Analytica 2018 Event Preview

February 16, 2018
Susanne Grödl
The Column

Volume 14, Issue 2

Analytica will take place from 10–13 April 2018 at the Messe München, in Munich, Germany. The Analytica conference is Analytica’s scientific highlight and will take place at the International Congress Center (ICM) from 10–12 April 2018. The increasing digitization in the laboratory and the handling of the resulting flood of data are big focus this year. This preview will shed more light on what to expect.

Analytica will take place from 10–13 April 2018 at the Messe München, in Munich, Germany. The Analytica conference is Analytica’s scientific highlight and will take place at the International Congress Center (ICM) from 10–12 April 2018. The increasing digitization in the laboratory and the handling of the resulting flood of data are big focus this year. This preview will shed more light on what to expect.

From clinical mass spectrometry to novel pollutants in foodstuffs to process analytics, the Analytica conference builds a bridge from research to applications using modern chemical and bioanalytical technologies. This year, the increasing automation and digitization of analytics is the common leitmotif of all conference days: What does having to process thousands and more samples every hour mean for laboratory management? Can the resulting data flood be reliably evaluated and managed at all? These and many other questions will be discussed at the Analytica conference by renowned scientists from all over the world.

Chromatography and Spectroscopy

With full-day symposia on chromatography and spectroscopy, new developments in instrumental analytics remain at the core of the Analytica conference. Highlights for spectroscopists will certainly include the presentation by Gary Hieftje from Indiana University, Bloomington: Under the title “ICP-AES: Is the End Near?”, Hieftje not only describes the disadvantages of inductively coupled plasma in atomic emission spectroscopy, but also presents a new, microwave-assisted plasma source called Micap.

The fact that the combination of spectroscopic and imaging techniques is becoming more and more popular is highlighted, among other things, in the symposium “ABC Spotlight on Bio- and Environmental Analysis”. For example, Christoph Krafft from the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology in Jena uses tissue sections and other biomedical samples to explain the advantages of Raman imaging, which supplements microscopic images with chemical information.

From Multi-Omics to Urine Screening

In biosciences, “multi-omics” is the word. Lectures on the analysis of proteomes, genomes, and metabolomes will take place on all conference days. The multi-omics symposium, organized by lipidomics expert Robert Ahrends from the Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences in Dortmund (Germany), will discuss which methods can be used to capture the various “omes” in parallel.

The session “Big Data Tools for Omics”, chaired by systems biologist Lennart Martens from the University of Ghent (Belguim), also promises orientation in the data jungle. A series of lectures on microbiome analytics also focuses on big data and aspects of bioinformatics. The session “Omics Tools for Precision Medicine” in turn addresses new bioanalytical methods for personalized medicine. In diagnostics, this year’s conference will focus on the analysis of hormones and on clinical mass spectrometry (MS).

Particularly interesting for forensic analysts is the symposium “Trends in Analytical Toxicology”, chaired by Hans H. Maurer from the University of the Saarland (Germany). Merja Neukamm from the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Freiburg (Germany), will explain how drugs can be detected in the dental material of deceased persons. Maurer himself will address urine screening by means of paper-spray MS.

Environmental Analytics: Microplastics and Other Challenges

The conference also offers a varied programme for environmental analysts. One dedicated lecture series will address perfluorinated compounds. These stable chemicals are used in many products, from fire-extinguishing agents to paper cups, and they contaminate large areas worldwide. Their detection is challenging because for many compounds of this large class there are no analytical standards.

In addition, the pollution of water bodies with microplastics is becoming more and more the focus of attention, and is another topic that the Analytica conference will address. For microplastics screening, Georg Dierckes from the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz (Germany) proposes a “hot ’n’ fast” technique-the combination of pyrolysis, gas chromatography (GC), and MS. Natalia Ivleva from the Technical University of Munich (Germany) extends the range of methods to include Raman micro-spectroscopy, with which she detects the tiny plastic particles, among other things, in the bodies of daphnia.

Airborne pollutants and their effects are the focus of the all-day symposium “Aerosol and Health”, which is chaired by Ralph Zimmermann from the University of Rostock (Germany). Food analysts can look forward to three symposia on the first day of the conference, focusing, among other things, on bioactive substances and novel pollutants in food.

From Big Data to Smart Data

As disparate as the measurement tasks may be, one challenge unites all analysts: Decreasing detection limits and more and more powerful measuring methods, increasing automation, and growing sample throughput rates have caused data volumes to swell. The chemometrics symposium provides information on mathematical and statistical methods that help to analyze vast analytical datasets. In the session “From Big Data to Smart Data”, experts will present novelties from the field of process analytics. Against the background of increasing digitization of industry, the conference organizers of process analytics have allocated space for three symposia this year, including one on new sensors for the control of bioprocesses.

As always, the Analytica conference invites you to think outside the box and allow yourself to be inspired by colleagues from other analytical disciplines, according to the organisers. So why not visit the archeometry symposium, which provides information on measurement technologies in answering archaeological and historical questions

This year’s programme has been compiled once more by the Association of German Chemists (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, GDCh), the Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Gesellschaft für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie, GBM), and the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsmedizin, DGKL).

The Analytica conference will take place from 10–12 April 2018 at the ICM in the immediate vicinity of the exhibition halls and is free of charge for all visitors to Analytica. The full programme and abstracts of the lectures are available at www.analytica.de/conference