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Fall 2015

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Getting More Sensitive

UT Arlington’s Shimadzu Institute develops method to track trace amounts of estrogen 

Jose Barrera and Kevin Schug

Jose Barrera and Kevin Schug

The hormone estrogen has been linked to everything from tumor growth to neuron loss during Alzheimer’s disease. But detecting very small amounts of it in blood and other biological fluids can be difficult for health researchers. 

“We are dealing with extremely small quantities and there are a lot of things out there that look like estrogen,” says Kevin Schug, Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry. “You have to have the ability to separate out these individual components and detect them accurately.”

That’s why UTA scientists are collaborating to apply the advanced mass spectrometry and chromatography instrumentation available at the Shimadzu Institute to detect trace amounts of estrogen at less than 10 parts per trillion in a 100-microliter sample.

Mass spectrometry and chromatography are ways to separate, identify, and quantify molecules in a complex mixture. Many current estrogen-detection methods rely on the use of an antibody, a type of protein-detection system. These are more time-consuming, less reliable, and require a larger sample than UT Arlington’s new process, which can be accomplished in less than 25 minutes (including sample preparation) and uses only 100 microliters.

“This new method pushes the detection limit for estrogen to a level that is applicable to research, human health, medicine, and environmental analysis,” says institute Director Jose Barrera.

More articles from this issue

UT Arlington - Office of Research