analytica Conference 2010: Trendsetter in analytical chemistry and bioanalysis

More than 1,000 international exhibitors will gather in Munich this year for analytica, the world's largest trade fair for analysis and laboratory technology in chemistry, biochemistry, food chemistry, clinical chemistry and the life sciences. Besides an extensive exhibition showcasing all of the products and developments for analysis laboratories that are currently on the market, visitors can also look forward to the analytica Conference, which is the most important analysis congress in Europe. The conference, whose slogan is "Talking Science – Today's Knowledge for Tomorrow's Applications", is held on the first three days of the fair (March 23 – 25) and will feature four plenary presentations and 23 symposia with renowned speakers from Germany and abroad. Conference topics range from measuring fine particles and toxicology of fine particles to the chemical analysis of art objects and how analysis techniques can help to treat diabetes. Three scientific associations, i.e. the German Chemical Society (GDCh), the Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) and the German Association for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL), are responsible for the program of events.

A special highlight at the analytica Conference will be a series of four plenary presentations that will kick off each day of the conference. Two of the presentations will be held by the winners of the analytica Research Award - which was donated by Roche and is being presented by the GBM - on Wednesday, March 24. The winners and their scientific achievements will be announced at a press conference on the first day of the fair.

Plenary presentation: Coupling high-resolution analysis techniques
The analytica Conference opens on Tuesday (March 23) with a plenary presentation titled "Hyphenation of High Resolution Analytical Tools in Life Sciences," which will be held by Professor Ian Wilson, Senior Principal Scientist at AstraZeneca, Macclesfield/Great Britain and guest scientist at the Department for Biomolecular Medicine at Imperial College, London. The lecture traces the remarkable development of instrumental analysis over the past 20 to 30 years, which above all has benefited the field of pharmaceuticals research. It will describe the successive development, from identifying molecular structures using mass spectroscopy (MS) to electrospray ionization, which made it possible to directly couple liquid chromatography (LC) with mass spectrometry for the first time ever. Magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is also used in Wilson's laboratory. Above all, it is interesting for the relatively new research field of pharmacometabolomics, which expands our knowledge of metabolic processes at the molecular level. In his plenary presentation, Wilson will report on ways to continue developing NMR spectroscopy for biological issues such as toxicity studies and the course of diseases at the molecular level. Interesting aspects that can be derived from this include individualized medication and personalized nutrition recommendations.

On Thursday, Prof. Joachim Thiery, Director of the Institute for Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics at "Universitätsklinikum Leipzig", will hold the fourth plenary presentation examining the potential that modern laboratory medicine has to offer personalized medicine.

Symposium: Efficient separation and detection methods
Under the direction of clinical chemist and biochemist Professor Karl-Siegfried Boos, who conducts research at the Institute for Clinical Chemistry at "Klinikum der Universität München", scientists will examine the topic of "Efficient separation and detection methods for the life sciences" in a symposium on Wednesday morning (March 24). First Professor Emeritus Klaus K. Unger from Mainz University will discuss the development of liquid chromatography and the key role that it plays in the life sciences. According to Unger, "Despite more than a hundred years of chromatography research, a number of questions remain unanswered. When this development began, no one could have imagined the important contributions that liquid chromatography makes in explaining the molecular course of diseases at the femto-molar level – and despite the complexity of biological systems."

Dr. Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin, a private instructor at the Institute for Ecological Chemistry at the Helmholtz Center in Munich, knows how large the research field of separation and detection methods really is for analytical chemists. Most experts agree that, at the most, we are only familiar with two percent of all metabolites in humans and other living things (including plants and bacteria). That does not even take into account the decomposition processes of large biomolecules that take place in the water, ground and air.

Professor Michael Lämmerhofer from the Institute for Analytical Chemistry at Vienna University will discuss the fact that new approaches in system biology would also be unthinkable without coupling them with extremely sensitive separation and detection techniques. The institute, which is known for its advance developments of specific methods, will demonstrate three methods that can be used to identify approximately 300 metabolites.

Finally, Dr. Bernd Kammerer from the Faculty for Medical Chemistry at Tübingen University will demonstrate how helpful the latest analysis detection methods really are using cancer research as an example: The institute is conducting a promising study that compares breast-cancer patients to people in a control group. It demonstrates that cancer cells produce different metabolic products than healthy cells and can therefore be used as biomarkers in blood and urine.

Dr. Rosa Morello from the Laboratory for BioSeparation at the Institute for Clinical Chemistry, "Klinikum der Universität München" will close the symposium. Using LC-MS/MS analysis of immune suppressants as an example, she will demonstrate that, despite high-tech separation and detection techniques, pre-analysis and the associated processing of complex biological fluids are extremely important for valid analysis results. Bearing in mind the active ingredients that transplant patients must take their entire lives, Dr. Morello has developed a processing technique that, for the first time ever, makes it possible to determine the concentration of these drugs directly in whole blood completely automatically.

An up-to-date schedule for the analytica Conference including lecture abstracts is available at and the analytica event database at