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  • Pittcon Adds Nanotech Symposia
Feb 2009
CHICAGO, Feb. 23, 2009 -- Fifty-five symposia, more than 100 short courses, 15 workshops, 111 oral sessions, 80 poster sessions and 14 new product forums will be featured during the 60th annual Pittsburgh Conference and Exposition on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, the most comprehensive annual meeting on laboratory science in the world. Pittcon 2009, taking place March 8-13 at McCormick Place, will also feature a full-day symposium on nanotechnology for the first time.PittconMcCormickPlace.jpg
McCormick Place in Chicago, location of Pittcon 2009, the most comprehensive annual meeting on laboratory science in the world. (Photo: Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau)
The Windy City will host the event, which is expected to draw more than 20,000 attendees representing nearly 100 countries. Pittcon 2008 drew 19,536 -- a significant increase over attendance in both 2006 and 2007 -- and featured more than 2800 technical presentations. Last year's event attracted 1110 companies occupying 2457 booths; this year 1100 companies are expected to occupy 2244 booths.

Pittcon 2009's technical program will include invited symposia, organized contributed oral sessions, workshops, new product forums and poster sessions. Major focus areas of the program include: bioanalytical chemistry, biomedicine, informatics, microfluidics, nanotechnology, homeland security, mass spectrometry, applied molecular spectroscopy, food analysis and regulatory affairs, pharmaceutical science and education.

Complementing the technical program this year are four special symposia, two presented by the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) and two by The Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry and Japan Analytical Instruments Manufacturers' Association (JAIMA).

The SAS Atomic Spectroscopy Symposium will address current topics in the field of atomic spectroscopy. Within the family of atomic spectroscopy, the techniques are considered mature and are some of the most widely used in the analytical laboratory. With maturity, the focus of research lies in increased efficiency, versatility, overcoming problematic interferences and improved detection limits of the instruments and the methodologies. Speakers include James Holcombe, University of Texas at Austin; David Hahn, University of Florida; Joseph Caruso, University of Cincinnati; Gary Hieftje, Indiana University; and John Olesik, Ohio State University.

The SAS Vibrational Spectroscopy Symposium will discuss "Developments in Vibrational Spectroscopy: Where Do We Go From Here?" The techniques of near- and mid-infrared and Raman spectroscopy are ubiquitous throughout almost all fields requiring analytical characterization of many different types of sample. The specialized presentations in this symposium, after briefly reflecting on each technique's evolution and its present state-of-the-art, will focus primarily on what we may anticipate from each technique, both technologically and in its application evolution over the next 5-10 years. Speakers include Katherine Bakeev, GlaxoSmithKline (NIR); Richard McCreery, University of Alberta (Raman); Peter Griffiths, University of Idaho (FTIR); Michael Claybourn, Astrazeneca (THz); and Rohit Bhargava, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Imaging).

The two JAIMA symposia will present state-of-the-art analytical instruments both with and for research and development of nanotechnology. The first session provides a unique opportunity for networking between Pittcon attendees and leading Japanese scientists such as Takehiko Kitamori, Yoshinobu Baba, Motoichi Ohtsu, Takashi Ito and Yutaka Takahashi.

The second symposium will introduce the application of the research of nanotechnology using the state-of-the-art analytical instruments in electron microscopy and spectroscopy such as multielemental STEM tomography and display type analyzer for direct observation of 3-D atomic and electronic structures. Speakers include Hiroshi Daimon, Xiao Feng Zhang, Michael Kersker, David Surman and Adam Gilmore.

Pittcon09.jpgDr. George M. Whitesides of Harvard University is the Pittcon 2009 plenary lecturer. Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, will discuss the challenging problems posed in developing countries and the "simple solutions" applied to the idea of using the science of the developed economies to address their needs, specifically in the context of medical diagnostics.

His presentation, "Paper Diagnostics -- Using First World Science in Developing Economies," to be held March 8 at 4:30 p.m., will address how close one can come to "Zero-cost Diagnostics," with a focus on two new technologies: microfluidic systems based on patterned paper and microanalytical systems using magnetic levitation.

