Pittcon® 2011 Editors’ Awards: A Two-Way Tie for the Gold Award

Pittcon® 2011 was held March 13–18, 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. The exhibition displayed an assortment of laboratory products, including anything from small plastic consumables to larger instrumentation for the laboratory. Every year, editors from publications across different industry markets flock to the exposition to find the most exciting new products on the Pittcon exhibition floor. All of the attending editors and journalists present at Pittcon were invited to pick three new instruments of their choice and nominate them for an Editors’ Award.

The 26 nominations included a variety of products and instruments spanning all markets and applications. Participating editors met during the week to discuss each nomination based on technological merit and potential impact on the market, and then vote for the three best new instruments. This year, many editors found themselves intrigued by unique solutions to old problems.

Gold Award

Gold Award winner: Citius™ LC-HRT from LECO Corp.

The editors reached a tie for first place. With equal votes, first place went to both the Citius™ LC-HRT (High Resolution TOFMS) from LECO Corp. (St. Joseph, MI) and the TrueSurface Microscopy Raman spectrometer from WITec GmbH (Ulm, Germany).

Gold Award winner: TrueSurface Microscopy Raman spectrometer from WITec GmbH.

The Citius LC-HRT signifies true innovation in high-performance mass spectrometry. The system utilizes LECO’s Folded Flight Path™ (FFP™) technology to provide full-range mass spectra at speeds of over 100 spectra per second, and resolutions of up to 100,000 with high-performance mass accuracy. It also provides the versatility of electrospray ionization (ESI), atmospheric pressure ionization (APCI), and desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) sources as options to complement its high-performance MS capabilities and unchallenged dynamic range. During the discussion among the editors, this new system was described as probably having the highest resolving power and best acquisition rate in the market.

The innovative TrueSurface Microscopy Raman spectrometer from WITec enables confocal Raman imaging guided by surface topography. This allows rough material surfaces or inclined samples to always stay in focus for accurate Raman analysis. The system topographically maps the surface to provide an image revealing chemical properties at the surface of a sample. As discussed by several editors who nominated this product, one could easily analyze anything, for example, a rock, without any sample prep, and do chemistry and microscopy analysis on it.

Silver Award

Silver Award winner: Samplicity Filtration System from EMD Millipore.

The Silver Award went to the Samplicity Filtration System from EMD Millipore (Billerica, MA). This is an innovative new technology that provides a convenient, high-throughput alternative to syringe-tip filters when preparing samples for chromatography. Popular among the editors, it was mentioned that this new system will remove a very common, tedious, time-consuming sample preparation procedure.

Bronze Award

The AstraGene UV spectrometer from AstraNet Systems (Cambridge, U.K.) received the Bronze Award. This creative instrument allows for the nondestructive measurement of DNA, RNA, and protein samples. Here, the pipet tip acts as the sample vial so that no precious sample is lost. The editors were amused by the fact that the product consumed 0.0 μL of sample for analyses. This is because the AstraGene functions with through-the-tip measurement, where as low as 2 μL can be sampled and measured directly within a pipet tip.

Bronze Award winner: AstraGene UV spectrometer from AstraNet Systems.

Honorable Mentions

The following lists the products that were identified by one or more editors as innovative new offerings at this year’s Pittcon exhibition.


Benchtop Micro-ESR™ spectrometer from Active Spectrum(Foster City, CA) is the smallest benchtop electron paramagnetic resonance/electron spin resonance EPR/ESR spectrometer.

MINIFLASH Touch from GRABNER INSTRUMENTS GmbH (Wien, Austria)/ AMETEK Petrolab Company (Broken Arrow, OK) is a portable flashpoint tester for fast screening of fuels, pharmaceuticals, and solid wastes.

Bruker Daltonics (Billerica, MA) received nominations for both the Assure™-RMS, a fully automated, quantitative NMR solution for raw material screening (RMS), and the maXis 4G™ UHR-QTOF, a new, redefined high-performance mass spectrometer.

A GC-Tof MS system from DANI Instruments (Cologno Monzese MI, Italy) is another competitive mass spectrometer.

CALIDUS™ microGC from Falcon Analytical (Ronceverte, WV) is a faster, smaller, smarter, easier, and greener gas chromatograph.

Mini GC from Forston Labs (Fort Collins, CO) is a powerful, small, portable GC integrated with the Forston Labs LabNavigator.

Multi-Shot Pyrolyzer (EGA/PY-3030D) from Frontier Laboratories Ltd. (Fukushima, Japan) can characterize any sample forms by multiple, thermal techniques.

Aqualog™ spectrofluorometer from HORIBA Scientific(Edison, NJ) is capable of one-time emission spectrum measurement.

NanoPhotometer™ Pearl from Implen GmbH (München, Germany) is a UV/ VIS spectrophotometer that improves ultralow concentration measurement and purity analysis.

JEOL Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) received nominations for both the SpiralTOF™ matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer, and the InTouchScope™, a new SEM with the look and feel of today’s personal electronic media.

Flash DSC1 from METTLER TOLEDO, Inc. (Columbus, OH) is a flash differential scanning calorimeter for materials characterization.

889 IC Sample Center from Metrohm USA Inc. (Riverview, FL) is a robust autosampler for high sample throughput.

Centrifan PE from Modular SFC (Franklin, MA) is a personal evaporator that combines the features of a centrifuge and a blow-down evaporator.

Developed in partnership with Perfinity Biosciences, Inc. (West Lafayette, IN), the Perfinity Workstation from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments Inc. (Columbia, MD) automates protein sample preparation.

Epsilon 3 EDXRF from PANalytical (Almelo, The Netherlands) is a benchtop energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer.

LCMS-8030 from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments Inc. (Columbia, MD) is a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer for ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) systems.

Niton FXL XRF from Thermo Fisher Scientific (Billerica, MA) is a portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF)-based elemental analysis with laboratory-quality testing performance.

Waters Corp. (Milford, MA) received three nominations: for the ACQUITY® UPSFC System, the first UPLC-based supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) analytical system; ACQUITY UPLC System with 2D Technology, for more demanding assays; and UNIFI™, a scientific information system with GxP laboratory compatibility.

Pittcon 2012 will be held March 11–16, 2012, and is scheduled to return to Orlando, FL.

Ms. Hunt is Content Editor for American Laboratory/Labcompare; e-mail: jhunt@americanlaboratory.com.

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