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Peter de B. Harrington

Peter de B. Harrington


Chemistry & Biochemistry
Clippinger 291

Director of the Center for Intelligent Chemical Instrumentation

Recent News


Ph.D., University of North Carolina
Curriculum Vitae


  • Chemometrics Forensic Chemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Ion Mobility Spectrometry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Proteomics
  • Bacteria
  • Group Website

The nature and significance of my scholarship is directed toward the development of intelligent chemical instruments. I am working with ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and mass spectrometry (MS). These two methods are complementary and are distinguished by the pressure at which the ion measurement is made. If the ion velocities are measured in the gas phase at atmospheric pressure, the ion mobility is determined by an ion's volume-to-charge ratio. If the ions are measured under vacuum conditions (i.e., less than a millionth of atmospheric pressure) then their velocity is determined by the mass-to-charge ratio of the ion. Because ion mobility spectrometers do not require a vacuum system, they are more portable, less costly, more rugged, and amenable to miniaturization. Mass spectrometers have the advantages of greater resolving and informing power when compared to ion mobility spectrometers.

My group is interested in coupling chemometric methods with ion mobility and mass spectrometers, so that the chemometric methods are transparent to the user and so that the instrument exhibits intelligent behavior. An intelligent instrument furnishes user- or problem-defined information as opposed to data that must be interpreted by a scientist. My group is developing algorithms that perform real-time signal processing, modeling, and interpretation.

There are several application areas that interest us. We are developing methods for rapid identification of bacteria or biogenic compounds using IMS and MS. Our forensic projects involve improving the identification of drugs of abuse and explosives by IMS, as well as adapting IMS to new applications such as accelerant detection for arson cases. My group is studying and characterizing bacteria digests and whole-cell bacteria by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-MS. The mass spectral data is used to profile the bacterial proteins. My group has been actively involved in biomarker detection in MS data since 1990. Presently, we are investigating early diagnosis of disease from MS data as well as using MALDI-MS as a rapid forensic analysis tool.

Publications from Ohio University Projects

(*Denotes corresponding author)

P.B. Harrington*, Automated Support Vector Regression, Journal of Chemometrics (2016) DOI:  10.1002/cem.2867.

P.B. Harrington*, Support Vector Machine Classification Trees Based on Fuzzy Entropy of Classification, Analytica Chimica Acta (2016) DOI:  10.1016/j.aca.2016.11.072.

A.K. Aloglu, P.B. Harrington*, S. Sahin, C. Demir, Prediction of Total Antioxidant Activity of Prunella L. Species by Automatic Partial Least Square Regression Applied to 2-Way Liquid Chromatographic UV Spectral Images.   Talanta (2016) 161 503-510 DOI:  10.1016/j.talanta.2016.09.014.

N.R. Saichek, C.R Cox, S. Kim, P.B. Harrington, N.R. Stambach, and K. Voorhees*, Strain-level Staphylococcus differentiation by CeO2-metal oxide laser ionization mass spectrometry fatty acid profiling.  BMC Microbiology (2016) 16:72 1-11 DOI:  10.1186/s12866-016-0658-y.

Z. Chen, Z. Zhang*, R. Zhu, Y. Xiang, and P.B. Harrington, Diagnosis of patients with chronic kidney disease by using two fuzzy classifiers.   Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems (2016) 153 140-145 DOI:  10.1016/j.chemolab.2016.03.004.

J. Li, J. Qu, L. Qu, R. Yang*, P.B. Harrington, A sensitive electrochemical sensor of quercetin based on graphene quantum dots/gold nanoparticles nanocomposite.  Electrochimica Acta (2016) 28:6 1322-1330 DOI: 10.1002/elan.201500490.

J.M. Harnly*, P. Chen, J. Sun, H. Huang, K. Colson, J. Yuk, J.A. McCoy, D.H. Reynaud, and P.B. Harrington, MS, NMR, and DNA Barcoding, Complementary Methods for Identification and Authentication of Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.) Planta Medica (2015) DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1558113.

Y. Mao, L. Yu, R. Yang, C. Ma, L. Qu, and P.B. Harrington, New insights into side effect of solvents on the aggregation of human islet amyloid polypeptide 11-20. Talanta (2015) 148 380-386 DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2015.11.012.

P.B. Harrington*, Support Vector Machine Classification Trees.  Analytical Chemistry (2015) DOI:  10.1021/acs.analchem.5b03113.

J. Harnly*, P. Chen, K. Colson, J.A. McCoy, D.H. Reynaud, and P.B. Harrington, MS, NMR, and DNA barcoding, complementary methods for identification and authentication of Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.).  Planta Medica (2015) 81:11 PA1 DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1556184.

R. Yang*, D. Miao, Y. Liang, L. Qu, J. Li, P.B. Harrington, Ultrasensitive electrochemical sensor based on CdTe quantum dots-decorated poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride)-functionalized graphene nanocomposite modified glassy carbon electrode for the determination of puerarin in biological samples.  Electrochimica Acta (2015) 173:10 839-846 DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2015.05.139.

