JKUAT Acquires First Regional Chemical Analysis Equipment

Reynard (left) and Prof. Gachanja guide students on how to use the new facility at JKUAT

Reynard (left) and Prof. Gachanja guide students on how to use the new facility at JKUAT

The acquisition of a Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS (TOF)) equipment by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology laboratory is set to strengthen multidisciplinary analytical techniques not only in Kenya but also in the region. LC-MS is one of the most advanced techniques in modern science that uses high sensitivity to separate and identify chemicals of specific masses within complex mixtures.

This latest addition to the JKUAT’s portfolio of research instruments in the Chemistry laboratory now gives students and researchers opportunity to undertake certain analyses hitherto not possible within the region. The lab which is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry as an excellent facility for Africa already boasted Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) technology.

Prof. Antony Ngure Gachanja said the milestone was realized with generous donation by the Recycling Organisation for Research Opportunities (RORO), a registered charity outfit, Royal Society of Chemistry and kind support of the University of Manchester, UK.

The Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry added that the focus of JKUAT is to build capacity for regional analysis and chemistry research in all parameters.

Prof. Gachanja fixes part of the instrument during a demonstration

Prof. Gachanja fixes part of the instrument during a demonstration

LC-MS is a tool of choice with widespread applications in a number of disciplines including medicine, food science, agriculture, pharmacy, forensics, genomics, and environmental analysis.

At National level, Prof. Gachanja noted that a number of analyses that could only be undertaken outside Africa can now be done here in Kenya; cutting on cost and time.

“With the new equipment, drug analysis, protein and hormonal disruption compounds’ analyses, is now possible at JKUAT; just to name a few,” averred Prof. Gachanja.

Reynard Spiess, an engineer from University of Manchester who helped in the installation of the equipment termed it, a must have, for a serious research institution.

The equipment is already eliciting excitement and new promise among students and staff at JKUAT. Frederick Munga, a PhD in Chemistry currently undertaking metabolomics research described the facility as a timely intervention.

“It is now possible to do a wide scope of my study under one roof. This is only possible in JKUAT. Given the facilities we have here, you get hands-on experience in the course of your study,” Said Fredrick.

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