jörg Kutter

Naturally, size is what comes to mind first when discussing microfluidic separation techniques, and, indeed, miniaturization brings some immediate benefits to these techniques, such as short diffusion distances, short separation lengths (and, hence, potentially very fast separations), as well as minimal consumption of samples and solvents. However, probably even more important is the possibility to couple the separation functionality virtually dead volume-free to the injection and the detection functionalities. This is a feature of monolithic integration on a planar substrate. By the same token, more than one separation technique can be combined on the same substrate/chip as well, leading to more-dimensional separations; or, coupling to gradient generators; or, pre-concentrators; or, any other sample preparation functionality, thus arriving at complete lab-on-a-chip solutions.

But, what types of separations do we actually want to perform on chips, which are more than mere repetitions of capillary-based separations? Do we need all variants from the more traditional formats also available on chip? What can we do that can’t be done in a more conventional way? How can we compete with capillaries? How can we be complementary to capillaries? Where will microfluidics separations and lab-on-a-chip make the biggest impact?

Need or Overkill; Hype or Hope?

Session chair: Michael Lämmerhofer

Experimental studies show that peak capacities in 1D-HPLC are typically not much higher than 300. However, complex (biological & environmental) samples like in lipidomics are composed of 100,000s of analytes. Such numbers of peak capacities in the 100,000s to 1,000,000s can be only addressed by multidimensional separations. The crucial question is whether this technology is ready to be implemented in real applications.

Are MDLC separations robust enough to allow analysis of e.g. 100 samples from a clinical study in a sequence with sufficient precision and without failure in data acquisition? Can we acquire sufficient data points in all dimensions so that we can get accurate quantitative data? Are our software tools ready to integrate 3D peaks accurately even if the peaks are minor? Can our statistical tools deal with such data of higher dimensionality, or in other words, do the software tools of the instruments support higher dimensional data export into statistical tools in sufficiently aligned manner? Can we run MDLC analyses in an automated way so that enough biological replicates can be analyzed which is necessary to enable reliable biological data interpretations. Submissions which address these and other questions as well as methodological aspects of lipidomics are highly welcome.

Pushing the Limits!

Session chair: Herbert Lindner

Top-down analysis of whole proteomes and structure characterization of individual glycoproteins has been little more than a dream for decades. Both branches of research face the same issue, the inherent level of complexity. In top-down proteomics, the distinction of thousands of different proteins is bedeviled by a multitude of post-translational modifications.

In glycoproteomics the necessity to characterize both, the glycosylated analyte and the glycan structure itself complicates the task at hand. Aggravating this situation, proteomes and protein modifications are highly dynamic and depend on tissue type, cell type, life cycle, age, environment, and so forth. But recently, the launch of even higher resolution mass spectrometers in combination with novel separation techniques brought movement into the scientific field. Whether these novel techniques entail progress and allow for deeper insights into biological systems will be the common attribute of this session.

Biopharma Meets Microscale Separations

Session chairs: Cari Sänger and Michel Eppink

What makes analytical sciences fascinating for academia and industry? Both sides are interested in developing new analytical technologies, but each has a different focus. Are these two sides of the same coin? Academia aims at publishing the results of new technological developments in high impact journals, and at educating students, ultimately towards a PhD. For Biopharma, new technologies are needed not only for quality control, but also to increase process and product understanding. Whereas analytical methods in Academia need to represent new science, in Biopharma these should address specific needs (e.g. product quality), and to be reliable, reproducible and robust.

If Academia focuses on Proof-of-Concept and Industry focuses on problem-free operation, where and how do these two sides of science meet, and how can we ensure meeting in the middle? What are scientific questions that Biopharma is facing, which could trigger the interest of Academia? How can Academia sparkle the interest of Biopharma in new analytical technologies? Could Academia embrace analytical QbD, the systematic approach that is currently being deployed in Biopharma? And, ultimately, how do we learn from each other? These aspects and more form the theme of a special track on Monday 27 March. Let’s start bridging now!

