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Inside Instrumentation

Technology And Business News For The Laboratory World

by Celia H. Arnaud and Ann M. Thayer
April 10, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 15

Stratagene to supply PCR units to Bayer

Stratagene, a developer of life sciences research and diagnostic products, and Bayer HealthCare's diagnostic division have agreed to work together on customized instrument systems. Bayer will buy and use Stratagene's Mx3005P instruments as components in modular quantitative polymerase chain reaction systems for molecular diagnostic applications. Stratagene will also develop customized software and other features and will receive milestone payments from Bayer upon completing these and related regulatory activities to meet Bayer's clinical requirements.

Credit: Waters Photo
Credit: Waters Photo

Waters, Thermo to integrate systems

Waters and Thermo Electron are collaborating to integrate Waters' Acquity ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) system with several Thermo mass spectrometer (MS) models. The move, the companies say, is a response to scientists and laboratory technicians who want higher throughput and performance in certain MS applications. UPLC offers narrower and sharper peaks, higher signal-to-noise ratios, and shorter run times, which can improve front-end sample input and subsequent productivity in mass analysis.

Thermo, GE launch new process systems

Credit: Thermo Electron Photo
Credit: Thermo Electron Photo

Thermo Electron has extended its line of near-infrared analyzers for process applications. Its newly designed Antaris II can be used to answer manufacturing quality control questions in the laboratory, at production point-of-use, or in real-time processes. The Antaris MX and EX systems are complete, integrated packages ready for use. The MX system is optimized for point-of-use raw material and process analysis, and the EX provides unmanned, on-line analytics-based control of processes such as drying, batch reactions, and fermentations. Separately, GE Healthcare is offering process-scale instrumentation for protein purification. Targeting pharmaceutical applications, its AKTAprocess system handles chromatographic purifications, and its UniFlux system is for membrane separations.

Reaction Biology gets NIH grant

Reaction Biology, Malvern, Pa., has been awarded a four-year, $1.8 million grant for molecular-library screening instrumentation under the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Other grant recipients include five universities, Burnham Institute, and a partnership between Battelle and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Reaction Biology will use the money to advance its spray deposition and microarray printing technology and to increase the throughput of its DiscoveryDot system. Currently, the system can screen up to 6,000 individual reactions at 1-nL volumes on a 1- by 3-inch glass slide.

ESA Biosciences will debut products

ESA Biosciences will launch the Corona Plus, a new version of its charged-aerosol detector for high-performance liquid chromatography, and BioStat, a new system for electrochemical measurements, at the Analytica 2006 meeting in Munich, Germany, later this month. The Corona Plus detector is designed for laboratories that use tetrahydrofuran as a mobile-phase component in chromatographic separations and sample analyses. The BioStat system allows for making real-time measurements from a variety of electrodes or sensors on as many as four independent channels.

Projects yield promising instrumentationfor molecular and medical research

Two ongoing projects have reported progress in the development of new tools for molecular and medical research. Lyncean Technologies says it has generated an X-ray beam from a prototype compact light source (CLS). The CLS is a minisynchrotron that fits in the space of a small office. The prototype is being installed at Scripps Research Institute, where it will be used to collect experimental data. Development of the CLS was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences through its Protein Structure Initiative and Small Business Innovation Research program.

Separately, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology's Applied Sensors Laboratory have developed a multifunctional sensing tool that can both monitor topography and scan electrochemical activity at a cell surface. It is constructed from recessed micro- and nanoscale electrodes added to the tip of an atomic force microscope. With collaborators at Emory University, they are using the sensor for the first time to study the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) at the surface of live epithelial cells. Elevated ATP levels have been linked with cystic fibrosis. The Georgia Tech team and scientists at Johns Hopkins University are also studying ATP release in the carotid body, a chemoreceptor that monitors oxygen content in blood.



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