Additional Participants


Jan Szulejko

Graduate Student

Zhaohui Luo
LeRae Graham
Indira Silwal

Undergraduate Student

Justin Bennett
Emma Apatu

Technician, Programmer

David LaBrecque

Organizational Partners

Cutler Health Center
Ontario Ministry of Environment

Other Collaborators

Mark Jackson, MD
Sally K. Hall
Boston University Medical Center
Maine Water Resources Research Institute

Project Period


Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



Professor Touradj Solouki of the University of Maine at Orono is supported by the Analytical and Surface Chemistry Program to investigate cryofocusing of analytes in an Electrospray Ionization Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ESI-FT-ICR) mass spectrometer. To overcome sensitivity problems of FT-ICR, Professor Solouki has added a pre-concentration (PC) gas chromatograph (GC) step to his setup. The goal of this Small Grant for Exploratory Research is to add an additional device: a cryofocuser after the GC. This is predicted to improve the detection limit by two orders of magnitude, and mass resolving power by a factor of 5-10. The PI will then identify biomarkers for sensor development and establish a "gold standard" to evaluate analytical performance of sensor devices. Undergraduate and graduate students participate in the research.

Mass spectrometry is being developed as an almost "universal detector" and has been utilized to detect trace amounts of substances such as chemical and biological weapons. The instrument being developed in this research, while not fieldable as a sensor directly due to size and cost, can aid in the development of low cost, accurate sensors. It is thus of interest in national security, as well as a host of other medical and environmental applications.