More from Pittcon: Bioanalytics a Key Focus

There are few things more dull than reading any "show roundup" (except, occasionally, having to write one), but there were some extremely significant technologies introduced at Pittcon 2007, including some that may prove useful one day in helping sort out issues with the biogenerics and followon biologics that everyone is talking about. Here are just a few (for information on others, see www.pharmamanufacturing.com). So, for those whose eyes do not glaze over when flooded with acronyms, here is a mercifully brief summary Waters won the Gold Editor's Prize this year, but Silver and Bronze were both "ties." Tied for Silver were ThermoFisher Scientific and Paraytec.  ThermoFisher Scientifics LTQ ETD marries electron transfer dissociation (ETD)*, a technology developed at the University of Virginia, and Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry. It is now being used by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, and elsewhere, for large-scale analysis of protein function. 

Paraytecs ActiPix capillary-based UV absorbance detectors and spectrophotometers use a patented technology to extend the use of UV Vis. The instrument uses UV for both quantification and sizing. According to chief science officer David Goodall, this instrument allows scientists to see a complex reaction taking place in real-time, while quantifying the components.

Tied for Bronze were Bruker, for its laptop computer-sized FT-IR system, as well as Horiba Jobin Yvons Activa  ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer) using charged-couple device technology. ICP-MS is a rapid, sensitive way to determine selements presence within solutions at less than 1 ppb.  (For more information, click here. http://www.jobinyvon.co.uk/ukdivisions/emission/activa.htm )   *And now, here's more on ETD, which has been a strategic technology acquisition for ThermoFisher. An ion fragmentation technology, it is said to offer protein sequence information that cant be obtained from the conventional methods now used on ion trap mass spectrometers.  ETQ has already been used with the LTQ for biopharma applications such as mapping posttranslational modification sites, particularly phosphorylation.  It has also been shown to allow for a more comprehensive proteomic sample profile than is possible with collision-induced dissociation alone, and it can be used to fragment and analyze large peptide fragments as well as intact proteins. For more on this, watch the webinar on ETD, accessible via https://advion.on.raindance.com/confmgr/view_stored_doc.jsp?docId=91034398541673712044526654961&docType=recording  Spectroscopy has changed so much since I was in school. So has biotech.  HELP! -AMS