Limited Sample, Unlimited Data!

Session chair: Oleg Mayboroda

Over the last ten years the post-genomic disciplines such as proteomics and metabolomics earned their place among the most essential methodologies in biomedical research. Yet, one of the main existing challenges is scaling down the use of the precious biological material without compromising the quality and quantity of the data.

Microscale separation methods are instrumental for addressing the challenge, by offering paradigm shifting solutions for the analysis of biofluids, tissue samples, drug screening and cell biology experiments.


Electrodriven Separations: Where do they drive us?

Session Chair: Sergey Krylov

Electrodriven separations take their origin from the fundamental understanding that differential mobility (acceleration of velocity) of ions in an electric field can be used to their physical separation. Darwinian evolution of this idea resulted in great divergence. As a result, electrodriven separations cover a number of very different methodological and instrumental platforms ranging from electrolysis to electrophoresis and from mass-spectrometry to cyclotrons. While being unable to embrace all of these in a single session, we aim at some “convergence”. We would like to have a “unifying” conversation around a wide diversity of electrodriven separations used in different areas of chemistry and life sciences.

You must submit your paper to this session if you learned how understanding physical and chemical processes can help us to:
(i) improve quality of electrodriven separation,
(ii) facilitate new applications of electrodriven separations, and
(iii) develop new modes of and new instrumental platforms for electrodriven separations.

For the Young and the Old

Session Chair: Rob Haselberg

We all have seen these illustrious presentations of established PIs. With their comprehensive stories they can definitely impress an audience. Nice, but at the same time you might have thought: how can my innovative, but smaller scale research ever competes with such extensive studies.

No worries! MSB 2017 provides excellent presenting opportunities for young scientists in the start of their career. More than 70% of the oral program will be built from submitted abstracts, and a double-blind peer review process ensures that quality - and not who you are - gets you an oral presentation. Seniority nor reputation is a selection criterion. On top of that MSB 2017 provides a Young Scientist session which provides a dedicated podium for young outstanding investigators only. So here is your fair chance to showcase your research and inspire the old.

Abstracts related to all fields and topics in microscale separations and bioanalysis will be considered. A peer will chair the session and the keynote speaker will also be a young researcher who is establishing an own research line. Besides presenting stimulating science, he/she will provide a first-hand insight into the path towards independence.

Where it all begins!

Session Chair: Julie Schappler

Sample preparation is the first stage of the bioanalytical process and is applied to clean-up the sample and/or enrich the analytes before analysis to improve its detection without fouling the analytical device. According to the nature, availability, volume, and stability of the sample, as well as the goal of the analysis (i.e., targeted or untargeted) and other constraints (e.g. throughput, cost), different sample preparation should be used. The choice of this analytical step is very important, since depending on the option selected, sample identification and quantification may be affected, and results biased. All these considerations apply regardless of the field of applications, either in drug development studies, pharmacological, toxicological, and forensic analyses, clinical biochemistry assays, or in omics fields.

Nowadays, there is a growing interest in miniaturized sample preparation approaches which may be used in the case of minute amounts of scarce matrices (e.g. lachrymal fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva).

In this context, the keynote speaker of this session will explain why and how microextractions are real alternatives to conventional sample preparations approaches.

Oral and poster submissions on the topic of “Sample preparation” should include original approaches to address sample preparation issues encountered in the different fields of bioanalysis.

Seeing is believing!

Session Chair: James Landers

Detection systems are the eyes of the separation scientist. They ultimately provide the qualitative and quantitative data that allow the making of decisions. Without detectors microscale separations are blind and would lose their purpose.

But how are we sure we detect all compounds we need to see in a complex mixture? And how do we prevent interference by compounds we do not want to see? Issues such as selectivity, sensitivity, and dynamic range are essential in meeting more and more stringent requirements in bioanalysis. Can we further advance MS, fluorescence and electrochemical detection approaches? And how about new detection concepts? Can we solve potential incompatibility issues?

