qTLC.app - 20 months onwards

In early 2019, we published our educational platform qTLC.app, which allows for the quantification of chemical compounds via simple thin layer chromatography (TLC) protocols and a smartphone. In this post, I want to provide an update on our related activities and the impact of this work.

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qTLC.app is based on a recent paper by our group in the Journal of Chemical Education (vol. 95, pp. 2191–2196, 2018), which we published alongside lesson plans and student handouts. After conducting suitable TLC experiments, images of the developed plates are taken with a smartphone. The web-app allows to upload images and analyse them using a simple browser-based interface. A brief overview can be found in this introductory video:

qTLC.app is an offspring of our activities on therapeutic drug monitoring, allowing precise quantitative read-out (down to single digit nM concentrations) by very simple means

Today, our educational platform has been accessed by users from 37 countries across six continents (see poster image for an overview of user origins). Our youtube video has been watched 2,800 times to-date. The initiative was covered in Chemistry World and as an In Your Class feature in RSC Education in Chemistry

For her work on qTLC.app, first author Niamh Mac Fhionnlaoich was awarded the UCL Provost's Education Award, which recognises exceptional staff and students and their contributions to our learning community. Together with Runzhang Qi, Niamh has been the heart and soul of qTLC.app

Meanwhile, we have developed further software tools to facilitate nanomaterials analysis. CORDERLY serves for colloidal ordering analysis and is based on a recent publication in Langmuir (vol. 35, pp. 16605–16611, 2019). The so-called Nanoparticle Entropy method allows for the assumption-free evaluation of nanoparticle size distributions, see also our publication in Chemistry of Materials (vol. 32, pp. 3701–3706, 2020). Please check our GITHUB profile for further updates. 

Stefan Guldin

Associate Professor and Head of Adaptive & Responsive Nanomaterials Group, University College London

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