Mass Spectrometry in Homeland Protection

June 1, 2009
Helen A. Castro

E-Separation Solutions

For those of you who have not yet had a chance to read Spectroscopy and LCGC?s "Homeland Security" supplement (www.spectroscopyonline.com), Tuesday morning's "Mass Spectrometry in Homeland Protection" session should provide a nice overview of the topic.

For those of you who have not yet had a chance to read Spectroscopy and LCGC’s “Homeland Security” supplement (www.spectroscopyonline.com), Tuesday morning’s “Mass Spectrometry in Homeland Protection” session should provide a nice overview of the topic.

Opening the session will be Catherine Fenselau of the University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland), who will discuss “Mass Spectrometry in Biodefense.” Her talk will focus on how well modern mass spectrometry works for this critical application.

The next talk will be delivered by Karen L. Wahl of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Washington), and is titled “Mass Spectrometric Tools to Determine Ricin Sample Processing Methods.” This presentation will focus on the use of complementary GC–MS and stable isotope analyses to determine that a ricin preparation was extracted with acetone.

Suzanne R. Kalb of the Centers for Disease Control (Atlanta, Georgia) will present “Rapid Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin in a Spiked Sample Through Activity Detection and Proteomics.” The ability to detect and identify neurotoxins quickly is essential, and this talk discusses a method that was used to detect botulinum neorotoxin in a spiked sample within 30 minutes.

The fourth presentation of the morning will be “Rapid Identification of E. coli O157:H7 by ‘Top-Down’ Proteomics Using MALDI-TOF-TOF Mass Spectrometry.” Discussing this topic is Clifton K. Fagerquist of the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (Albany, California).

Following this talk, Erin Johnson of the University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona) will present “The Use of Affinity Capture Mass Spectrometry for Detection of Biomarker Proteins and Biological Warfare Agents.” This technique is a new surface development for rapid biomarker extraction for to assess bacterial contamination.

Rounding out this session is “Bioaerosol Detection Using MALDI Ion Mobility and Mass Spectrometry,” delivered by Juaneka M. Hayes of Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana). The collection and detection of bioaerosols using a particle inlet will be discussed.