Torun Triumph: ISC 2012 Review

December 21, 2012

LCGC Europe eNews

The 29the world gathering of the International Symposium on Chromatography (ISC) and the 18th International Symposium on Separation Science (ISSS) took place in Toru?, Poland in September 2012 and was supported by the cream of chromatography associations across Europe. Professor Boguslaw Buszewski, Chairman of ISC 2013 and President of EuSSS, CeGSS and Polish Chemical Society reveals the highlights of this year?s illuminating programme.

The 29th world gathering of the International Symposium on Chromatography (ISC) and the 18th International Symposium on Separation Science (ISSS) took place in Toruń, Poland in September 2012 and was supported by the cream of chromatography associations across Europe. Professor Boguslaw Buszewski, Chairman of ISC 2012 and President of EuSSS, CeGSS and Polish Chemical Society reveals the highlights of this year’s illuminating programme.

The motto adopted for the 29th International Symposium on Chromatography (29th ISC-Torun’12) and the 18th International Symposium on Separation Sciences (ISSS’2012) was Chromatography and Separation Science: Past, Today, Future. The event was held at Nicolaus Copernicus University (UMK Toruń), Toruń, Poland, and hosted scientists from over 58 countries.

Day One

The meeting commenced with a piano concerto performance by Paweł Wakarecy from Toruń, a finalist in the 2011 International Chopin Piano Competition, followed by a brief presentation by Dr Michal Targowski on the history and current significance of Toruń in culture and science. The symposium was ceremonially opened by Professor Jacek Guliński, deputy minister of science and higher education of Poland; Piotr Całbecki marshal of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland; Zbigniew Rasielewski, the deputy mayor of Toruń; and Professor Andrzej Tretyn, Rector Magnificus of the UMK Toruń. Following the opening speeches, an award ceremony took place and laureates received their awards:

Professor Pat Sandra from the Research Institute for Chromatography, Kortrijk, Belgium received an award from the European Society of Separation Scientists (EuSSS); Dr. Virginia Coman of Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania was awarded by the Central European Group of Separation Scientists (CEGSS); and Professor Attila Felinger of the University of Pecs, Hungary and Professor Jacek Nawrocki of Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland were awarded by the Committee on Chromatographic Analysis of Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS).

639 scientists attended and there were fifteen plenary lectures, 6 thematic presentations, 45 presentations arranged in thematic sections and 15 reports by young researchers. More than 42% of the participants were from this younger category.

Dr Gerard Rozing from Waldbronn, Germany presided over 609 poster presentations reviewed by 44 international specialists. Leading topics focused on issues where chemistry, biology and medicine overlap – or “omics”. Many of the presentations discussed HILIC. The scientific programme of the event was rich and varied and resulted in fascinating post-conference debates.

Nobel Prize Laureate — Professor Ada Yonath of Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel-Aviv, Israel — presented the opening lecture which highlighted recent achievements in research on ribosomes, delineating the topics dominating ISC and ISSS this year.

Professor Gunther Bonn from the University of Innsbruck, Austria gave a presentation on the practical aspects arising from the introduction of a new generation of columns and packing materials in biomolecule analysis, while Professor Vadim Davankov from the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow described developments in chromatographic analysis of polymers and biopolymers, particularly the synthesis of superporous packings.

Day Two

The second day of the conference commenced with three lectures introducing sessions devoted to electromigration methods, biomarkers and new solutions in the analysis of phospholipids and fatty acids. Professor Pat Sandra presented a new approach to determining lipids and phospholipids by combined chromatography methods; Professor Yoshinobu Baba from Nagoya University, Japan, described an original approach to analysis of cell proteomes using chip technology and nanodevices, with potential diagnostic applications; and Professor Frantisek Švec from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, spoke about a new technology to prepare polymer monolithic columns for HPLC, particularly suited for separating low-weight biomolecules.

New theoretical concepts and applications of electromigration methods for the analysis of biologically active substances were the subject of a series of presentations by Dr. Vaclav Kasicka from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague, Professor Douglas Westerlund from Uppsala University, Sweden and Professor Danilo Corradini from Italian National Research Council, Italy.

