Department of Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry

Research ImageConsistently ranked as one of the top analytical divisions in the United States, ranked number 1 for the fifth year in a row by U.S. News and World Report magazine in its 2011 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools," the analytical division is recognized as a world leader in this scientific area.

Following the tradition set by the late Professor Charles N. Reilley, the division extends the frontier of the field through a focus on fundamental studies related to chemical analysis and the development of innovative instrumentation. All traditional areas of research are represented, including electrochemistry, mass spectrometry, microscopy, sensors, separations and spectroscopy.

Research projects span a wide range of chemical analysis science and include, but are not limited to, biosensors, nanoscopic materials, neurochemistry, microvolume separations and analysis, protein adsorption, supercritical fluids and single-molecule analysis; for examples of currently active research projects please see the list below. The division has strong relationships with a large number of companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical and scientific instrumentation industries, which provide continued support of research fellowships and the Analytical Seminar series.


Recent Research Highlights

Chemical Vapor Deposition

Researchers in the Ramsey Group, published in Analytical Chemistry, describe a chemical vapor deposition, CVD, method for the surface modification of glass microfluidic devices designed to perform electrophoretic separations of cationic species. The microfluidic channel surfaces were modified using aminopropyl silane reagents. Coating homogeneity was inferred by precise measurement of the separation efficiency and electroosmotic mobility for multiple microfluidic devices.

Research Image

Microfluidic devices with a 23 cm long, serpentine electrophoretic separation channel and integrated nanoelectrospray ionization emitter were CVD coated with (3-aminopropyl)di-isopropylethoxysilane, APDIPES, and used for capillary electrophoresis (CE)-electrospray ionization (ESI)-mass spectrometry (MS) of peptides and proteins. Peptide separations were fast and highly efficient, yielding theoretical plate counts over 600,000 and a peak capacity of 64 in less than 90 s. Intact protein separations using these devices yielded Gaussian peak profiles with separation efficiencies between 100,000 and 400,000 theoretical plates.


2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Christopher Pinion, Javier Grajeda, Elizabeth Keenan, Michael Little, and Kelley Hammon, from left to right, are this year's recipients of grants from the The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program, (GRFP).

NSF Graduate Research Fellows

GRFP helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.


Representative Publications

S-Nitrosothiol-Modified Nitric Oxide-Releasing Chitosan Oligosaccharides as Antibacterial Agents. Yuan Lu, Anand Shah, Rebecca A. Hunter, Robert J. Soto, Mark H. Schoenfisch. Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 12, 15 January 2015, Pages 62–69.

Integrated Microfluidic Capillary Electrophoresis-Electrospray Ionization Devices with Online MS Detection for the Separation and Characterization of Intact Monoclonal Antibody Variants. Erin A. Redman, Nicholas G. Batz, J. Scott Mellors, and J. Michael Ramsey. Anal. Chem., 2015, 87 (4), pp 2264–2272.

High Process Yield Rates of Thermoplastic Nanofluidic Devices Using a Hybrid Thermal Assembly Technique. Franklin I. Uba, Bo Hu, Kumuditha Weerakoon-Ratnayake, Nyote Oliver-Calixte, and Steven A. Soper. Lab Chip, 2015, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C4LC01254B.

In Vivo Analytical Performance of Nitric Oxide-Releasing Glucose Biosensors. Robert J. Soto, Benjamin J. Privett, and Mark H. Schoenfisch. Anal. Chem., 2014, 86 (14), pp 7141–7149.

Medullary Norepinephrine Neurons Modulate Local Oxygen Concentrations in the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis. Elizabeth S Bucher, Megan E Fox, Laura Kim, Douglas C Kirkpatrick, Nathan T Rodeberg, Anna M Belle and Mark Wightman. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism (2014) 34, 1128–1137.

Dynamics and Evolution of β-Catenin-Dependent Wnt Signaling Revealed through Massively Parallel Clonogenic Screening. Pavak K. Shah, Matthew P. Walker, Christopher E. Sims, Michael B. Major, and Nancy L. Allbritton. Integr. Biol., 2014,6, 673-684.

Small Sample Sorting of Primary Adherent Cells by Automated Micropallet Imaging and Release. Pavak K. Shah, Silvia Gabriela Herrera-Loeza, Christopher E. Sims, Jen Jen Yeh, and Nancy L. Allbritton. Cytometry Part A, Volume 85, Issue 7, pages 642–649, July 2014.

Optimization of 3-D Organotypic Primary Colonic Cultures for Organ-on-Chip Applications. Asad A Ahmad, Yuli Wang, Adam D Gracz, Christopher E Sims, Scott T Magness and Nancy L Allbritton. Journal of Biological Engineering 2014, 8:9.

Immobilization of Lambda Exonuclease onto Polymer Micropillar Arrays for the Solid-Phase Digestion of dsDNAs. Nyoté J. Oliver-Calixte, Franklin I. Uba, Katrina N. Battle, Kumuditha M. Weerakoon-Ratnayake, and Steven A. Soper. Anal. Chem., 2014, 86 (9), pp 4447–4454.

Chemical Vapor Deposition of Aminopropyl Silanes in Microfluidic Channels for Highly Efficient Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis-Electrospray Ionization-Mass Spectrometry. Nicholas G. Batz, J. Scott Mellors, Jean Pierre Alarie, and J. Michael Ramsey. Anal. Chem., 2014, 86 (7), pp 3493–3500.