Our analytical chemists develop technologies to improve chemical measurements to understand biological phenomena. Specific topics include studying metabolomics, lipidomics, proteomics with ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS), instrumental development, fabricating new electrochemical sensors to probe metal toxicity in humans, and surface analysis studies using scanning tunneling microscope and atomic force microscope.
Ion mobility-mass Spectrometry Instrumentation and Method Development
Research in the Chouinard Group focuses on the development of novel ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) methods and instrumentation for a range of bioanalytical applications. Funded projects include next-generation detection of performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic androgenic steroids, monitoring opioid catalytic breakdown reactions in the presence of medical countermeasures, and UV-catalyzed reactions for improved structural elucidation of small molecules.
Ingested Toxic Metal Sensing with POC and Implantable Sensors
Pathirathna group is interested in developing novel, robust, portable, and inexpensive electrochemical sensors to detect ingested toxic metals in blood and urine samples at point-of-care (POC) facilities. These electrochemical tools are fabricated based on the ion transfer at the interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions. Students in Pathirathna lab are currently finishing up the first phase of this project with an excellent Cd-sensor.
Simultaneous Neurotransmitter Sensing with New Multi-CFMs
Increased progression rate of brain diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's is a global burden. Despite the number of researches conducted to understand the sources of these neurodegenerative diseases, prescribed drugs seem to be not working efficiently; thus, raising a question about the efficacy of existing therapeutic substances. Therefore, there is a critical need to discover more efficient drugs; thus, more accurate information on how neurotransmitters interact during these events is needed. In this vein, Pathirathna lab is designing and developing multi-bore electrodes with carbon fiber microelectrodes with multi-sensing elements to capture more than one analyte simultaneously.