This month, we are pleased to feature Jason Todd, a prolific user of SEC-MALS at Polymer Solutions, Inc. But rather than writing about Jason’s work and relationship with Wyatt, we think he tells it best in his own words. Be sure to read to the end and find out about Jason’s rather unusual hobby and family!
“Polymer Solutions Incorporated (PSI) is a privately-owned contract testing laboratory focused on analysis of polymers and polymer-based products, comprising three labs. The Applied Chemistry and Spectroscopy (ACS) Lab performs a lot of classical wet chemistry methods, dilute solution viscosity, FTIR, NMR, titrations, and ICP-OES. The Physical Lab covers polymer thermal analysis methods (DSC, TGA, DMA), rheometry, mechanical testing, and optical and electron microscopy methods. The Chromatography Lab, which I manage, provides analysis by HPLC, SEC-MALS, GC, GC-MS, and LC-MS.
PSI provides solutions to technical problems involving polymers and other materials. We work for clients in a wide range of industries including pharmaceutical, medical device, automotive, consumer products, building products, and defense. The types of projects include lot release and stability testing for cGMP-regulated industries, analytical method development and validation, purity testing, failure analysis, chemical and physical characterization, and litigation support. We are FDA-registered and ISO:17025-accredited, following good documentation practices, equipment qualification, method validation, and training. Some of the problems can be quite challenging and complex, so having at our disposal state-of-the-art instrumentation such as the Wyatt MALS detectors is critical to our success.
I have been with Polymer Solutions for 19 years. When I first started, fresh out of school, we had 5 or 6 employees and I was doing everything including sales, testing samples using all of our instrumentation at the time, writing reports, and managing IT. Now we are near 35 full-time employees and as the company has grown, I have been able to focus on developing the chromatography laboratory, and we have been able to put together a really great group of scientists. The best part about working at PSI is the people, and the culture in general. The company is all about helping our external customers by performing great science, as well as providing our scientists and supporting staff the opportunity to grow.
“Wyatt Technology is invested in the success of its customers. No instrument manufacturer does a better job of educating and supporting their users.”
The work has always been interesting and challenging in terms of its technical aspects, as well as its impact. We are often helping a company bring a new drug or medical device to market, helping solve a contamination problem or failure issue, or providing independent testing in support of a high-stakes legal battle. PSI takes on complex projects that other labs may not have the expertise to deal with. Our approach is very consultative, where we will spend time discussing the problem with the client and then come up with a testing plan, sometimes involving development of custom analytical methods. This aspect of the job makes it fun and interesting — we are never doing exactly the same thing, week-to-week.
GPC is an essential polymer characterization technique and is a big part of what we do. We have a great deal of experience performing SEC-MALS and conventional SEC on many different types of polymers. The ability to measure absolute molecular weight using MALS has been attractive to many of our clients. Standardizing on Wyatt SEC-MALS instruments has been a great business decision because the detectors are very reliable and have few problems. When we have had issues, the support from Wyatt has been phenomenal.
Outside of work I am into horse and donkey farming. My wife and I have a small farm where we keep a few riding horses and mules, and also breed miniature donkeys. The equines and also a few dogs are an essential part of our family, and the farm life is a great distraction when things get a bit stressful at work.”
Thanks, Jason, for sharing your story and kind words about Wyatt, and also for reminding us that at least some of our customers have lives outside the lab!