Author Archives: Steven Miles

Nominations sought for the Dal Nogare Award in Chromatography

The Stephen Dal Nogare award is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards given in chromatography. Since 1972, it has been presented by the Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley – usually at PITTCON.

The award was established in memory of Dr. Stephen Dal Nogare – a DuPont Company chemist who made several contributions to chromatographic science.

The Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley has begun seeking nominations for the 2011 Dal Nogare Award. The award is given each year to an individual who is an example of an outstanding scientist in the field of chromatography. The awardee is selected on the basis of their contributions to the fundamental understanding of the chromatographic process.

Nominations, including one hard copy and one electronic copy, should include current resume and publication examples as well as any seconding letters. These should be submitted by 15 January 2010 to:

Dal Nogare Award Committee
c/o Dr Mary Ellen P. McNally
E. I. DuPont deNemours and Co., Inc.
Crop Protection Products
Stine Haskell Research Center
1090 Elkton Road
Newark, Delaware 19711-3507

Click Here to see photos of a visit by Dr. Stephen Dal Nogare’s son to Analtech.

Former Dal Nogare award winners include L.B. (Buck) Rogers (1972), Stuart P. Cram (1973), J. J. Kirkland (1974), Barry L. Karger (1975), Lloyd R. Snyder (1976), Georges Guiochen (1977), Csaba G. Horvath (1978), J. Calvin Giddings (1979), Evan C. Horning (1980), Joseph H.K. Huber (1981), Marcel J.E. Golay (1982), John H. Knox (1983), Hamish Small (1984), John Lovelok (1985), Gerhart Schomburg (1986), Fred Regnier (1987), Harold Walton (1988), Phyllis R. Brown (1989), Robert L. Grob (1990), James S. Fritz (1991), Heinz Engelhardt (1992), Jacques Rijks (1993), Pat Sandra (1994), Charles W. Gehrke (1995), Peter W. Carr (1996), Daniel Martire (1997), James W. Jorgenson (1998), Milton L. Lee (1999), William F. Pirkle (2000), Harold M. McNair (2001), Walter D. Jennings (2002), W.S. Hancock (2003), Milos V. Novotny (2004), Daniel W. Armstrong (2005), Victoria L. McGuffin (2006), John W. Dolan (2007), John G. Dorsey (2008) and Frantisek Svec (2009). 

Thin Layer Chromatography to detect nicotine

This one continues to demonstrate the broad scope of smokingapplications for Thin Layer Chromatography – and shows again that you never know where TLC will show up in the media. bills itself as an “Online Magazine covering Fashion, Beauty, Celebrity Buzz, Health Care, Pregnancy & Parenting, Love, Home and Relationships”

The site has just posted a comprehesive overview of smoking tobacco and includes this portion about detecting nicotine:

Diagnosis of Smoking (presence of nicotine)

Traces of nicotine can be found in urine for nearly 3 days after the last smoke, so a urine test can be carried out which gives qualitative results for nicotine.

Thin layer chromatography (TLC): In this test, mixtures are separated by using an absorbent material like aluminum oxide or silica on testing sheets.

To read the whole post, click here.

An Apple A Day – minus the patulin – how Thin Layer Chromatography provides faster, cheaper answers

Here’s an excerpt from about using Thin Layer apple with patulinChromatography for the analysis of patulin in apple juice (emphasis added) :

Researchers from Brazil developed a rapid, simple and economical method using thin-layer chromatography quantification via fluorescence images from a UV lamp, for the determination of patulin in apple juice concentrate

Why it matters

According to the authors, patulin is a mycotoxin produced by certain species of Penicillium, Aspergillus and Byssochlamys. In previous research studies, liquid chromatography has been used for patulin determination in clear and cloudy apple juices, apple puree and apple-based products intended for infants. Methods such as gas and liquid Thin Layer Chromatography detects patulinchromatography have very low detection limits, but both techniques require sophisticated and costly equipment, extensive cleanup procedures and high purity solvents. Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) is a fast, cheap and efficient method of separation and identification of many mycotoxins. By coupling a two-dimensional charge coupled device with thin-layer chromatography, the entire TLC can be imaged in a single exposure, yielding rapid quantification in shorter analysis time than slit scanning densitometers.

 Click Here for the full Abstract.

Thin Layer Chromatography used to weed out counterfeit medication

We’ve posted on this subject before, but wanted to offer fake drugsmore on the subject from our friends at Australia’s On Line Opinion, where Roger Bate has written about tools to fight fake drugs:

Poor quality medicines are pervasive across Africa. The WHO reports that more than 30 per cent of medicines on sale in many African countries are counterfeit, with some pills containing nothing more than chalk or water.

The German Pharma Health Fund’s “Minilab” uses thin layer chromatography, disintegration and simple dye tests to help weed out the worst-quality products. Generally, a product will “pass” the Minilab test if it contains 80 per cent or more of the labelled active ingredient.

