Integration of reagent-based assays with analytical instruments is a central task for research and routine analytical work in such diverse fields as biochemistry, environmental assays, agricultural assays, biotechnology, oceanography and clinical chemistry. Regardless of whether the end measurement is carried out by a simple detector (such as a spectrophotometer) or a sophisticated one (ICP-MS), the execution of the preceding “wet chemistry” steps, where reagent and sample solution are brought together to react under controlled conditions, is critical to the success of any assay. Flow Injection Analysis (FIA), which Professor Ruzicka founded with Elo Hansen in 1974, fulfilled this role with unexpected success, as documented by over 18,000 papers and 20 monographs published on FIA, and sequels Sequential Injection (SI) and Sequential Injection Chromatography .
The versatility of the Sequential Injection technique, initially designed at CPAC, and miniaturized in the “lab-on-valve” format has been recognized worldwide. microSI is now used as a "front end" for spectroscopic and electrochemical detectors, Mass Spectrometry, atomic absorption, FT-IR, ICP, and capillary electrophoresis. Researchers in the Ruzicka group (Andrea Carroll, Ilkka Lähdesmäki, Louis Scampavia, Yan Chen-Gutzman, Holger Erxleben, Chao Wu and Craig Schultz) designed and perfected novel techniques for study of cellular events based on SI and Bead Injection Spectroscopy. In recent years, this core research activity of the Ruzicka group was carried out in close cooperation with Professor Peter Rabinovitch (UW Pathology) and financially supported by National Institutes of Health.
FIA techniques have been used in chemical oceanography for many years and, therefore, use of SI is the next logical step in the development of even more reliable and precise methodology. It is a privilege, and a new challenge, to be able to work with Professor Chris Measures’ group at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, on the design of automated systems to be used on board a ship or for deployment in the ocean.