PerkinElmer is selling the Lambda 1050, a new spectrophotometer for the testing of advanced materials, including coatings, optical fibers, and all types of glass. The system has a scanning range of 175-3,300 nm based on a photomultiplier tube, PbS, and InGaAs three-detector design. The Lambda 1050 is intended to help scientists develop engineered materials and handle samples from the research lab through to manufacturing validation.
(*) Symyx Technologies is making its high-throughput system for screening and optimizing high-pressure reactions more broadly available. The research-scale system is useful for studying catalysts and catalytic processes for refining, petrochemical, and fine chemicals applications. Reactions can be run in parallel in a 96-well reactor plate at temperatures up to 400 °C and pressures up to 1,500 psig. Symyx also offers automated lab workflow, project execution, and decision support software.
Three recent mergers and acquisitions have further consolidated the instrumentation industry. Malvern Instruments in the U.K. has acquired Houston-based Viscotek Corp. The deal combined Malvern's particulate materials characterization business with Viscotek's chromatography systems for characterizing polymers and proteins. In another deal, Kinesis has purchased Abimed Analysen Technik GmbH. Based in Germany, Abimed serves the chromatography and liquid- handling markets there, while Kinesis provides chromatography consumables and services in the U.K. Meanwhile, Labcyte, in Sunnyvale, Calif., will merge with Ireland's Deerac Fluidics. Both companies have developed low-volume liquid-handling equipment but use different technologies that operate in different volume ranges for different life sciences applications.
Eksigent has introduced the NanoLC-Ultra for the chromatographic separation of peptide mixtures. The liquid chromatography system uses Eksigent's microfludic flow control and operates at pressures up to 10,000 psi to allow for higher resolution separations. It also can be used with longer columns than previous NanoLC systems and with columns packed with smaller particles. Self-priming and -purging pumps allow for easy solvent changes, and a "peak parking" mode temporarily decreases the flow rate to allow for longer mass spectrometry analysis of the analyte.
Qiagen has launched QIAxcel, an automated system for nucleic acid separation designed to replace traditional slab-gel electrophoresis. The system uses prepared gel cartridges that reduce manual handling and exposure to toxic reagents. QIAxcel can analyze up to 96 samples per run using 12 different protocols and can detect nucleic acid concentrations as small as 0.1 ng/μL. Qiagen also has introduced QIAsymphony SP, a flexible purification system for handling different starting materials, such as blood, respiratory samples, tissues, and cultured cells. It uses proprietary magnetic-particle chemistry for purifying proteins, RNA, DNA, and viral and bacterial nucleic acids.
The Transmission Electron Aberration-corrected Microscope (TEAM) project, launched in 2004, has installed the world's most powerful transmission electron microscope at the Department of Energy's National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The microscope was built by collaborators from LBNL; DOE's Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories; the Frederick Seitz Materials Laboratory of the University of Illinois; and two private companies specializing in electron microscopy, FEI of Portland, Ore., and CEOS of Heidelberg, Germany. Ultra-stable electronics, improved aberration correctors, and an extremely bright electron source allow the TEAM 0.5 microscope to produce images with half-Ångstrom resolution and with a high signal-to-noise ratio and image contrast. The electron beam first operated in late December 2007; since then the team has been adding components and completing associated facilities. Testing is still under way, but the TEAM 0.5 is expected to be available to outside researchers by October.