MSB 2022

International Symposium on Microscale Separations and Bioanalysis

 Liège, Belgium    April 3-6, 2022

About MSB

Historical Overview

Originally established as the International Symposium on High Performance Capillary Electrophoresis (HPCE), the first event was held April 10 – 12, 1989 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, MA. The meeting was founded by Professor Barry Karger from Northeastern University, and sponsored by the Barnett Institute of Northeastern University, the Bay Area Chromatography Committee (BACC, predecessor of California Separation Science Society or CASSS), and chromatography instrument manufacturers. This first meeting featured oral and poster presentations that discussed the principles of separation in capillaries under high electrical fields; instrumentation development; and applications of HPCE, particularly in biotechnology. A summary of this meeting was published in Analytical Chemistry (Anal. Chem., 1989, 61, 413A–415A).

This symposium was introduced at the moment when capillary electrophoresis branched off from the HPLC community, giving the technology the necessary focus at a time when capillary electrophoresis instrumentation was first being commercialized by Applied Biosystems, Beckman (later Beckman-Coulter), and Hewlett-Packard (later Agilent Technologies). The symposium series was driven by the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) under its diligent chairman Barry Karger until 2000, followed by Frantisek Svec. Leading scientists in the CE field were James Jorgenson, Frans Everaerts, Stellan Hjertén, Shigeru Terabe, Ed Yeung, and Heinz Engelhardt. The series was organised world-wide by Prof. Karger untill 2000 and later by CASSS in the USA. In Europe and Asia, the meetings were organised by separate bodies.

The SAB changed the name of these meetings at HPCE 2004 in Salzburg to MicroScale Bioseparations (MSB), since the attendees’ interests expanded into the related techniques of micro- and nano-HPLC, microfluidic separations, and lab-on-a-chip applications while the fascination with pure CE slowly faded. The stylized logo was created at the same time, and captured the acronym MSB in a DNA helix motif given the prominent role that electrical driven microseparations have played in DNA sequencing and early completion of the Human Genome Project.

At MSB 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland, Beckman-Coulter established the prestigious Arnold O. Beckman Medal and Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements in The Field of Electrodriven Separations Techniques, which has become an essential element of the series.

Also, after the MSB 2012 symposium the SAB changed. Not just by including new members but especially by introducing new key concepts by which future meetings of the series will be organised. The board also changed its name to “Strategic Program Committee” (SPC).

In consequence and in order to further broaden the scope of the series to a wider range of scientists, the SPC approved the acronym of MSB to refer to: “Microscale Separations and Bioanalysis”

In 2016, that name was used the first time as the official conference name for MSB 2016 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, April 3-7, 2016.

Intent and Mission of the Series

Each year, our international community gathers in an inspiring location to discuss their latest results in the field of microscale separations and bioanalysis. The conference program covers aspects related to all major microscale separation techniques including capillary electrophoresis (CE), nano- and micro-liquid chromatography (LC), microfluidics, mass spectrometry (MS), CE-MS, 'Lab-on-a-Chip devices the fundamental aspects of micro- and nanofluidics, microchip fabrication, portable devices, as well as applications related to pharmaceutical sciences, biotechnology, clinical and forensic toxicology, omics techniques (proteomics, metabolomics, etc.), food analysis, nanoparticles, industrial chemicals, etc.

Essentials of the MSB Symposium Series

The strategic planning committee of the MicroScale Separations and Bio-analysis symposium series has developed a seven-­point plan to integrate the essential attributes of electrical and pressure driven separations with the practice of coupling them with sample preparation and detection (mass spectrometry!) for practical application in bio-analysis:

  1. Discussion of unpublished work
    An environment is provided that helps protect unpublished work through a series of confidentiality measures to be abided by conference attendees, an approach used successfully by the Gordon Conferences.
  2. Fostering diversity while maintaining high quality
    The number of invited speakers is reduced, building most of the oral program (70%) from submitted abstracts. The abstracts will be comprehensive overviews of the scientific work, including data and figures. They will be scored by double-blind peer review, blind of title, name or affiliation for the session. This whole process is done with transparency, to encourage maximum participation.
  3. Encouraging vigorous scientific debate and discussion
    Presentations are limited to 2/3 of the allotted time for the of lecture, leaving 1/3 of the allotted time for discussion. This approach will be carried into the poster session that follows the presentations by short oral poster presentations.
  4. Committed and engaged session chairmen
    Who build the oral program for the session topic by proposing the keynote speaker, select contributed oral presentation (blind of title, name or affiliation of the author) from the submitted abstracts, who introduce the session topic to the delegates in a short-oral presentation, and who will pro-actively foster debate, engaging and challenging the audience to participate in the discussions.
  5. Selecting an inspiring location
    A secluded venue will be sought allowing an environment integrating science and leisure, creating an atmosphere that is conducive to the task. When possible, campus-like venues will be preferred to resort-type locations.
  6. Engaging industry partners
    A forum called Science Café is included in the program. This is a daily luncheon that provides the opportunity to hear about new applications, products and solutions by the organizations commercializing these products.
  7. Honoring outstanding contributions to our field
    The symposium includes the presentation of the “SCIEX Microscale Separations Innovation Medal Award”.


SMSB Board of Directors
(formerly MSB Strategic Program Committee)

Towards this intent and fulfillment of the mission, a group of internationally renowned scientists in microscale separations and bioanalysis have gathered and formed the Board of Directors of the Society for Microscale Separations and Bioanalysis (SMSB). It is their task to:

  • Ensure that the SMS mission is respected and implemented;
  • Strategically develop the MSB symposium series;
  • Guide current and future chairmen of a symposium edition to meet the conference philosoply; and
  • Solicit for and engage future chairmen, as well as future Directors.