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Using functional polymers in porous structures for transport control

Switchable nanochannels - von Ass. Prof. Dr. Annette Andrieu-Brunsen

Can molecular transport be controlled by nanoscale pores? In both human technology and Nature, many transport and separation processes are based on pores and porous materials. If transport needs to be time-controlled and separation based not merely on size, it becomes necessary to combine pores of a certain size with switchable chemical functions or polymers.

What can analytics tell us?

Nanoparticles in food - von Dr Philipp Brüning

Over the last few years, legislation specifically governing the handling of nanomaterials (NMs) has been steadily expanded within the EU (Fig. 1). ­One example is the Food Information Regulation, which requires that food ingredients in the form of “engineered nanomaterials” must be clearly indi­cated in the list of ingredients. To produce accurate labelling – and to inspect and assess this labelling – clear definitions are required, alongside...

Organic electronics for sensor applications

Served on a chip - von Dr Michael Thomschke

Intelligent, portable medical equipment is essential for the provision of rapid and straightforward point-of-care patient diagnostics. In an emergency, lab-on-chip applications in portable devices can help to save valuable time and cut the costs of clinical laboratory analysis. Other application areas in non-invasive medical monitoring such as pulse oximetry also stand to benefit [1].

Tracking down the secrets of photosynthesis

Mini solar power stations - von Prof. Dr Athina Zouni, Prof. Dr Frank Müh

During photosynthesis, water is converted into oxygen, transforming sunlight ­into ­chemically usable energy. The precise details of the mechanisms behind this solar-­powered splitting of water remain ­unknown and are now being ­investigated with advanced techniques in structural analysis. ­­This work ­requires the availability of high-quality crystals of the all-important protein complex, photosystem II, whose ­ growth poses several challenges...

Brain models in 3D

labor&more in conversation with Dr Madeline Lancaster, winner of the Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators 2014

US research scientist Dr Madeline A. Lancaster (Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Juergen Knoblich lab, Institute for Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna) has been presented with the Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators 2014 in recognition of her outstanding achievements in research.

Complex API delivery

Cellular transport proteins and API transport - von Prof. Gert Fricker, Dr. Anne Mahringer

A medicine's potency often depends on the concentration of its active ingredient (API) at the target site. Medicines are usually delivered remotely to this target site, however. The API must first dissolve and traverse local barriers such as the intestinal wall before it can enter the bloodstream and then reach its target site. For a long time, work in this area was guided by the dogma that API diffusion was the force driving absorption by the body...

The analytica China Conference offers solution approaches for contamination of all kinds

Science we need

The People's Republic of China faces a number of challenges such as in the production and packaging of food, the quality control of drugs, air pollution in large cities, and diseases of modern society such as diabetes mellitus. These and other topics will be the focus of this year's analytica China Conference, the title of which is "Analytical chemistry – Science we need". The conference takes place in Shanghai at the same time as analytica China,...

Near-infrared spectroscopy in pharmaceutical analysis

Good vibrations - von Dr Alfred Steinbach, Staphanie Kappes

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is based on the absorption of ­radiation by matter. Not only does the versatile technique allow ­­the parallel identification of substances (active agents, excipients, ­contaminants), it is also suited to monitor processes such as blending, granulation, and drying.

Nano Crystals for mega Fluorescence Amplification

SuperNova in the test tube - von Prof Dr Reinhard Renneberg, Jan Engels, Dr Hans-Georg Eisenwiener

We tell the exciting story of how mega ­fluorescence amplification was ­invented. ­
First, there was the question: How can ­previous biochemical evidence reactions ­be ­amplified million-fold to detect the bio­­chemical “needles in a haystack” (substances ­at very low concentrations) in a multicomponent system like a blood sample?

Pharmaceutical counterion determination

House lights down, stage lights up - von Dr Frank Steiner, Dr Carsten Paul, Dr Mark Tracy

In contemporary practice, roughly half of all active pharmaceutical ­ingredients (APIs) are administered as salts. The use of the protonated ­or deprotonated form of the drug substance combined with the selection of counterions enables the targeted variation of key parameters, such as solubility and stability. Analysis of the corresponding counterions constitutes an essential part of the development process for new pharmaceuticals and is now an...

Biowastes: a new feedstock for the chemicals industry

Valuable Waste - von Dr Mark Gronnow, Dr Margaret Smallwood

The chemicals industry has been wedded to fossil resources for the ­past hundred and fifty years, but times are a-changing. As the price of ­oil ­increases inexorably and environmental impact rises on the policy and regulatory agenda, industry leaders are starting to exploit new, more ­sustainable feedstocks for the manufacture of fuel and chemicals. Squarely in the frame as potential feedstocks are the vast tonnages of ­biowastes produced each...

Data Visualization in Medicinal Chemistry

Hiking Trails in Activity Landscapes - von Prof. Dr Jürgen Bajorath

The massive growth of compound activity data provides opportunities and challenges for medicinal chemistry. Conventional approaches for the analysis of structure-­activity relationships (SARs) are not suitable for the exploration and exploitation of this unprecedented knowledge base. Recently, new computational methodologies have been introduced for large-scale SAR analysis that put emphasis on visualization to provide an intuitive access to complex...

labor&more in interview with prize-winning scientist Dr. Ben Lehner

‘Luckily, Individuals Turn out to Be Different.’

Why are individuals different? Why do the same mutations in the genome have different effects on different individuals? Why does one twin get sick when another does not? How do sicknesses come about through the combination of different mutations? These are the questions which British scientist Dr Ben Lehner – ICREA Research Professor, EMBL-CRG ­Systems Biology Unit, at the Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG) in Barcelona – investigates in his...

The earliest plasma marker for myocardial infarction

Fabulous FABP - von Prof Dr Reinhard Renneberg, Prof. Dr Jan F.C. Glatz

The application of Fatty Acid-Binding Protein (FABP) as a plasma marker for the diagnosis of acute myo­cardial infarction was first suggested in 1988. Currently, FABP is proven to have added value for the diagnosis­ of patients presenting with chest pain suggestive of myocardial infarction, especially in the early hours after onset of symptoms. The routine application of FABP for this purpose not only will improve patient outcome but also markedly...

Chemical synthesis of vaccines

An anti-cancer jab? - von Prof. Dr Horst Kunz, Sebastian Hartmann, Björn Palitzsch

*Vaccinations against disease: a blessing for humanity*
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