MSB 2022

International Symposium on Microscale Separations and Bioanalysis

 Liège, Belgium    April 3-6, 2022

Sunday Short Courses

6 short courses, held by world leaders in their field of expertise, will be organised on Sunday, April 3, 2022 before the official opening of the symposium.












The short courses will be free of charge for MSB participants, but subject to registration. 

It will also be possible to register for the short courses only, against payment of 150,00€ fee for 2 workshops.


Short course 1 – Micro-pillar Array Columns: Concept, Possibilities and Applications
Prof. Gert Desmet
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium

Micro-pillar array columns are nano- or micro-scale liquid chromatography columns produced via photolithographic etching, deep reactive ion etching and electrochemical anodization. Whereas conventional packed bed columns are filled with randomly packed spherical particles, the chromatographic bed in micro-pillar array columns consists of a perfectly ordered bed of core-shell micro-pillars.

In this short course, the advantages of this perfectly ordered arrangement will be explained in a didactic way, including a discussion of the optimal pillar shape. Comparison with packed bed columns will be made, first on a theoretical basis and subsequently with experimental data. The production process will be outlined in detail as well.

The second part of the short course will be devoted to all practically related aspects such as the mechanical and chemical robustness and the ease-of-connectivity, and an overview of application examples will be given, ranging from single-cell proteomics to the profiling of biotherapeutics.

Short course 2 – An Introduction to Biosensors
Prof. Heidi Ottevaere and Dr Tatevik Chalyan
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium

Biosensors that exploit optical, electrical, and mechanical methods of signal transduction can bypass the need for fluorescent, radio, or enzymatic labels. Label-free approaches can exhibit enhanced sensitivity and specificity over traditional sensors because such labels can interfere with the binding event, non-specifically adsorb to the surface, and complicate the chemistry of the detection reaction. Of these methods, optical biosensors are particularly promising because of their low limit of detection, high sensitivity and capacity for multiplexed detection. Depending on the ligand-analyte pair the most commonly used optical biosensors are based on the following detection methods: Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), integrated Microring Resonators (MRR), Interferometers, in particular Mach-Zehnder Interferometers (MZI), fibre Bragg gratings (FBG), Photonic Crystal sensors of different origin, and fluorescence-based sensors. The combination of these optical biosensors with microfluidics gives the possibility of developing miniaturized, portable optofluidic sensors used in different domains. During the short course, the working principle of each technique, data analysis methods as well as the use of optical biosensors in various application domains will be discussed in detail.

Short course 3 - Advances and Utility of Capillary Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry based Metabolomics
Prof. Rawi Ramautar
Leiden University, the Netherlands.

The main objective of this short course is to provide you with an overview of the main capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) approaches used in metabolomics, including their working/separation mechanisms. The course shows in particular the applicability of CE-MS for volume-restricted biological samples and for compound classes that are (still) difficult to analyze with chromatographic-based separation techniques. Ample attention is devoted to the coupling of CE to MS using both the classical and the recently developed interfacing designs. The reproducibility of CE-MS for metabolomics studies is also considered by highlighting the Metabo-Ring trial.

Advances and utility of CE-MS-based metabolomics is demonstrated by discussing a few recent studies in detail. For example, it is shown that neurotransmitters can be directly analyzed in rat microdialysis samples without using derivatization and sample pretreatment. Highly polar metabolites, such as ATP, ADP and AMP, can be analyzed in extracts from just a limited number of mammalian cells, opening up the possibility to assess the adenylate energy charge in studies dealing with microscale cell cultures. This course is given in an interactive way by using tools such as for example the Mentimeter.

Short course 4 - Liquid-phase Microextraction
Prof. Stig Pedersen-Bjergaard
Department of pharmacy, University of Oslo, Norway

This short course will focus on liquid-phase microextraction (LPME) and electromembrane extraction (EME) microextraction, as future techniques for green sample preparation in analytical chemistry. Both LPME and EME are emerging techniques based on a supported liquid membrane (SLM), comprising a few micro liters of organic solvent immobilized by capillary forces in a polymeric membrane. Target analytes are extracted from aqueous sample, through SLM (organic) and into aqueous acceptor, based on either a pH gradient (LPME) or an electrical field (EME).

This short course will discuss the underlying principles, operational parameters, and selected applications illustrating the future perspectives. The short course will also discuss commercial equipment and standardization, towards implementation of LPME and EME in routine laboratories.

Short Course 5 - New Quantitation and Validation Trends in Separation MS - Based Bioanalysis
Prof. Serge Rudaz and Dr Victor González-Ruiz
Biomedical and Metabolomics analysis, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Western Switzerland (ISPSO), University of Geneva, Switzerland

The combination of separation techniques (GC, GC or CE) with mass spectrometry detection (MS) is a keystone in biomedical analysis. By providing excellent sensitivity, selectivity and robustness, these setups have become the gold standard to solve countless quantitative bioanalytical challenges. The goal of this workshop is to provide an update on the latest developments and trends in MS-based quantitative approaches and method validation, with a focus on their innovations and advantages compared to classical methodologies.

A detailed summary of metrological fundamentals to correlate the instrumental response and the analyte concentration will be provided, and the most recent trends in quantitative analysis (mainly aimed at increasing throughput) will be discussed and classified based on how the calibration functions are built. This will be done within the scope of the most important recommendations in the field.

The following validation approaches will be discussed: EMA (2012), FDA (2018) and ICH M10 (Draft-2019) guidelines on Bioanalytical Methods Validation. Because in the case of endogenous compounds a consensus to build the calibration curve is still missing, a formal discussion on this specific topic will be achieved. The strengths and weaknesses of each technique will be reviewed along with the most convenient solutions for endogenous compound quantification in the absence of blank matrices.

This short-course will be suited for all anyone involved in the development and validation of quantitative bioanalytical methods for low molecular weight compounds. Although a previous knowledge on basic statistics is desirable, there will be also the opportunity to discuss specific methodological aspects with the presenters, including result uncertainty.

Short course 6 - Introducing Vortices in Microfluidic Devices for Analytical and Preparative Separations
Prof. Wim De Malsche and Dr Pierre Gelin
µFlow group, VUB, Belgium

Slow diffusive lateral mass transport in chromatographic columns and more general flow devices is an important source of dispersion and dilution of sample bands. Using lateral flow propulsion methods, this Taylor-Aris dispersion can be greatly reduced, allowing to make separation performance less sensitive to the flow rate, allowing to reduce the analysis time without reducing the quality of the separation.

In this short course, recently developed active lateral flow methods based on electroosmotic and acoustic principles are discussed. The influence of the vortex configurations on dispersion reduction capacity using Brenner’s general dispersion theory is discussed, as well as the attainable performance gain with current and future technological limitations. The last part of the short course concerns the use of vortices for the separation of particles.