Z. Zhang*, Z. Chen, R. Zhu, Y. Xiang, Y. Yang, and P.B Harrington, Application of Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy Combined with Chemometrics to Quantitative Analysis of Imidacloprid in Rice Samples.  Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer (2015) 167 1-9 DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2015.07.018.

A.H. Bani Rashaid, P.B. Harrington*, and Glen P. Jackson Profiling Amino Acids of Jordanian Scalp Hair as a Tool for Diabetes Mellitus Diagnosis. Analytical Chemistry (2015) DOI:  10.1021/acs.analchem.5b00460.

M. Zhang, Y. Zhao, P.B. Harrington, and Pei Chen*, Differentiation of Aurantii Fructus Immaturus and Fructus Poniciri Trifoliatae Immaturus by Flow-injection with Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Detection and Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance using Partial Least-squares Discriminant Analysis. Analytical Letters (2015) 10.1080/00032719.2015.1045588.

M. Zhang, P.B. Harrington, and P. Chen*, Classification of Cultivation Locations of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.) using Gas Chromatography and Chemometrics. Current Chromatography (2015) 2 1-1 DOI:  10.2174/2213240602666150518235059.

L. Wang, R. Yang*, J. Li, L. Qu, and P.B. Harrington, High-sensitive electrochemical sensor of Sudan I based on template-directed self-assembly of graphene-ZnSe quantum dots hybrid structure.  Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical (2015) 215 181-187 DOI:  10.1016/j.snb.2015.03.034.

M. Zhang and P.B. Harrington*, Application of Chemometrics to Resolve Overlapping Mass Spectral Peak Clusters Between Trichloroethylene and its Deuterated Internal Standard.  Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry (2015) 29 789-794 DOI:  10.1002/rcm.7164.

G. Downey, L.L. Botros*, J. Jablonski, C. Chang, M.M. Bergana, P. Wehling, J.M. Harnly, P.B. Harrington, A.R. Potts, and J.C. Moore, Exploring the variance of authentic skim and non-fat dry milk powder spectra.  NIR News (2015) 26:2 11-14 DOI:  10.1255/nirn.1512.

M. Zhang and P.B. Harrington*, Determination of Trichloroethylene in Water by Liquid-Liquid Microextraction Assisted Solid Phase Microextraction.  Chromatography (2015) 2:1 66-78 DOI:  10.3390/chromatography2010066.

L. Wang, R. Yang*, H. Wang, J. Li, L. Qu*, and P.B. Harrington, High-selective and sensitive voltammetric sensor for butylated hydroxyanisole based on AuNPs-PVP-graphene nanocomposites.  Talanta 138:1 (2015) 169-175 DOI:  10.1016/j.talanta.2015.01.016.

Y. Mao, L. Yu*, J. Li, L. Qu*, and P.B. Harrington, A novel method for the study of molecular interaction by using microscale thermophoresis.  Talanta 132 (2015) 894-901 DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2014.09.038.

N. Qi, Z. Zhang*, Y. Xiang, Y. Yang, X. Liang, and P.B. Harrington, Terahertz Time-domain Spectroscopy Combined with Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis Applied to Diagnosis of Cervical Carcinoma.  Analytical Methods 7:6 (2015) 2333-2338 DOI: 10.1039/C4AY02665A.

A.H. Bani Rashaid, P.B. Harrington, and G.P. Jackson*, Amino Acid Composition of Human Scalp Hair as a Biometric Classifier and Investigative Lead. Analytical Methods 7:5 (2015) 1707-1718 DOI: 10.1039/C4AY02588A.

N. Qi, Z. Zhang*, Y. Xiang, Y. Yang, and P.B. Harrington, Terahertz Time-domain Spectroscopy Combined with Fuzzy Rule-building Expert System and Fuzzy Optimal Associative Memory Applied to Early Diagnosis of Cervical Carcinoma.  Medical Oncology 32:1 (2014) 1-6 DOI: 10.1007/s12032-014-0383-z.

K.J. Voorhees*, N.R. Saichek, K.R. Jensen, C.R. Cox, and P.B. Harrington, Comparison of Metal Oxide Catalysts for Pyrolytic MALDI-TOF MS Bacterial Identification.  Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis (2014) DOI: 10.1016/j.jaap.2014.10.016.

Z. Wang, L. Lin, J.M. Harnly, P.B. Harrington, and P. Chen*, Computer-aided method for identification of major flavone/flavonol glycosides by high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MS/MS).  Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 406 (2014) 7695-7704 DOI: 10.1007/s00216-014-8187-8.

D. Miao, J. Li, R. Yang*, J. Qu, L. Qu, and P.B. Harrington, Supersensitive electrochemical sensor for the fast determination of rutin in pharmaceuticals and biological samples based on poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride)-functionalized graphene.  Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 732 (2014) 17-24 DOI: 10.1016/j.jelechem.2014.08.018.

M. Zhang and P.B. Harrington*, Simultaneous Quantification of Aroclor Mixtures in Soil Samples by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry with Solid Phase Microextraction using Partial Least-Squares Regression. Chemosphere 118C (2014) 187-193, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.08.018.

