Janusz Pawliszyn

Janusz Pawliszyn

Department of Chemistry
University of Waterloo

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in New Analytical Methods and Technologies

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 1995


Analysis of complex samples consists of several steps, including sampling, sample preparation, separation, quantification and data analysis. The analytical scientific community in general has made substantial advances in the development of efficient and rapid separation and quantification tools and powerful computer data processing software. However, advancements in sampling and sample preparation have lagged behind. As a result, the sample preparation step is frequently the most time-consuming, labour-intensive step in the analytical process.

The primary objective of the Chair program is to address demands for more efficient and simple sample preparation technologies by the development of Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME), a technique which not only simplifies and automates the sample preparation step in laboratory applications, but also integrates well with sampling and the introduction of extracted components to analytical instruments, a feature which makes it very attractive for on-site implementation. SPME technology has had a substantial impact on the practice of analytical chemistry in many application areas. It has been recognized by the analytical community as one of the six great analytical inventions of the last decade in an article in Analytical Chemistry [Anal. Chem. 2001, 73, 661A-666A], the most respected journal in this field.

In the first term of the IRC program (1995-2000), the focus of the theoretical and experimental investigations was on two primary implementations of the technique: fibre and in-tube SPME. General conclusions obtained in the studies involving these systems can be extended to other geometries. Primary efforts were directed towards laboratory sample preparation applications, with a special focus on environmental analysis. In the second term of the IRC program (2000-2005), attention was focused on the exploration of the use of this method for food and bioanalytical applications and for facilitating commercialization of the developed sample preparation technologies. In the third term of the IRC program (2005-2010), approaches were developed for the effective use of the sampling/sample preparation technologies for on-site and in vivo investigations of living systems with a major focus on calibration and application for animal drug pharmacokinetics. In the fourth term of the IRC program (2010-2015), the focus will be placed on further development of the fundamentals of in vivo and on-site calibrations, new devices, approaches and applications for complex environmental matrices, including the analysis of fruits directly on the tree and live tissues in lab animals and microorganisms, including single cells, not only for in vivo determination of levels of target analytes, but also for characterizing binding, speciation and conversion of these species.


  • Supelco, Division of Sigma-Aldrich
  • Gerstel
  • Unilever
  • TeknoScan
  • P&P Optica
  • PAS Technology
  • Biofont
  • Convergent Bioscience

Contact information

Department of Chemistry
University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L 3G1

Tel.: 519-888-4641
Fax: 519-746-0435


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