March 17 - 21, 2019
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Industry Overviews

Utilization of Bioanalytical Techniques in the Crime Scene

Forensic evidence has become central to the criminal justice system for establishing the guilt or innocence of potential suspects, tracing the origins of illegal trade and determining whether or not crimes are related.

Such evidence can increase the efficiency of a criminal investigation by narrowing down the search for suspects, which in turn reduces the time needed to bring the perpetrator to justice.


Utilization of Bioanalytical Techniques in the Crime Scene
Forensic evidence has become central to the criminal justice system for establishing the guilt or innocence of potential suspects, tracing the origins of illegal trade and determining whether or not crimes are related.

Current and Future Applications of Bioanalytical Imaging
Analytical instruments serve as invaluable tools in a wide range of scientific disciplines, from clinical research and drug development through to environmental monitoring and food safety.

Analysis and Automation Technologies for Pharmaceutical Research
The journey from bench to bedside is a long one in the world of pharmaceutical research, entailing large expense, complex processes and, often, dead ends. It is estimated that the cost of bringing a new drug to the market is around $2.6 billion and takes at least 10 years.

Environmental Analysis at Pittcon 2018
Contamination and pollution of our air, soil, and water with chemical species resulting from human activities are threats to human health and the environment. Identifying and quantifying substances present in natural environments can give us an insight into the behavior of industry and society, aiding regulatory policy development and enforcement.

Food Safety at Pittcon 2018
A fundamental goal of the food industry is to provide consumers with quality food that is safe to enjoy. There has always been the risk of products becoming contaminated during preparation and so regular food analysis is a routine part of food manufacturing.

Rise of the “Omics”: Analyzing Biological Molecules
‘Omics’ research is the non-targeted and non-biased analysis of a specific biological sample, the findings of which may give rise to hypotheses that can then be tested by further investigations. It incorporates a range of disciplines and sophisticated analytical technologies.

The Latest Advances in Nanotechnology at Pittcon 2018
Nanotechnology has become an increasingly important area of science with many applications.. This article outlines the current trends in nanotechnology, characterization, and regulation, which will be discussed at Pittcon 2018.

Identifying Explosive Materials and Analyzing Post-Explosion Residues – The Rise in Handheld Devices
Explosives, such as gunpowder, have been in use for centuries, but it is only very recently that technology has allowed for the rapid identification of explosive materials in a range of situations.

Miniature Mass Spectrometry Instruments for Biomedical Applications
A multitude of disciplines within the biomedical, chemical, and pharmaceutical fields often rely on mass spectrometry (MS) as a means for identifying compound structure, quantifying metabolites, and measuring molecules in mixtures of varying complexities. This highly sensitive approach for the study of biological systems is also used in drug discovery and is crucial in the development of potentially life-saving therapeutics.

Advances in Genomic Analysis Technologies: An Industry Guide
The structure of DNA was discovered over 60 years ago, yet many mysteries remain on how our genome functions. In order to understand what the genome means we need to know, not just its sequence, but how this relates to phenotype. Our genome is over three billion bases long, meaning that genome sequencing produces vast quantities of data that must be deciphered and, historically, this has been a slow process.

Cannabis Testing: An Industry Guide
Against a background of increasingly liberal cannabis laws, regulators and scientists have been trying to keep pace with cannabis as it has gone from a near-universally illicit substance to a burgeoning industry in just a matter of years.

Latest Advances in Food Safety: an Industry Guide
The deliberate or accidental contamination of food products is a prominent issue with wide-ranging consequences in the 21st century. It can encompass multi-billion-dollar fraud, hazards to public health and even deliberate attempts to harm human life.

Thought Leader Series

Free Radical Formation in Electronic Cigarette Aerosols
An interview with Dr John Richie, Professor of Public Health Sciences & Pharmacology, Penn State College of Medicine, conducted by Stuart Milne, BA.

The Human Microbiome – A New Potential Fingerprint in Forensic Evidence?
An interview with Professor Jack Gilbert, Director of the Microbione Center, University of Chicago, conducted by Alina Shrourou, BSc.

Using Smartphones for Cancer Diagnosis and Management
An interview with Dr Cesar M. Castro, Director of the Cancer Program, MGH Center for Systems Biology & Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, conducted by Alina Shrourou, BSc

Cannabis Quality and Contamination Testing
Cannabis Quality and Contamination Testing: an interview with Bob Clifford, PhD, conducted by Alina Shrourou, BSc

Novel Nanomaterials for Improved Food Safety
Prof. Antje J. Baeumner, University Regensburg, Institute for Analytical Chemistry, talks to AZoNano about her research into novel Nanomaterials for improved food safety.

