As the annual Pittcon laboratory analysis showcase gets underway this week, a string of products with applications in drug discovery have been introduced, including new tools for proteomics and the first commercial analysis system based on electromolecular propulsion.
Waters unveiled its next-generation liquid chromatograph, said to significantly improve productivity in the lab by giving scientists chromatographic run times up to nine times shorter than the fastest current HPLC systems. The company will start shipping the product in the second quarter of this year.
The ACQUITY Ultra Performance LC System uses novel sub two-micron particles to speed up chromatographic run times and double peak capacity or resolution. It offers 'more information from a single run than anything today's HPLC systems can provide', claims the firm.
An alternative analytical technique to chromatography and electrophoresis has been unveiled by Haber . The system uses electromolecular propulsion, an electrochemical process that affects the differential movement and analytic separation of a very wide variety of molecules, and can analyse complex chemical compounds in seconds, according to the firm.
Haber's first commercial EMP unit - the EMP 15 D/A - will be demonstrated for the first time at Pittcon. The company conceded that it will have a tough time winning market share from the chromatography and electrophoresis players, but added that the advantages of the system mean that in time the technology will be 'embraced'.
Varian has introduced OMIX 100 microlitre SPE Pipette Tips for micro extractions in proteomics and drug discovery applications. The new product is expected to be used by proteomic researchers in the same manner as the original OMIX tips - for desalting and concentrating samples prior to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) or liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis - but have increased capacity.
For drug discovery, the tips are particularly suitable for scientists who need to conserve precious sample amounts, allowing sample sizes down to as little as 50 microlitres to be handled. Meanwhile, in proteomics applications, the enlarged tip size of the OMIX 100 product houses more sorbent material and accommodates larger sample volumes. As a result, researchers will be able to isolate up to five times more peptide than with existing tips and process the entire sample at once instead of having to repeat the process using multiple aliquots.
PerkinElmer is showcasing its Lambda family of molecular spectroscopy instruments, which promise significantly improved productivity to rival products, reducing the time required for complex analysis of pharmaceuticals. It is also unveiling the prOTOF 2000, a MALDI O-TOF mass spectrometer optimised for the identification and characterisation of proteins.
A next generation high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) column for LC/MS applications, ZirChrom-MS, has been introduced by ZirChrom Separations . The company claims the surface deactivated column offers improved retention, selectivity, and peak shape for basic pharmaceutical compounds compared to other columns currently on the market.
Bruker BioSciences has launched a new proteomics research software package that can integrate data from a range of different proteomic methods. Proteomics RIMS combines and integrates the data, information and knowledge generated in the proteomics research workflow from complementary mass spectrometry and x-ray crystallography technologies.
In addition, the software also provides access to proteomic interaction and structural data provided by surface plasmon resonance mass spectrometry (SPR-MS) and by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Both NMR and SPR are used to study protein-protein interactions, as well as the binding of small molecule inhibitors or promoters to proteins. It can also be used to determine the optimal use of X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy in structural proteomics or to determine structure-activity relationships (SARs).