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Posts Tagged ‘method development’

Research Progresses

April 19, 2011 2 comments

After the ENVIRON conference I got back into my HPLC method development and literature review work. Regarding my literature review my supervisors and I have decided on a target journal for submission, and I have looked at the guide for authors and formatted my document to their requirements e.g. reference style, sections etc. At least Refworks, which I use as a reference manager, had the journal style inputted, and it corresponded to the journal’s requirements, and therefore it was easy enough to achieve. I have now sent my review to a supervisor who has not yet seen it and had requested to see it after I carry out the changes of the three supervisors who had seen the previous draft.

HPLC method development has also progressed well. I have now separated 10 of the analytes (out of 11), with good peak separation and got a good calibration curve. For two of the analytes (i.e. analytes 10 and 11) no peak separation occurs. However they absorb at different wavelengths and therefore I can use wavelength separation for them. Unfortunately the HPLC I am currently using doesn’t have a DAD. However the LC-MS detector has a DAD and therefore I could save time from having to do all analyses twice. I have discussed the HPLC method with one of my supervisors who knows the area most, and he gave me some suggestions re some ghost peaks (small peaks coming out even in the blank), and I will try them out in the coming weeks. Once that is finished, I hope that the LC-MS would have been fixed and I can get onto it (it has been broken down since before the 10th March, so we will see).

Today I am off for an Easter trip around Ireland with the rest of the family who are visiting from all over Europe. I can’t wait to get a break and be back and work!

Lab Meeting…lost count of the week

January 13, 2011 1 comment

Today was the day of our next lab meeting. It was the first after the Christmas Holidays and as such we had to prepare a short summary of what we had accomplished to date and the way forward for the coming three months. So…what is the plan forward? Well, I hope that in the next couple of months HPLC method development will be largely complete, my literature review will be polished and hopefully have a trial test for another aspect I might be adding to my project.

The supervisors seemed quite pleased with my progress. I hope I manage to accomplish these 3 aspects in these 3 months, and if I will I would certainly be quite pleased with myself. This would allow me to move into LC-MS and SPE development and therefore to move forward in my research quite well. So what do I hope to achieve in the immediate weeks that are coming? I hope to have a first draft of my literature review, an HPLC method which somewhat works (if I manage to get a good blank run it would be perfect at the moment) and have the sites for the preliminary test identified.

I am mostly worried about the site selection for sample collection. I have limited knowledge about Irish environments. If it were Malta it would be quite easy to pinpoint sites. However here it is a whole different kettle of fish. However my supervisors gave me some suggestions of people who they will contact and hopefully could be helpful to me. So we will see how that goes.

Wish me luck 🙂

PhD: 1/12 over

December 19, 2010 1 comment

The first 3 months of my PhD are over it seems. That means that 1/12 of my PhD is (hopefully) over. Hopefully as I would not like that my studies take longer than the 3 years for which I am funded.  I think I achieved quite a lot during these 3 months, and I am happy with the progress I am making. In my last week in Dublin I managed to order the first analytes I selected and will be analysing for. Hopefully these will be received soon, so that as soon as I go back to Dublin in January I can start working on my method development. I am really excited about that, because if I manage to achieve that with minimal problems (I am being very optimistic here) it will mean that my PhD life will be easier. However I am not looking at less than 3 months (if everything goes well that is) for this portion of my project.

The day before I left DCU I also had a meeting with my supervisor. This time instead of a lab meeting we had 1 to 1 meetings, where we discussed progress and the way forward. They seemed happy enough with my progress and told me to go ahead. One of the supervisors also suggested that I start working on my literature review. I have already read a lot of papers and have a number of separate documents from which I can pull the details. So I will hopefully organise what I have and add more to it as necessary. On the last day I also got word that I got accepted to give a poster presentation to the DCU School of Biotechnology Research Day in January. Therefore I now need to prepare a poster…have started working on it somewhat since I arrived in Malta, and hope to have most of it ready by the time I go back, since I would definitely need Bernard’s help with the design aspect.

The next months will probably be really hectic as regards to my PhD. I have to work on method development and my literature review, Graduate training elements (I actually have 2 scheduled for the same week…will probably have to drop one), I will give my poster presentation at the Biotech Research Day in January and sent my abstract for another conference at the end of February, I start practical session demonstrations in February too etc. I look forward to this however. It will be hectic, definitely…but hopefully I will actually start seeing some progress (reading papers all day long gets a bit monotonous at times).

So bring it on (and think of me so that hopefully things work out well 🙂 ).