A parallel session was devoted to discussing the search for markers and biomarkers used in early cancer detection. These developments were possible because of the introduction of new selective packing and in medical and pharmaceutical analysis. Lectures presented by Professor Tyge Greibrokk from the University of Oslo (Norway), Professor John Lough from the University of Sunderland, UK, Professor Jeremy Glennon from University College Cork, Ireland, and Professor Matthew R. Linford from Brigham Young University, USA, also focused on these issues.

A new conference feature, “Tutorial Lectures” given by authorities on separation sciences, was introduced to the programme. The first speaker was Professor Klaus. K. Unger from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany, on silica chemistry and its possible uses in liquid chromatography; the second was Professor Stellan Hjerten from Uppsala University, Sweden, on a new approach to the interaction theory in the interpretation of phenomena occurring during separation of analytes with varied structure and properties.

As is customary at every ISC series symposium, a session devoted to the present and future of gas chromatography and its industrial applications was included in the programme. A number of innovative solutions could be found in papers by Professor Tadeusz Górecki from University of Waterloo in Canada presenting a new approach to two-dimensional gas chromatography; Professor Jacek A. Koziel from Iowa State University, USA discussing multidimensional gas chromatography; and Professor Adam Voelkel from Poznań University of Technology, Poland discussing inverse gas chromatography.

This type of chromatography was also discussed by Professor Jacek Namieśnik from Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland in reference to green chromatography); Professor Antonius A. Kettrup from Technical University of Munich, Germany discussed chromatography in terms of sustainability and application in industry control; Professor Waldemar Wardencki from Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland discussed the applications of gas chromatography in the food industry and Dr. S.K. Panda from EXPEC Advanced Research Center, Saudi Arabia discussed the application of GC to control petrochemical processes.

Another key topic discussed was sample preparation and the development of a new generation of materials and equipment using miniaturization and automatization. An overview of developments in food processing control and in isolation and enriching of biological samples was offered by Professor Valerie Pichon and Dr. F. Brothier from ESPCI ParisTech, France; Dr. Luke Chimuka from Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa; Professor Jozef Lehotay from Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava and Małgorzata Szultka from UMK Toruń.

These presentations mainly concentrated on development and application of a new generation of sorption materials for SPE of the Molecular Imprinted Polymer type.

Day Three

This topic continued the following day, beginning with a lecture by Professor Janusz Pawliszyn from University of Waterloo, Canada, who presented a new approach to in vivo sample preparation methodology. Bioseparation of selected DNA forms was the subject of a paper by Professor Michael Lämmerhofer from the University of Tuebingen, Germany and an original concept of multidimensional LC HYPERformat was described in its theoretical and practical aspect by Professor Peter J. Schoenmakers from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

New theoretical and practical solutions emerged also in presentations on usefulness of multidimensional methods in determining biologically active substances, such as blood components, drugs or microorganisms, by Professor Karl-Siegfried Boos. Determining such substances often requires application of specific, sensitive detectors, described by Professor Thomas Welsch from the Ulm University, Germany; Professor Mihkel Kaljurand from Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia; Professor Ewa Cukrowska from Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa; Professor Frantisek Foret from the Institute of Analytical Chemistry in Brno, Czech Republic; Professor Mirek Macka from University of Tasmania, Australia; and Professor Wolfgang Buchberger from Johannes Kepler University in Linz , Austria.

The next two topical lectures were devoted to determining polymers and biopolymers and were given by Professor Pier Giorgio Righetti from Politecnico di Milano, Italy; and Professor Dusan Berek from Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava; Slovakia. Professor Righetti expressively presented issues concerning application of biopolymers as potential cancer markers, while Professor Berek spoke on thermodynamics of polymers and methods of their determination. In turn, Prof. S. Fanali from the Institute of Chemical Methodologies (C.N.R.) in Montelibretti, Italy focused on drug residues analysis in food.

Professor Georges Guiochon, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA, presented a new theoretical concept regarding supercritical fluid chromatography applications. Professor Roman Kaliszan from the Medical University of Gdańsk presented a thermodynamic approach to retention mechanisms in liquid chromatography and Professor Pavel Jandera from the University of Pardubice, Czech Republic, outlined the developments in programming different types of multidimensional liquid chromatography (HPLC, UPLC). Subsequently, the theoretical aspects of solvation processes and their influence on retention mechanism in RP and HILIC mode were presented by Professor Attila Felinger from University of Pecs, Hungary; Professor Ulrich Tallarek from the Philipp-University of Marburg, Germany; Dr. Szymon Bocian from UMK Toruń; and Dr. Georg Schuster from the University of Vienna, Austria.