Why Should We Weigh Every Protein in the Human Body?
It has been announced that you will be doing a talk as part of the “Structural Mass Spectrometry and Top Down Proteomics of Proteoforms and Their Complexes” symposia at Pittcon 2018. Please can you outline the project you are working on and will be discussing during your talk?

Epigenetics: A New Tool for Forensic Detectives
It has been announced that you will be presenting in the “Analytical Methods in Forensic Biology and DNA Analysis” symposium at Pittcon 2018. Why are bioanalytical methods important for forensics?

Genomic analysis technologies: past, present and future
Illumina was founded in 1998. It was based on technology invented by Dr. David Walt that was licensed from Tufts University and formed the basis of our microarray business. The fundamental invention was a unique way to put beads in wells that were created on fiber optic bundles, with the beads being imaged through the fibers.

Advances in optogenetics
Optogenetics is a way of introducing information into the brain using light, it targets specific cells or connections across the brain. It is fast, like brain signaling, and helps you communicate with neural circuitry in a language more similar to what is normally used within the brain.

Solid Phase Micro Extraction
Solid Phase Micro Extraction: Dr. Pawliszyn, University of Waterloo, talks to AZoM about the Solid Phase Micro Extraction and his upcoming talk at Pittcon 2017.

Using spherical nucleic acids to track and treat disease
Using spherical nucleic acids to track and treat disease; An interview with Dr. Chad Mirkin, Northwestern University, conducted by April Cashin-Garbutt, MA (Cantab)

Diagnosing infections through molecules in patient breath
Diagnosing infections through molecules in patient breath; an interview with Dr. Jane Hill, Dartmouth College, conducted by April Cashin-Garbutt, MA (Cantab)

Decoding the exposome through breath biomarkers
Decoding the exposome through breath biomarkers; an interview with Prof. Joachim D. Pleil, US Environmental Protection Agency, conducted by April Cashin-Garbutt, MA (Cantab)

Single molecule detection of proteins in single cells
Single molecule detection of proteins and an introduction to the single molecule array; an interview with Professor David Walt, Tufts University.

Characterizing the brain, cell by cell
Characterizing the brain, cell by cell; an interview with Professor Jonathan Sweedler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Using proteomics to understand Alzheimer’s: an interview with Dr Renã Robinson

Using single-molecule studies to understand cellular processes: an interview with Professor W. E. Moerner

Determining ectopeptidase activity: an interview with Professor Stephen Weber, University of Pittsburgh

Can nanostructured microelectrodes be used to analyze biomarkers?/ An interview with Dr Shana Kelley

Miniaturization of Columns in Chromatography: An Interview with Dr. Milton Lee

Interviews with Pittcon Speakers
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News Medical and AZO Material Articles
Market Highlight: The Outsourcing of Pharmaceuticals

Patent expirations, growth of disease prevalence, and the greater availability of advanced diagnostic procedures have increased the discovery and development of new biopharmaceutical compounds at an exponential rate. Pharmaceutical outsourcing has become a massive industry and represents a key driver behind many of the drugs brought to market today.

Using Mass Spectrometry to Analyze the Aging Population

The complex physiological process of aging represents many problems among rapidly aging populations. One well recognized consequence of aging is degradation of immune function, which is referred to as immunosenescence. (READ MORE)

Identifying Explosive Materials and Analyzing Post-Explosion Residues

The prevention of accidental and intentional explosions is an increasingly prominent global issue that depends on the detection of explosive materials and analysis of post-explosion residues. However, detection of explosive materials can be dangerous due to the imminent threat of explosion, and the potential presence of toxic materials. Therefore, techniques for detecting explosive materials must be fast, efficient and able to operate from a safe distance. (READ MORE)

Analyzing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) In the Environment

The analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is one of the most important topics under discussion at Pittcon 2017 in Chicago. The accurate measurement of VOCs enters numerous scientific arenas from the detection of VOCs as biological markers for cancer cells (health monitoring chemical fingerprint) [1] to monitoring the environment for levels of VOCs deemed harmful to human health [2, 3, 4]. (READ MORE)

