Besides XRF, the two important topics at the 2020 Winter school were Capillary electrophoresis, coupled with mass spectrometry (CE-MS), taught by prof. Christian Neusüß, and practitioner’s view on working in a GMP/GLP compliant facility, taught by Dr. Masahiko Shimmo.

Although the current world of separation science is heavily dominated by chromatography (and mass spectrometry), CE (and CE-MS) does have its place and occasionally can provide separation selectivity and efficiency, which no chromatographic technique can match. This was explained by prof. Neusüß (photo on the left), using a number of practical examples.

In any GMP/GLP compliant facility – such as e.g. chemical and pharmaceutical plants – this compliance to a large extent determines the whole way of working and imposes several obligations on personnel. You can be a skillful chemist with very good knowledge and yet, if you do not respect the requirements your company is in trouble. Dr. Shimmo (photo on the right) explained the practical aspects on the example of his company – Cambrex Tallinn, a small biopharma company in Estonia.

The last educational activity of the Winter school was the session where student teams presented their findings from the Tuesday’s work with hand-held XRF spectrometers. Although measuring with these devices is seemingly straightforward, the physics behind is far form simple and, as was demonstrated during the session, quite some knowledge is needed to interpret the obtained results. (Photo on the left: Student team no 5 presenting their XRF results)

We hope that all participants enjoyed the Winter School and look forward to the next one, in Sweden, 2021!

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