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Product news in brief - week 3

By staff reporter, 16-Jan-2008

Related topics: Processing

LabTechnologist.com brings you a round up of the latest product news and releases from Lonza, MIP Technologies and Supelco, Illumina, Cisbio, Bookham and Tecan.

Starting off in Switzerland, Lonza has released a new cell type to supplement its existing immune cell products. Dubbed 'Poietics human natural killer cells' are primary cells isolated from normal human peripheral blood using positive or negative immunomagnetic selection for the CD56 antigen.


The cells are provided cryopreserved and are tested to be over 90 per cent pure for the antigen and over 95 per cent viable after thawing, according to Lonza. The firm says the cells would be useful for researchers studying immune cell regulation, cancer, autoimmune diseases, HIV and other viral infections, vaccines and transplantation. For example, to study how natural killer cells act as a first line of defence against multiple sclerosis.


The immunotherapy market is expected to double in value over the next five years from its current figure of $12bn (€8.11bn) and therefore Lonza believes there is a growing need for natural killer cells from various donors.


Meanwhile, MIP Technologies and Supelco, a division of Sigma-Aldrich have launched SupelMIP, a solid phase extraction (SPE) device that can enable scientists to detect trace levels of amphetamine, methamphetamine, phentermine, MDA, MDMA and MDEA in samples.


"The detection levels are in the low ppt (part per trillion) range, which is far lower than competing extraction phases on the market and makes the SupelMIP product ideal for difficult forensic applications where drug concentrations may be low and sensitivity is critical," said Dr Christine Widstrand, VP Sales and Marketing at MIP Technologies.


The SPE sorbents based on molecularly imprinted polymers have been developed by MIP Technologies. The product is currently being tested at a hospital lab in Angelholm, Sweden.


Illumina has unveiled two new products from its Infinium HD product line for DNA analysis, which was announced at the recent JP Morgan Healthcare Conference: the Human1M-Duo (with two samples per chip) and the Human610-Quad (with, unsurprisingly, four samples per chip). This equates to up to 2.3 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) per BeadChip.


To give you some idea of what that actually means, Illumina's first genotyping product (released in 2002) could only screen 1,536 SNPs with one microarray. The firm claims that the Infinium HD products double sample throughput and reduce DNA input requirements by as much as 70 per cent.


The firm believes that the Human1M-Duo has the best genomic coverage in the industry - with each array having markers for more than one million diverse genetic variants, in order to detect disease-causing SNPs and for copy number variation (CNV) analysis.


The Human610-Quad BeadChip is based upon the HumanHap550 BeadChip, with the latter's 550,000 SNPs plus an additional 60,000 genetic markers per sample. The CNV content on each product was developed in conjunction with deCODE Genetics.


Bookham, which provides optical components for a number of industries, has decided it will enter the biomedical market with its ZoroLight LED multiplexing technology. The product combines an LED light source with a Bookham filter, and can multiplex up to six wavelengths in the visible range, or red, green and blue for white light.


Rather than using lenses to capture light in free space, the ZoroLight LED module traps light in a tunnel of highly-reflective dielectric coated surfaces that are geometry optimised for efficient source light collection and filter performance. The firm says this improves brightness and efficiency, while keeping the product small compared to traditional approaches to LED combining methods.


The ZoroLight is designed for manufacturers of healthcare, pharmaceutical and diagnostic technologies.


In France, Cisbio has released a new 'universal' assay for high-throughput screening and profiling of kinases. The assay is the latest Homogeneous Time-Resolved Fluorescence (HTRF) product from Cisbio, only this time combined with Transscreener, an Adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP) immunodetection technology licensed from BellBrook Labs last November .


The HTRF Transscreener assay measures the generation of ADP through the direct detection of a specific antibody labelled with Eu (3+) cryptate, which correlates with the amount of phosphorylated substrate. By measuring ADP, rather than the substrate itself, the assay can work with any substrate. The detection mode is also touted as having less interference and providing fewer false positives than assays that measure ADP depletion.


Finally it's back to Switzerland, where Tecan has launched the latest version of its Freedom EVOware software which controls the firm's liquid handling equipment of the same name. The firm says the update improves throughput and operating speed through more efficient movement of the robotic arms and optimized scheduling for example. Usability and data management improvements include realistic simulation of processes, and a modular user management that allows several installations to share one user database.