NanoDrop makes low volume analysis a cinch

By Huw Kidwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Spectroscopy

NanoDrop, now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, made a big impact
at Pittcon 2008 with its range of micro-volume UV-vis and
fluorescence spectroscopy instruments.

NanoDrop was acquired by Thermo Fisher in late 2007. The company has now "increased its client base and the sales are better than ever as scientists are realising the value of low volume rapid spectroscopic analysis",​ according to Chris Petty the Director of NanoDrop and the Spectroscopy division. The instrumentation allows the measurement of UV-vis and fluorescence spectra for a variety of samples including DNA, RNA, dyes, peptides and cell cultures. The advantages are in the small quantity of sample required (some labs routinely deal with low volume samples and do not have the material available to make up a cuvette or microplate sample), which can be recovered if necessary. The technique is rapid and with the addition of the ND 8000 eight channel instrument the processing of a standard 96 well plate can be carried out in minutes with the linear pedestal array (the micro quantity of material is held on the optical reader surface by simple surface tension and can then be wiped off or recovered ready for the next analysis). Philippe Desjardin, the scientific marketing manager for NanoDrop Technologies, commented: "the use of our instrumentation increases life science research workflow and allows QC checks where previously there may have been none because of the lack of material."​ He continued, "in PCR work it may take eight hours to run a sample and NanoDrop now allows low volume-low concentration samples to be evaluated prior to the more expensive steps in the process being undertaken... it is a case of a simple ten second analysis being able to give confirmation of the purity of DNA, RNA and other samples to save time and trouble later in the process."​ The advantages of NanoDrop are speed, small sample and the ability for it to be integrated into processes and applications across any platform where the investigated compounds have a UV-vis chromophore. Of course fluorescence is more sensitive again and with fluorophore bearing compounds can work down to femtomolar concentrations. The ND 8000 eight channel instrument has an excellent human machine interface (HMI) to aid the researcher in sample processing. The plate has an array of LEDs underneath it corresponding to each of the 96 wells. The coloured lights indicate which row is being processed and which is next and also indicate when a sample gives a positive or out of specification result. The next stage of development for the ND 8000 may well be for it to incorporate more automation and be integrated with liquid handling systems for ease of use in more automated laboratory environments.

Related topics: Processing

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