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2019 SIFT-MS Interest Group Meeting: Day 2 Round-Up

As promised, we move onto a round-up of the second and final day of the 2019 SIFT-MS Interest Group Meeting. After much discussion about the various fruits of the ocean (and vineyards) enjoyed at Tuesday nights dinner, our esteemed guests were back at their tables drinking noticeable larger volumes of coffee and water than Tuesday morning. If you’re reading this you are likely more scientifically adept than I am so conclude from that what you will.

Mark Perkins kicked us back off with his talk on Validated SIFT-MS Methods. People working in the separation sciences understand the importance of method validation; you need to be able to demonstrate the robustness of the method you’re using. SIFT-MS is no different.

Mark argues that beyond the tautological and obvious reason of validating your method, method validation for SIFT-MS is doubly important because the technology itself hasn’t yet been as robustly and comprehensively proven than GC/LC-MS. Hopefully that makes sense… If it doesn’t, there’ll soon be a video of the whole talk so you won’t have to rely on my rambling attempt at an explanation.

Next up was Thomas Bacquart from National Physical Laboratory in Middlesex. Thomas gave an enlightening presentation on his analysis on testing for low level impurities in hydrogen. Thomas uses the high sensitivity of his SIFT-MS to look for things like hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, formic acid and formaldehyde. Put simply, if your hydrogen isn’t pure enough, it’s going to poison your car. Hydrogen fuel cells have seen massive growth in recent years so it follows that finding out what could poison your car is increasingly important. You know the drill – a video will follow in the coming days/weeks.

Colin ran us through the 14 multi-port inlet and the impact it’s due to have on process monitoring. Read more about that here in Mark’s blog post.

Before a sandwich and brownie based lunch, Vaughan took to the podium once more to take us through Thermal Desorption for SIFT-MS (TD SIFT-MS). This is going to be hugely significant for breath, vehicle interior air quality, remote sampling, sample storage and many more things that we’ll probably only find out at next years group meeting. TD SIFT-MS gives you all the benefits of trapping and Thermal Desorption while coupling it with significant throughput gains and the ability to analyse difficult compounds that SIFT-MS affords.

While talking to Vaughan over a smoked salmon sandwich, he kindly laid out its practical application in breath analysis by linking it to Michaels talk on Day 1. In theory, this would allow doctors screening for something like liver disease to take breath samples in their surgeries, store then send them for analysis in a matter of hours. Exciting stuff.

After lunch we had a group wide discussion about the things everyone had learned from the variety of speakers. If you want to benefit from such discussion, you’d better sign up for next year because you can’t expect to give it all away in two blog posts. We’ll get nailed down details before Christmas but if you sign up now, we’ll give you a 20% early bird discount off the £119+ VAT fee. Do it now on

Anatune would like to thank all of those who came and contributed to what we think was a successful meeting. It goes without saying that without the people who kindly give up their time to share their work, these events wouldn’t be possible. Equally, we were delighted with the thoughtful and challenging questions that our attendees contributed. You are all awesome.

If you have any questions about anything you’ve heard about or anything you didn’t, call our Cambridge office on +44 (0)1223 279210 or email us. We’re always at the end of the phone.

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