Young scientist from Potsdam receives international award of the Royal Institution London

Dr. Maria-Magdalena Titirici from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces has been awarded the 15th Desty Memorial award for Innovation in Separation Science.

October 28, 2010

Dr. Maria-Magdalena Titirici, group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, receives this award for her work on the use of thermo responsive polymers in chromatography. This honour is associated with the 15th Desty Memorial Lecture for Innovation in Separation Science, which will take place in the Royal Institution of Great Britain London on Wednesday 6th October 2010.

Thermo-responsive polymers are polymers which can change their structure and physico-chemical properties at a specific temperature. They are also called “smart materials” and are important for possible applications in the field of actuator engineering, drug delivery and surface modification. These physical changes can be exploited for many analytical techniques, especially for separation chemistry. Today, reversed-phase chromatography (RPC) accounts for the vast majority of analysis performed in liquid chromatography. However, one of the main problems in RPC is the use of organic solvents as mobile phases, which, besides the high cost, can also lead to the denaturation of the analytes, especially for bioseparations. This is where thermo-responsive stationary phases come into play since, with a simple switch in temperature, they can change from hydrophilic to hydrophobic and thus become an alternative to RPC but, importantly, in pure aqueous environments.

Desty Award
Denis Desty (1921-1994) was a great innovator and the Desty Memorial Lecture for Innovation in Separation Science is to celebrate his life and innovations. This one day conference invites key speakers who are recognised for their innovative work in separation science. Each year the Desty Award is presented to a young scientist who will have been judged to have shown great innovation in separation science.

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