 Click Here to read the entire piece.


Thin Layer Chromatography used in plant defense research

Anti-herbivore Structures of Paulownia tomentosa: Morphology, Distribution, Chemical Constituents and Changes During Shoot and Leaf Development:

Background and Aims: Recent studies have shown that small structures on plant surfaces serve ecological functions such as resistance against herbivores. The morphology, distribution, chemical composition and changPaulownia tomentosaes during shoot and leaf development of such small structures were examined on Paulownia tomentosa.

Methods: The morphology and distribution of the structures were studied under light microscopy, and their chemical composition was analysed using thin-layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. To further investigate the function of these structures, several simple field experiments and observations were also conducted.

Click Here to read more.

Doing Thin Layer Chromatography at home

Sean Michael Ragan at recently posted a great post about Thin Layer Chromatography in the kitchen – here’s some excerpts:

During my six-odd years as a graduate organic chemist, probably the cheapest, most powerful, and most commonly used analytical laboratory technique in my bag of tricks was thin-layer chromatography

[another] common reason for performing separations is analytical: You want to get an idea of how many compounds are in there and whether or not one of them is compound “X.” Thin-layer chromatography lets you do this, on a bench-top, with a few cents worth of materials and a few minutes of time. It’s unbelievably powerful for such an inexpensive technique.

 Click here to read the complete post.


Congratulations to recipients of the Governor Ruth Ann Minner Biotechnology Scholarship Awards

We were honored to be part of the 2009 Governor Ruth Ann Minner Biotechnology Scholarship Awards luncheon.

This year’s recipients ar pictured to the right along with Dr. 2009 Minner scholarship recipientsYidadi Yusibov, Executive Director for the Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology.

(l-r) Mr. Nicholas Rohm of the University of Delaware, Ms. Mara Hyatt of Delaware Technical and Community College, Dr. Yusibov, and Mr. Tim Pierpont of Delaware State University.

The scholarship fund was started by the Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology in 2006 for the purpose of encouraging Delaware students to consider studies and career opportunities in the growing field of biotechnology. It was named in honor of Governor Ruth Ann Minner for her support of and contributions to biotechnology in the State of Delaware. The scholarship is awarded to a student from the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical and Community College who demonstrates a commitment to pursuing the highest standards of excellence, ethics and compassion in the biotech field.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients – we’re all looking forward to great work from you!

Thin Layer Chromatography and DNA – the story continues

We first mentioned this discovery here a couple of weeks ago, and just wanted to offer a few more details now that the paper by Skirmantas Kriaucionis and Nathaniel Heintz has been published.

Despite the importance of epigenetic regulation in neurological disorders, little is known about neuronal chromatin. Cerebellar Purkinje neurons have large and euchromatic nuclei, whereas granule cell nuclei are small and have a more typical heterochromatin distribution. While comparing the abundance of 5-methylcytosine in Purkinje and granule cell nuclei, we detected the presence of an unusual DNA nucleotide. Using thin-layer chromatography, high-pressure liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry, we identified the nucleotide as 5-hydroxymethyl-2′-deoxycytidine (hmdC). hmdC constitutes 0.6% of total nucleotides in Purkinje cells, 0.2% in granule cells, and is not present in cancer cell lines. hmdC is a constituent of nuclear DNA that is highly abundant in the brain, suggesting a role in epigenetic control of neuronal function.

 Click here to read more from Science.

Celebrating the birth of the father of Chromatography

Mikhail Semyonovich Tsvet was born on this day in 1872.Tsvet

Here’s an excerpt from Discoveries in Medicine about the significance of Tsvet’s work:

The first chromatograph was invented by Russian botanist Mikhail Semenovich Tsvett (1872-1919). While working in Poland, Tsvett was looking for a method of separating a mixture of plant pigments (tints) which are chemically very similar to each other. To isolate different types of chlorophyll, he trickled a mixture of dissolved pigments through a glass tube packed with calcium carbonate powder. As the solution washed downward, each pigment stuck to the powder with a different degree of strength, creating a series of colored bands. Each band of color represented a different substance. Tsvett referred to the colored bands as a chromatogram. He also suggested that the technique (now called adsorption chromatography) could be used to separate colorless substances.

Although Tsvett published a report of his work in the early 1900s, chemists paid very little attention to it. There were a few reasons for ignoring the work. First, the report was written in Russian, which few Western chemists of the time read. Second, the technique may have seemed too simple to chemists who were used to relying on lengthy extraction, crystallization, or distillation processes to separate mixtures. Within a few years, Tsvett’s technique was rediscovered. The rediscovery was by the German organic chemist Richard Martin Willstatter (1872-1942), who was also studying chlorophyll. By introducing chromatography to Western European scientists, Willstatter helped establish one of the most versatile analytical techniques known to chemistry.

Join us today as we honor the work of Mikhail Semyonovich Tsvet