Z. Wang, M. Zhang, and P.B. Harrington*, A Comparison of Three Algorithms for the Baseline Correction of Hyphenated Data Objects.  Analytical Chemistry 86:18 (2014) 9050-9057, DOI:  10.1021/ac501658k.

L. Wang, R. Yang*, J. Chen, J. Li, L. Qu*, and P.B. Harrington, Sensitive voltammetric sensor based on Isopropanol–Nafion–PSS–GR nanocomposite modified glassy carbon electrode for determination of Clenbuterol in pork.  Food Chemistry 164 (2014) 113-118, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.04.052.

A.H. Bani Rashaid, G.P. Jackson, and, P.B Harrington*, Validation of a Method of Measuring the Amino Acid Composition of Proteins by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry.  Enliven:  Bio Analytical Techniques 1:002 (2014),

M. Zhang, G.P. Jackson, N.A. Kruse, J.R. Bowman, and P.B. Harrington*, Determination of Aroclor 1260 in Soil Samples by GC-MS with Solid-Phase Microextraction.  Journal of Separation Science 118 (2014) 187-193, DOI:  10.1002/jssc.201400102.

J.M. Harnly*, P.B. Harrington*, L.L. Botros, J.E. Jablonski, C. Chang, M.M. Bergana, P. Wehling , G. Downey, A.R. Potts , and J.C. Moore, Characterization of Near Infrared Spectral Variance in the Authentication of Skim and Nonfat Dry Milk Powder Collection Using ANOVA-PCA, Pooled-ANOVA, and Partial Least Squares Regression.  Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 62:32 (2014) 8060-8067, DOI:  10.1021/jf5013727.

J. Wang, Z. Zhang*, Z. Zhang, Y. Xiang, and P.B. Harrington, THz-TDS combined with a fuzzy rule-building expert system applied to identification of official rhubarb samples.  Analytical Methods 6:19 (2014) 7695-7702, DOI:  10.1039/C4AY00555D.

P.B. Harrington*, Fuzzy Grid Encoded Independent Modeling for Class Analogies (FIMCA).  Analytical Chemistry 86:10 (2014) 4883-4892, DOI: 10.1021/ac5001543.

J. Li, D. Miao, R. Yang, L. Qu, and P.B. Harrington, Synthesis of poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) functionalized graphene/cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) nanocomposite and its application in electrochemical oxidation of 2,4-dichlorophenol.  Electrochimica Acta 125 (2014) 1-8.

F. Yu, S. Yu, L. Yu, Y. Li, Y. Wu*, H. Zhang, L. Qu, P.B. Harrington, Determination of residual enrofloxacin in food samples by a sensitive method of chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay.  Food Chemistry 149 (2014) 71-75 DOI:  10.1016 /j.foodchem.2013.10.024.

J.M. Harnly*, P. Chen, and P.B. Harrington, Probability of Identification: Adulteration of American Ginseng with Asian Ginseng. Journal of AOAC International 96 (2013) 1258-1265 DOI: 10.5740/jaoacint.13-290.

M. Zhang and P.B. Harrington*, Automated Pipeline for Classifying Aroclors in Soil by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry using Modulo Compressed Two-way Data Objects. Talanta 117 (2013) 483-491 DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2013.09.050.

H. Zhang, Y. Wu*, F. Yu, S. Yu, H. Zhang, L. Qu, P.B. Harrington, Study on the reaction mechanism and the static injection chemiluminescence method for detection of acetaminophen. Luminescence 28:6 (2013) 905-909 DOI: 10.1002/bio.2455.

Z. Wang and P.B. Harrington*, Feature Selection from Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Data Using a Bootstrapped Fuzzy Rule-Building Expert System. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 405 (2013) 9219-9234, DOI: 10.1007/s00216-013-7327-x.

Jianjun Li, Xiao Li, Ran Yang*, Lingbo Qu, P.B. Harrington, A sensitive electrochemical chlorophenol sensor based on nanocomposite of ZnSe quantum dots and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. Analytica Chimica Acta 804 (2013) 76-83, DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.09.049.

L. Botros, J.E. Jablonski , C. Chang , M.M. Bergana , P. Wehling , J.M. Harnly, G. Downey, P.B. Harrington, A.R. Potts , and J.C. Moore, Exploring Authentic Skim and Nonfat Dry Milk Powder Variance for the Development of Nontargeted Adulterant Detection Methods Using NIR Spectroscopy and Chemometrics. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 61:41 (2013) 9810-9818, DOI: 10.1021/jf4023433.

G. Wang, M. Ma, Z. Zhang*, Y. Xiang, and P.B. Harrington, A novel DPSO–SVM system for variable interval selection of endometrial tissue sections by near infrared spectroscopy. Talanta 112 (2013) 136-142, DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2013.03.016.

Z. Wang, P. Chen, L. Yu, and P.B. Harrington*, Authentication of Organically and Conventionally Grown Basil by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Chemical Profiles. Analytical Chemistry 85:5 (2013) 2945-2953, DOI: 10.1021/ac303445v.

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