In the continuing tradition of having excellent international speakers, Isranalytica 2014 had Jack Henion open the conference with his plenary lecture, “Liquid Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry: Applications Ranging from the Complex to the Very Simple”. (I was lucky enough to see Graham Cooks at Isranalytica in 2008.) Jack is well known for his work with LC-MS and atmospheric pressure ionization sources while having a distinguished career at Cornell University and currently has appointments at Quintiles and Advion.
His presentation focused on Dried Blood Spot (DBS) and Dried Plasma Spot (DBS) analyses. Blood spots are collected on cards from babies, usually by pricking their heels after birth, to screen for metabolic disorders. Currently, a DBS sample is manually “punched out” from the card and diluted/extracted offline before being taken to an instrumental method. But this is time-consuming, and with so many samples for analysis, automated methods are desirable. The novelty Jack showed was a fully-automated solvent elution/desorption through the blood spot to a 2D LC system consisting of a trap column with heart-cut to an analytical column that was connected to a high resolution mass spectrometer.
As a chromatographer, I very much appreciated it when he stated in his lecture that even with automation available for method development, you still “need to think chromatography, think analytical chemistry”. The latest paper on this work is here.