The influence of stationary phase properties on the selectivity of separation process was described in the presentations of Joseph J. Pesek from San Jose State University, USA; Professor Bezhan Chankvetadze from Tbilisi State University, USA; Professor Masami Shibukawa from Saitama University, Japan; and Professor Gregorio R. Meira from the National University of the Littoral, Argentina.

The introduction of new methods and procedures as a way of searching for new directions again formed a bridge between theory and practice and opened new possibilities in electromigration methods ( Professor Ewa Dąbek- Złotorzyńska, Environment Canada, Ottawa); ion-exchange methods ( Professor Rajmund S. Dybczyński, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Warsaw, Poland) or supercritical fluid chromatography methods ( Professor Donald P. Poe, University of Minnesota Duluth, USA, and Professor Krzysztof Kaczmarski, (Rzeszów University of Technology).

Each of these methods requires visualization and modeling to help our understanding of diffusion, adsorption and mass transport during separation process, Her presentation concentrated on chemometrics and modeling. The next topical lecture, by Professor Hartmut Frank from the University of Bayreuth, Germany, focused on uses of combined chromatographic techniques in environment monitoring.

The closing session featured a lecture from Professor Bingcheng Lin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian, focusing on the use of miniaturization and nanotechnology in determining biofluids; and a theoretical description of applying stochastic theory to describing dynamic processes in chromatography by Professor Francesco Dondi from the University of Ferrara, Italy.

A novel approach to the separation of chiral analytes (potential medicines) by supercritical fluid chromatography was outlined by Professor Wolfgang Lindner from the University of Vienna, Austria. The session was both the summary of the three days of this conference and a promise of the next symposium.

As mentioned above, an important part complement of lectures and presentations were poster presentations. A panel of experts selected the best posters and gave the following awards:

  • The award of European Society for Separation Science was given to Abhinav Kumar from the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK, for the work: “A study of the retention mechanism and biomedical applications of hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC)”.

  • The award of HPLC2013 in Amsterdam was given to Claudia Ernst from the Leipzig University, Germany, for “Chip electrochromatography coupled to mass-spectrometric detection by monolithically integrated nanospray emitter”.

  • The award of Central European Group for Separation Sciences was given to Małgorzata Szultka from UMK Toruń for the report “Application of LC–MSn to human pharmacokinetics studies using MISPME in vivo blood sampling technique”.

  • The awards of Shimadzu Corporation were given to Szabolcs Fekete from the University of Geneva for the poster: “The effect of ultra-pressure on the retention properties in RP-HPLC: from small to very large analytes (biomolecules)”; to Patrycja Puchalska from the University of Alcala, Spain, for the report “Development of a new HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS methodology for the simultaneous determination of three highly antihypertensive peptides in maize crops”; to Danuta Dudzik from the CEU San Pablo University (Spain) for the work “Metabolic fingerprinting of cord blood in gestational diabetes mellitus with LC-QTOF-MS”; to Justyna Płotka from the Gdańsk University of Technology for the work “GC-MS and multi-dimensional NMR analysis for the chiral investigation of chloro-intermediates of methylamphetamine”; to Albert Szparaga from Military Aircraft Maintenance Centre no. 2 in Bydgoszcz and UMK Toruń for the report “SPLITT-FFF — an effective way to preconcentrate analytes in environmental samples”; to Tibor Müllner from the University of Marburg, Germany, for the work “Reconstruction and morphological characterization of analytical columns packed with sub-2 µm particles”.

  • The awards of the publishing house Taylor & Francis were given to Charlene Pouech from the National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris (France) for the work “A sensitive, specific and selective multi-residue analytical method using SPE-HPLC-MS/MS for the analysis of additives and degradation products at trace levels into solutions in contact with plastic packing”; to Mariusz Koc from the University of Warsaw for the poster “Gas chromatography determination of total organic fluorine”; to Grzegorz Kiełbowicz from the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences for the work “Positional analysis of phospholipids via LC with a charged aerosol detector”.

