New mass spectrometer granted by DFG and MKW-NRW

Following the positive evaluation by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG, we today received the official granting letter of the Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen MKW for the purchase of a new mass spectrometer equipped with an ion mobility detector. This is great news! It is a really expensive instrument, co-financed by DFG, MKW, and ourselves. It will offer us new opportunities to develop analytical techniques for our chitosans. Master-minded by Dr. Stefan Cord-Landwehr, we have over the past few years developed a number of new techniques for the mass spectrometric quantitative sequencing of chitosan oligomers even in mixtures, for the enzymatic-mass spectrometric fingerprinting analysis of the fraction and pattern of acetylation of chitosan polymers, and for the reverse enzymatic-mass spectrometric fingerprinting analysis of subsite specificities and preferences of chitosan modifying enzymes. These techniques are allowing us to structurally analyse chitosans in unprecedented detail, as a prerequisite also for a molecular understanding of the results obtained in our diverse functional analyses. The new instrument will allow us to further optimise these chitosan analytical tools, supporting our efforts for the biotechnological optimization and valorisation of these precious functional biopolymers, aiming for a new, third generation of chitosans. It will do so also by allowing us to extent our studies of the modes of action of bioactive chitosans by the analysis of changes in the metabolome of plants treated with chitosan to vaccinate them against disease, or to strengthen their ability to cope with abiotic stress.