Per Larsson

About Per Larsson

I have an MSc in chemistry with emphasis towards analytical chemistry and biochemistry. After finishing my MSc in 2006 I was employed as chemist by Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuset for a few years before I was given the opportunity to become a full time PhD student at the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine in 2010. The focus of our research group is biomarkers and airway inflammation. Chronic airway inflammation is associated to many common airway diseases such as asthma and COPD yet there is no widely applicable method for early detection and monitoring of small airway inflammation at present. To address this, we have developed a new method to obtain samples of the respiratory tract lining fluid that covers the small airways. The method is based on sampling of small airborne droplets that are formed from the fluid in the small airways, and in particular during a certain breathing maneuver. The droplets are small enough to be carried in the exhaled air from the small airways to the mouth where they can be sampled conveniently. We have developed an instrument with the purpose of quantifying the amount of exhaled droplets while at the same time collecting them for chemical analysis. Because the droplets are formed in the small airways they are considered to have a chemical composition that is representative of the respiratory lining fluid in small airways and are likely to contain biomarkers that reflects the inflammatory condition. My research focus is on both sampling and analyzing the exhaled droplets. Currently we have a few analytical methods that have been validated and are being used in clinical studies with promising results. A particularly interesting project that I am now working on is to analyze surfactant protein A by SRM/MRM mass spectrometry. The purpose is to cross validate the immunological method that we are using today and also to study how structural variations can influence the immunological functions of the protein.