Application of Virtual Reality on the Teaching and Learning of Mass Spectrometry
Hung Kui Patrick Ngai, Fai Hang Lo, Shannon Au, S.K. Kong, P.C. Shaw, K.B. Wong and Ray Lee
Mass spectrometry (MS) is a commonly used technique to analyze biochemical samples such as peptides, cellular metabolites and other organic compounds. The properties of biomolecules or their fragments can be revealed by ionization and separation processes according to their mass-to-charge ratios. With different machine designs, MS has become one of the important methods for protein characterization and peptide sequencing. Not only can mass spectrometers be used in different research fields, but they can also be employed to study both pure samples and cellular mixtures. Despite its powerful functions, operation of a large mass spectrometer can only be conducted under the supervision of skilled technicians and in a specialized lab facility. Both of which, however, may not be readily available for a large undergraduate class. Furthermore, life science students are often daunted by abstract physical concepts of mass spectrometry. It could also be difficult for some students to acquire the skills to handle a sophisticated mass spectrometer and to prepare biological specimens for analysis. In light of the immersive nature of visual reality (VR) technology, an interactive e-learning module has been developed to help students overcome these learning difficulties. In the poster presentation session, the design of our VR learning module and its implementation in classroom will be discussed.