Winner Analytik Jena Science Award 2021 Winner in the Category of “Best Scientific Paper in the Field of Chemical Analysis”

Analytik Jena Science Award 2021

Given the current situation, it isn’t possible to hold the award ceremony as a live event as it usually would have been the case. We would like to thank the numerous candidates who submitted their exciting projects for the Analytik Jena Science Award.

Analytik Jena congratulates the winner.

Winner in the Category of “Best Scientific Paper in the Field of Chemical Analysis”

Catharina Erbacher, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

A fast and automated separation and quantification method for bromine speciation analyzing bromide and 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine in enzymatically digested DNA samples via ion chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

Justification: "The use of novel highly efficient and improved methods in order to reach out for new fields of application represents the ideal case of human innovation. Here, the highly sensitive plasma quantum ICP-MS and its innovative iCRC collision cell in combination with ion chromatography have been used to analyze the charge transfer along DNA molecules in a highly efficient way.

DNA, as a molecule of almost any length, has also aroused the interest of material science with its property as an electrical conductor. Since DNA also has many other useful properties for nanotechnology, such as high stability and the possibility of self-organization and information storage, research into the conductivity properties of this biopolymer is of high interest.

The transfer of electrons along the DNA molecule can be studied by different electron donor/acceptor systems. The donor and acceptor are built into the DNA strands as artificial nucleobases. The light-sensitive electron donor is excited by UV radiation which then injects an electron into the molecule, that is then passed along the DNA double helix. A particularly good electron acceptor is the brominated nucleoside 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (5-BrdU), which upon accepting the electron releases a bromide ion within a few nanoseconds, which in turn can be detected by ICP-MS. Interferences occurring during detection could be minimized by using the iCRC collision technology while maintaining the high sensitivity. "

The approach chosen by the team(i)  not only increases sensitivity by more than an order of magnitude, but also multiplies the analytical capabilities using automating of these processes. The overall topic, the innovative use of methods and the results make this work special and an award-worthy achievement.

(i) Catharina Erbacher,a Nils Flothkötter,a Marcel Macke,a C. Derrick Quarles Jr.,b Michael Sperling,a,c Uwe Karst,a
a Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry University of Münster Corrensstr. 28/30, 48149 Münster, Germany
b Elemental Scientific, Inc.7277 World Communications Dr., Omaha, NE 68022, USA
c European Virtual Institute for Speciation Analysis (EVISA), Corrensstr. 30, 48149 Münster, Germany

The paper was published in "ScienceDirect", Accepted June 2021.