  • The awards of the publishing house Springer were given to Sylwia Noga from UMK Toruń for the work “Solvation process in hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC)”; to Magdalena Matczuk from the Warsaw University of Technology for the work “CE–ICP-MS examinations of possible intracellular transformations of ruthenium-based anticancer drug”; to Katarzyna Michalska from the University of Gdańsk for the work “Determination of biapenem and related substances in medicinal product by stacking in micellar electrokinetic chromatography”.

  • The awards of the magazine Laboratorium - Przegląd Ogólnopolski were given to Anna Gonciarz from Jagiellonian University of Krakow for the work “Capillary electrophoresis as one of the separation methods used in drug-protein binding studies”; to Magdalena Buszewska-Forajta from the Medical University of Gdańsk for the work “An LC-MS/MS method development for the simultaneous determination of tocopherols and tocotrienols in human serum”; to Katarzyna Witkoś from the Warsaw University of Technology for the work “Fading of natural dyes: separation and identification of degradation products by using capillary HPLC UV-Vis ESI MS/MS”; to Magdalena Kupska from the Gdańsk University of Technology for the work “Prototype of electronic nose for botanical origin assessment of Polish honeys”; to Joanna Raczak-Gutknecht from the Medical University of Gdańsk for the work “Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP's) as selective sorbents for extraction of cocaine and its metabolite benzoylecgonine from aqueous samples.”

Closing Ceremony

During the closing ceremony, award winners received their awards and diplomas, and the Chairman of the Organizing Committee expressed his gratitude towards all those who contributed to the success of this event. The Organizing Committee of 29th ISC also announced the purchase of an ASTROLABIUM statuette, marked with the locations and times of all the 29 symposiums to date. This symbol of our cooperation for the advancement of chromatography will be given to Professor Wolfgang Buchberger, the chairman of the scientific committee of the 30th ISC, which will be held in Salzburg, Austria, in 2014.

Accompanying the conference was a series of meetings of the following institutions, working towards popularizing analytic chemistry and development of separation methods: ISC Permanent Committee, EuSSS, CEGSS and IUPAC. Each of which summarized their past activities and formulated future plans.

Social Programme

Yet chromatography did not solely occupy the minds of the participants: As well as learning and debating, there was time set aside for relaxing and socializing. The organizers provided a variety of attractions, ranging from Mr. Wakarecy’s recital and Multicamerata, the String Quartet of the Torunian Symphony Orchestra concert directed by Henryk Giza to performances of bands playing Polish and Gypsy folk music. A boat trip on the Vistula River gave the lecturers a chance to tighten bonds. The gala dinner, sponsored by the Mayor of Toruń Michał Zalewski and hosted in the beautiful walls of Artus Mansion, was accompanied by performances by Mariusz Lubomski and the excellent swing band, Józef Eliasz.

The conference programme included guided trips to explore the Gothic Old Town; an investigation of gingerbread-making techniques; following the footsteps of Nicholas Copernicus; visits to the old castles of the Teutonic Knights; and visiting the places where Poland, its history and tradition were shaped by historical events.


The organization body was formed by collaboration between the Permanent Scientific Committee of ISC, the Polish Chemical Society (PTChem), the Committee on Analytical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the European Society for Separation Science (EuSSS), the Central European Group for Separation Sciences (CEGSS) and UMK Toruń. Honorary patronage was given to Professor Barbara Kudrycka, the minister of science and higher education of Poland. Professor Bogusław Buszewski, president of EuSS, CEGSS and PTChem of UMK Toruń chaired the International Science Committee, with the support of his co-workers, doctoral students and graduate student volunteers from the Chair of Environmental Chemistry and Bioanalytics UMK. Leading sponsors of the 29th ISC were Agilent Technology (California, USA), Shimadzu (Duisburg, Germany), Thermo (California, USA), LECO (Missouri, USA) and Waters (Massachusetts, USA). Media patronage was provided by the periodicals LC-GC, Chromatography Today, Analityka and Laboratorium.

Useful Links:

The Chromatography society

ISC 2012 Poster Awards