Bringing the Lab to the Sample

Session Chair: Maria Tavares

Clinical, toxicological and forensic analysis is moving towards the development of new technologies and methodologies that allow transfer of analytical testing from highly complex laboratory environments to in-field or point-of-care locations.

For that, small, transportable and, ultimately, hand-held devices will be needed. Microscale analytics, which potentially unite sample preparation, separation and detection are key in achieving these goals.

Looking for Interaction

Session chair: Jeroen Kool

Bioaffinity and bioactivity profiling using micro- and nano-scale analytics is an upcoming technology area. These technologies are advancing towards the profiling of biologically active mixtures, such as natural extracts, focused pharma libraries, and environmental samples.

This session aims at research on miniaturized analytics in the fields of bioactivity screening and affinity assessment. Examples are:

  • micro/nanoLC(-MS) combined with on-line or off-line (after fractionation) bioassays.
  • pre-column, on-column and bead-based LC technologies to probe bioaffinity or isolate bioactives via selective binding to e.g. antibodies or aptamers.
  • affinity capillary electrophoresis and biosensor affinity analysis.
  • MS-based assessment of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions. 

Session Session Chair Teaser Keynote Lecturer Title
Microcolumn technology & separation media Microscale Separations; Need or Hype?
More Info
Monika Dittmann Impact of Column Diameter and Flow Rate on Sensitivity and Resolution in LC-UV and LC-MS separations.
CE-MS and Advanced MS Detection Techniques To Be Robust or Not To Be Robust – That is the Question? More Info Harald Mischak CE-MS as a Robust Routine Tool in Clinical Diagnosis
Microfluidic separations
& Lab-on-a-Chip
It is not About Size Only!
More Info
Detlev Belder One- and two-dimensional chip-HPLC coupled to MS
Multidimensional Separations and Lipidomics  Need or Overkill? Hype or Hope? More Info Thorsten Teutenberg Microscale online comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography – some second thoughts on speed, efficiency and selectivity 
Glycomics, Intact Protein Analysis & Biopolymer Analysis Pushing the Limits!
More Info
Yehia Mechrev  Characterizing Glycan and Glycopeptide Isomers derived from Biological Systems by LC-MS/MS 
Biopharma meets Microscale Separations - 1 Two sides of Science!
More Info
Marta Germano Why analytical science is ever more needed to develop biopharmaceuticals in the 21st century
Biopharma meets Microscale Separations - 2 Two sides of Science!
More info click above
Mark Eggink Where industry meets academia in biopharma
Proteomics, Metabolomics and Biomarker Discovery Limited Sample, Unlimited Data!
More Info
Philip Britz-Mckibbin Robust CE-MS Methods for Metabolomics: Achieving Greater Throughput, Lower Costs and Better Data Comparability

Electrodriven Separation Methods

Where do they drive us?
More Info
Stephen Weber Some thoughts on electrodriven separations: Fields, friction, fluids, and free energy
Young Scientist Orals For the young and the old!
More Info
Jurre Kamphorst Pushing the Boundaries of Lipid Research
Sample Preparation Techniques Where it all begins!
More Info
Stig Pedersen-Bjergaard Microextraction through supported liquid membranes - Tuning the extraction chemistry for different biomedical and pharmaceutical applications

Advanced detection techniques

Seeing is believing!
More Info
Andrew Ewing Nanoscale measurements of vesicle content in solution, in cells, and in varicosities

Clinical diagnostics, Forensics, Doping & Toxicological Analysis

Bringing the Lab to the Sample
More Info
Arian van Asten The potential and challenges of rapid chemical and toxicological analysis in forensic science

Bioactivity/affinity Analysis

Looking for interaction
More Info
Maxim V. Berezovski Simultaneous analysis of enzyme structure and activity by kinetic capillary electrophoresis-MS