Inside Instrumentation | January 19, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 3 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 3 | pp. 66-67 | Inside Instrumentation
Issue Date: January 19, 2009

Inside Instrumentation

Technology and business news for the laboratory world
Department: Science & Technology

Instruments Available Via Grants And Award

Millipore and Guava Technologies will award a Guava flow cytometer worth more than $100,000 to a scientist whose innovative research proposal advances cell biology. Applications will be available at the companies’ websites through April 30 and then reviewed by company scientists, who will choose five finalists for further interviews. Separately, the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT), with headquarters at Davidson College, in North Carolina, is making Thermo Scientific NanoDrop 1000 spectrophotometers available to undergraduates. By providing analytical tools and microarray scanning services, GCAT helps support student genomic research. NSF has granted $14,000 to each of seven schools for GCAT activities. GCAT anticipates future NSF funding will allow it to donate instrumentation to 11 more schools.

Mass Spectrometer Takes Flight

Agilent has launched the 6230 Accurate-Mass time-of-flight liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometer system. The company is targeting food safety and toxicology applications. The 6230 offers mass accuracy better than 1 ppm, resolving power of up to 20,000, and acquisition rates of 20 mass spectra per second. In addition, Agilent has released a pesticide database with accurate mass information for more than 1,600 compounds. The company plans to offer similar databases for toxicology and drugs of abuse.


Battelle Announces CO2 Monitor

Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle will collaborate with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration to manufacture and commercialize a carbon dioxide monitor to help scientists understand and predict climate change. The instrument measures the partial pressure of CO2 in the ocean and atmosphere. Such measurements can help determine whether the ocean is acting as a source or sink for CO2. The system, which can be placed on buoys in the ocean, is designed to operate unattended for more than a year at a time. It will be commercially available this summer.

Prosolia Introduces New Ion Source

Indianapolis-based Prosolia has announced an advanced two-dimensional version of its Omni Spray Ion Source, based on desorption electrospray ionization (DESI). The ion source’s automated surface platform enables rapid sampling and surface imaging of tissue or thin-layer chromatography plates. It accommodates samples the size of a standard 96-well microtiter plate and achieves step resolution of 50 µm. It can analyze 96 sample spots in less than 10 minutes. The DESI spray angle can be adjusted without changing other parameters.


Eksigent Offers HPLC System

Microfluidic technology company Eksigent has introduced the ExpressHT-Ultra high-performance liquid chromatography system for pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism studies of small molecules. By operating at a top pressure of 10,000 psi, the system can use small-particle stationary phases to deliver narrow peaks for mass spectrometry analysis. The high-throughput system has cycle times as short as 60 seconds, allowing users to run six 96-well sample plates overnight. It also employs 1-mm-diameter or smaller columns that use up to 95% less solvent than traditional HPLC systems.


Solutions For Acetonitrile Shortage

Declining fiber and plastics production has contributed to a severe worldwide shortage in the availability of the by-product acetonitrile (C&EN, Nov. 24, 2008, page 27). Supplies likely will be limited at least through midyear and possibly until the end of 2009. Because the solvent is widely used in high-performance liquid chromatography, instrumentation companies are offering solutions to circumvent the shortage and maintain lab productivity. Dionex, for example, suggests at least six procedural and instrumentation changes to lower solvent consumption. And Waters says that replacing HPLC systems with its Acquity UltraPerformance LC system can reduce acetonitrile consumption by at least 70% without compromising productivity and performance. Instrumentation makers are also encouraging researchers to develop analytical methods with other solvents.


Celia H. Arnaud and Ann M. Thayer write Inside Instrumentation. Contact them via e-mail to

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