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College of Engineering and Applied Science

    Back to SeminarsAdd Seminar

Presenter: James Rundel
Date: 7/27/2018
Time: 10:00 am
Location: EN 2100
Contact Email:

Topic: Design, Implementation and Modeling of a Radiative Heating Apparatus for Rapid Thermal Digestion/Decomposition of Biological Samples,
Abstract: Traditional approaches in proteomics for identification of proteins via mass spectrometry rely on an enzymatic digestion process for the sample. This work has examined the potential of radiation-based thermal digestion/decomposition (RTDD) of protein and tissue samples as an expeditious alternative to enzymatic digestion. A radiative heating system was designed and constructed, in-house, for thermal digestion/decomposition of samples. The RTDD process has proven effective in the ability to perform in situ digestion for pure proteins, muscle tissue, and brain tissue, mounted on an ITO slide, by heating samples to a temperature of 220-250 °C within a time of 10-65 seconds. The effectiveness of digestion was discerned to be strongly correlated to the maximum sample temperature and somewhat independent of treatment time. Optical diagnostics were implemented as a monitoring and potential real-time control measure for assessing the extent of digestion during heating. Qualitative trends in the relative transmissivity of a sample have been strongly correlated to significant thermal digestion for optically thin samples of multiple tissue types. It was observed that the relative transmissivity of samples sharply increases throughout thermal digestion, then equilibrates near the conclusion of digestion. This effect is thought to be a result of a reduction in average particle size, which leads to a decreased scattering effect as described by Mie theory, as the proteins in the tissue undergo significant denaturation during thermal digestion. This trend has proven repeatable across multiple tissue types, including brain and muscle, and may be utilized as an indicator of thermal digestion. This effect has also proven to be compositionally sensitive in accurately predicting the digestion time across various proteins with differing digestion times and rates. The digestion speed and accessibility of the RTDD process make it a viable approach for rapid in situ digestion of proteins for bottom-up proteomics. Optical monitoring has also shown the potential to provide a real-time semi-quantitative analysis of digestion for optically thin samples.


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