R. Graham Cooks from Purdue University gave the opening plenary lecture at LabAutomation 2010. This annual conference, organized by the Association of Laboratory Automation (ALA), has been characterized by steady growth in both exhibitors and delegates for a number of years, largely due to the quality of speakers, such as Graham Cooks.
Cooks has been at the forefront of mass spectrometry (MS) development for a number of decades. He is most well known for his work with Paul ion traps, noted for their simplicity of design, small size and ability for MSn. In his talk, he gave an overview of MS development since J.J. Thomson first developed a mass spectrometer in his Cavendish labs over a 100 years ago. The time line of development traced the development of ion sources from electron impact to electrospray (ESI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption (MALDI); and mass analyzers from sector instruments to fourier transform – ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR).
It was clear from the talk that Cooks believes that MS-detection is in a golden age and is still developing. He pointed to his work with new ambient ionization sources, such as desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and compact mass analyzers based on ion traps that weigh only 11 lbs. He explained that both can be used as the basis for a portable MS that could be used for applications such as testing athletes for performance enhancing substances right on the field before start of play!
Can you believe it?
By, BioTek Instruments