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Waterloo chemist recognized by American Chemical Society for advances in chromatography

Friday, October 6, 2017

Janusz Pawliszyn.The American Chemical Society announced last month that University of Waterloo chemist Janusz Pawliszyn will receive the 2018 ACS award in Chromatography, sponsored by MilliporeSigma. 

Pawliszyn, a University Professor, Canada Research Chair and NSERC Industrial Research Chair New Analytical Methods and Technologies, has long been known for his work on Solid Phase Micro Extraction, or SPME.

This award, however, is given for another invention and subsequent development of the concept of Whole Column Imaging Detection (WCID), which combines capillary separation, in particular Capillary Isoelectric Focusing (CIEF), with an imaging technology.

Capillary Isoelectric Focusing (CIEF) if often used to separate proteins and peptides based on slight differences in their surficial charge. Once separated along the column’s electrolytic gradient, the analytes form distinct bands which can be identified using three different imaging detection modes: universal, UV absorption, and laser-induced fluorescence.

By imaging the analytes right in the column, Pawliszyn was able to eliminate the final mobilization step in the analysis, cutting analysis times by 75 per cent and optimising separation.

In 2005, Pawliszyn’s patented CIEF-WCID technology was commercialized by Convergent Bioscience, a Toronto-based company later purchased by ProteinSimple. The latest version of the instrument, Protein Simple’s ICE3, is now considered the platinum standard for characterizing proteins and peptides and is widely accepted in biotech industry. This device is one of the first successful commercial analytical devices based on microfluidics.

Professor Pawliszyn will be presented with his award at a ceremony on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 as part of the 255th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans.

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