The 20th annual James L. Waters Symposium, which recognizes pioneers in the development of analytical instrumentation, will be held March 9 at 1:30 p.m to recognize the important contributions of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to the world of analytical chemistry. NIRS has flourished and expanded from the agricultural realm over the years to include pharmaceutical, process control, remote imaging and other diverse applications.

Featured speakers include: Peter Flinn, Kelspec Services Pty Ltd., "Near Infrared Spectroscopy: From Sleeper to Activist;" Phil Williams, "The Introduction of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to the World of Commerce;" Karl Norris, USDA, "In the Beginning Was: Visible and IR Spectroscopy;" Robert A. Lodder, University of Kentucky Medical Center, "Modern Applications of Near-Infrared Spectrometry;" and Franklin "Woody" Barton, USDA, "NIR - A Journey in Learning."

Pittcon will also feature the presentation of 11 prestigious awards recognizing the significant contributions of leaders in the fields of analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy.

Receiving the 2009 Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of analytical chemistry through the development of nanoparticle-based biodetection strategies, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography and contributions in supramolecular chemistry will be Dr. Chad A. Mirkin, director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, the George B. Rathmann professor of chemistry, professor of medicine and professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University.

The Ralph N. Adams Award will be presented to Dr. R. Graham Cooks, Henry B. Hass distinguished professor of analytical chemistry, Purdue University. Cooks' group focuses on mass spectrometry, most notably in fundamental phenomena, instrumentation and analytical applications. He will present his group's most recent work in desorption electrospray ionization (DESI), which allows mass spectra to be obtained almost anywhere at ambient temperatures. The research is expected to lead to the commercial development of a miniature mass spectrometer that could enable rapid tissue analyses in situ during surgery.

Dr. Gary M. Hieftje will receive the Maurice F. Hasler Award given to recognize notable achievements in spectroscopy that have significantly improved applications on a broad scale. The distinguished professor and Mann chair of chemistry at Indiana University will be recognized for his outstanding contributions to atomic spectroscopy for over 40 years. He has previously won awards in the fields of analytical chemistry and spectroscopy, and he is the author of more than 500 publications, 10 books and 15 patents.

Last year 27 networking sessions were offered to attendees, providing opportunities to engage in scientific discussion with their peers. This year, Pittcon will offer 35 free networking sessions in a range of topics. These will include: "Breath Tests for Detection of Disease," "HPLC of Soluble and Membrane Proteins," "Sample Preparation: The Do's and Don'ts to Determine the Correct Approach and Optimization of a Method," and "Ultra-High-Pressure LC: Benefits, Practice and Potential Issues."

Nearly 1100 exhibitors will be featured during the Pittcon 2009 Exposition March 9-12. They will showcase the most recent advances in analytical and spectroscopic instrumentation and laboratory products. Opportunities for hands-on demonstrations and technical discussions with the developers and technical experts will be offered on topics including bioanalytical chemistry, pharmaceutical science and drug discovery chemistry, nanotechnology, environmental analysis, forensics, food analysis and homeland security.

The 673,000-sq-ft exposition floor will include 2244 booths, 43 seminar rooms, two complimentary mixers, and four specialized areas: New Exhibitor, Life Sciences, Laboratory Informatics, and the Green Corner. New this year, the Green Corner features exhibitors who offer environmental-friendly products and services.

Pittcon 2009 will also host a program of activities from the Science Week Committee to support and enhance science education in the Chicago area. A variety of activities and opportunities will be available to teachers, students and science educators. These will include a science equipment grants, teacher and student workshops and a high school lecture and demonstration event.

Pittcon is organized by The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, a nonprofit organization co-sponsored by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh. It is co-programmed by the American Chemical Society-Division of Analytical Chemistry.

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mass spectrometry
An instrumental technique that utilizes the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles as recorded from a mass spectrometer in order to determine the mass of a particle as well as the chemical makeup, or elemental ionic composition of a given sample or molecule.
The use of atoms, molecules and molecular-scale structures to enhance existing technology and develop new materials and devices. The goal of this technology is to manipulate atomic and molecular particles to create devices that are thousands of times smaller and faster than those of the current microtechnologies.
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