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Analytical Chemistry

Inside Instrumentation

Technology and Business News for the Laboratory World

by Celia H. Arnaud and Ann M. Thayer
September 11, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 37

Viscotek will supply U.K. materials center

Viscotek, a supplier of instrumentation for characterizing polymers and other materials, will provide multiple instruments to the University of Liverpool's Centre for Materials Discovery. The new U.K. center aims to facilitate and support the adoption of high-throughput technologies for advanced polymeric materials development. It will purchase Triple Detector Array (TDA) gel-permeation chromatography and dynamic light-scattering systems from Viscotek. The TDA technology allows researchers to determine molecular weight, viscosity, branching, aggregation, and other parameters in a single experiment.

Applied Biosystems gets Defense contract

The Department of Defense has awarded Applied Biosystems a $24.5 million contract to develop a prototype instrument to identify infectious disease agents for epidemiological and biosecurity purposes. The system must give precise, reproducible results in less than one hour after sample processing; use a streamlined workflow; and allow simultaneous analysis of multiple pathogens in a single test. Another goal is to have a system that public health and safety professionals can use outside of a lab environment. In July, Applied Biosystems presented key components of a prototype to the Air Force, which will validate the next-generation system.

BaroFold offers new protein unit

Barofold has launched what it says is the first research-scale, high-pressure unit for rapidly solubilizing and refolding proteins from aggregated protein samples. According to the company, its PreEMT E-150 system outperforms chaotrope-based methods, which use solutes to destabilize proteins, and works well with difficult-to-fold proteins. Up to 28 1-mL samples under different buffer and additive conditions can be pressurized at one time, and protein solutions of greater than 30 mg/mL can be solubilized. BaroFold is a privately held company created in 2002 to commercialize technology invented at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Merck signs deal with Stratagene

Merck's Rosetta Inpharmatics subsidiary will work with Stratagene to develop an RNA purification system for molecular diagnostic and research applications. The companies intend to create an automated system for isolating nucleic acids from clinical samples for gene expression and diagnostic analyses. Stratagene is to manufacture and sell the system along with single-use consumables for various applications.

Credit: City of Kannapolis
Credit: City of Kannapolis

Syrris forms a new subsidiary

Syrris, a U.K.-based developer of automated flow reactors, has formed a subsidiary company called Dolomite Centre Ltd. The microfluidics application center offers scientific consulting, device design and prototyping, and full instrument development. Dolomite has received a nearly $4 million grant that will allow it to become part of the U.K. Department of Trade & Industry's Micro & Nanotechnology Facilities Network and provide open access to expertise and capabilities for microfabrication.

Bio-Rad will acquire Ciphergen business

Bio-Rad laboratories will pay about $20 million to acquire Ciphergen Biosystems' proteomics instrument business, which includes surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI) technology, ProteinChip arrays, and related software. Bio-Rad will also make a $3 million equity investment in Ciphergen. Bio-Rad will offer the SELDI technology to the life sciences market for proteomics applications, and Ciphergen will still have exclusive rights to the diagnostics market and will purchase SELDI instruments and consumables from Bio-Rad.

New North Carolina Research Campus Gets State-of-the-Art NMR System

David H. Murdock, chairman and owner of Castle & Cooke and Dole Food, has bought the first actively shielded 22.3-tesla superconducting magnet and Avance II 950 US2 NMR spectrometer made by Bruker BioSpin (C&EN, June 12, page 40). He plans to donate the multi-million-dollar system to the soon-to-be-formed nonprofit David H. Murdock Research Institute, located on the recently established North Carolina Research Campus. In September 2005, Murdock, the 16-campus University of North Carolina, and other partners announced plans to create a 350-acre life sciences campus in Kannapolis, N.C. When completed, the $1 billion scientific and economic revitalization project will have more than 1 million sq ft of office and lab space, house up to 100 biotechnology companies, and create 5,000 new technology jobs. The Murdock Institute's core analytical, manufacturing, and other facilities will support researchers on campus and from surrounding institutions.


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