Studying Alzheimer’s at Single Cell Resolution

Cells vary considerably within cell populations, including within a particular type of tissue or cell. No two cells have the same response to their surroundings, since each cell’s behavior is dictated by the particular genes it expresses and at what level. This unique gene expression is what controls how the cell performs in the body. (READ MORE)

Combined Imaging and Theranostic Nanoparticles for Neurological Diseases

Neurological diseases are some of the most challenging areas for drug discovery and development. There is significant unmet need in the marketplace, with an associated high degree of disability, lost productivity, and loss of quality of life. (READ MORE)

Cannabis Testing in the Legalization Era

Attitudes towards cannabis have shifted dramatically over the last two decades, and this has been reflected in recent changes to the law in many countries around the world. Just this November, an additional four US states voted to make recreational cannabis use legal, bringing the total to eight, (plus Washington DC). And over half of US states have legalized medicinal cannabis use. (READ MORE)

Technology Brings a New Age in Food Safety and Analysis

Protecting consumers has long been a priority for the food industry, but modern times have changed the specific challenges producers and regulators face when it comes to food safety. Increasing globalization presents new opportunities for food fraud with the potential for billion-dollar payoffs. (READ MORE)

Nanotechnology Advances for Cancer Diagnostics and Nanotherapy

The delivery of drugs and diagnostic markers to cancer tissues has been a major challenge in the development of cancer therapies. Typical delivery methods distribute products throughout the body, affecting healthy and cancerous cells, thereby toxic effects to healthy cells limit the scope and effectiveness of the anticancer therapy. (READ MORE)

X-ray Diffraction Techniques: Ab Initio Structure Determination Via Powder X-Ray Diffraction

X-ray diffraction is a powerful tool for determining the structure of crystalline materials – this is most often used for identification of unknown samples, such as in geology and earth sciences, or for studying protein structures in life sciences. It can also be used to determine the unit cell dimensions of a known crystal, or to measure the purity of a sample. (READ MORE)

Stabilizing lipid bilayer membranes

Ion channels are essential to key cellular processes including signal transduction, osmoregulation and maintenance of the membrane potential. They are therefore the targets of many clinically used drugs. (READ MORE)

Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry for Environmental Analysis

A wide variety of contaminants with the potential to cause harm to humans and animals can make their way into the environment. They can be found in the air, water and soil and may come from sources such as industrial waste, landfill sites, pesticides and pharmaceutical drugs. (READ MORE)

Proteomics: top-down or bottom-up?

Proteomics is playing an increasingly important role in the discovery of disease biomarkers and the identification of new therapeutic targets. Proteomics involves the separation, identification, and quantification of proteins. It also includes the characterization and analysis of proteoforms that arise as a result of post-translational modifications (PTMs) and sequence variants such as mutants and alternatively spliced isoforms. (READ MORE)

Detecting Weak Raman Signals with Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy is a type of vibrational spectroscopy like the more widely used infrared spectroscopy. It measures the way light is scattered by a material. In most cases the wavelength of the scattered light is identical to the incident light and is known as Rayleigh scattering. (READ MORE)

Using Nonlinear Spectroscopic Techniques to Investigate Nanoparticles

Spectroscopic methods exploit the interactions between matter and electromagnetic radiation in order to probe molecular fine structure. The way samples interact with radiation reveals a lot of information about its nature; making spectroscopy a useful tool for both qualitative and quantitative analysis. (READ MORE)

Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) microscopy and cancer detection

The need for accurate cancer detection: The ability to distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells during surgery is essential for preventing the removal of healthy tissue and ensuring no tumor remnants are left behind. (READ MORE)

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease through genomics and proteomics

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that causes dementia. In this disease, dementia symptoms such as memory loss and difficulties with language, problem-solving and reasoning gradually worsen until they eventually start to interfere with everyday life and basic tasks such as eating and drinking. (READ MORE)

Using Mass Spectrometry to Detect Food Allergens

Food allergies are a major public health concern and are increasing worldwide. Globally, it is thought that between 220 and 250 million people suffer from a food allergy. Ninety percent of cases involve sensitivity to one of the ‘Big Eight’ allergens: egg, fish, milk, peanut, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, or wheat. (READ MORE)

Advances in Contaminant Testing of Dietary Supplements

Many consumers like to buy products marked as herbal or “natural”, often regarding these to be better for them, or even harmless. But, in reality, many such products are laced with unlabeled substances, which often includes pharmaceuticals that have long since lost their regulatory approval. (READ MORE)