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Almost as sensitive as a dog’s nose

August 29, 2013 9:38 am | by Peter Rüegg, ETH Zurich | News | Comments

Using carbon nanotubes, a research team in Switzerland and California has developed a sensor that greatly amplifies the sensitivity of commonly used but typically weak vibrational spectroscopic methods, such as Raman spectroscopy. This type of sensor makes it possible to detect molecules present in the tiniest of concentrations.

More Reliable Nanoflow Operation

August 29, 2013 8:36 am | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Award Winners

Nanoflow liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry is used for qualitative and quantitative proteomics studies due to its high sensitivity. However, traditional nanoflow operation can be unreliable, and small imperfections when making connections between the tubing, column, high-voltage electrode and emitter can result in irreproducible results. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s EASY-Spray nano-electrospray ion source addresses this through the use of specifically designed devices in which the separation column, heater, high-voltage electrode and emitter are integrated in a ready-made assembly.

Ion Chromatography, Integrated

August 29, 2013 8:20 am | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Award Winners

Ion chromatography (IC) is an analytical technique for the separation and determination of anionic and cationic analytes in various sample matrices. By introducing a high-pressure reagent-free IC system that successfully integrates conductive, electrochemical and charge detection, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has brought a new level of performance and speed to this important separations process.

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Power of the Chip

August 28, 2013 2:52 pm | Award Winners

Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is a standard method for characterizing protein stability, but has been limited by slow scan rates of up to one hour per sample, as well as the need for large amounts of expensive sample material. A compact, flow-through sensor developed by NevadaNano may offer a solution by enabling small-volume, high-throughput protein stability screening.

Breaking the Mass Spec Logjam

August 28, 2013 8:07 am | Award Winners

Mass spectrometers offer an accurate way to profile the metabolites of biological reactions, but current technologies rely on time-consuming chromatography techniques for sample preparation, and are costly for large-scale screens. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists have removed this barrier with HT-NIMS Screening technology, which simplifies sample preparation and boosts machine throughput a hundred-fold.

New Configuration for ICP-MS

August 28, 2013 8:06 am | Agilent Technologies Inc. | Award Winners

When inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was first developed, it was expected to provide highly sensitive, interference-free spectroscopic element analysis. However, chemists quickly noticed that ICP-MS suffers from numerous interferences resulting from matrix and plasma ions of matching masses. To address these sufferings, Agilent Technologies International Japan Ltd. developed the Agilent 8800 Triple Quadrupole ICP-MS (ICP-QQQ), which is the first ICP-MS with a tandem mass spectrometer, or MS/MS, configuration.

Innovation in Biomolecular Quantitation

August 28, 2013 8:05 am | Award Winners

Conventional assays based on UV-Vis spectroscopy rely on absorbance by tryptophane and tyrosine residues with minor contribution from cysteine, and therefore have limited utility. However, EMD Millipore’s Direct Detect is a mid-infrared (MIR)-based spectroscopy system for protein quantitation that does not rely on amino acid composition, dye-binding properties or redox potential.

Handheld Law Enforcement

August 28, 2013 8:04 am | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Award Winners

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s Thermo Scientific TruNarc is a handheld Raman spectrometer designed for rapid identification of suspected narcotics in the field. The TruNarc captures a Raman spectrum using its 785-nm diode laser, then compares the acquired spectrum to its library of spectra of drugs, drug precursors, cutting agents and other materials.

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Optical Spectroscopy, Integrated

August 28, 2013 8:03 am | Award Winners

Often, industrial process control applications rely on analytical instrumentation for off-line analysis of products. On-line analysis is much faster, but effective tools like optical spectroscopy are difficult to integrate owing to the wide variety of illumination, interfacing and modalities for a given task. P&P Optica Inc. has developed the PPO SWIR Spectrometer to specifically address industrial process monitoring needs.

Powerful Spectrometer, Compact Size

August 28, 2013 8:03 am | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Award Winners

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s Nicolet iS50 FT-IR spectrometer automates setup for multispectral range experiments (greater than 20,000 cm-1 to 80 cm-1) and integrates techniques such as Fourier transform Raman, near-infrared (NIR) and mid/far-IR attenuated total reflectance (ATR) into a single workflow.

Spectrograph Upgrade

August 28, 2013 8:02 am | Award Winners

Princeton InstrumentsIsoPlane SCT-320 spectrograph eliminates the primary aberrations present in traditional imaging spectrographs. As a result, more photons end up in spectral peaks, increasing the effective signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Traditional Czerny-Turner imaging spectrographs are subject to imaging aberrations such as coma, astigmatism and spherical aberration.

A Triple-S Approach to Analyzing Samples

August 28, 2013 8:01 am | Award Winners

The Combined Orthogonal Mobility & Mass Evaluation Technology (CoMet) platform, developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, addresses the triple challenge of specificity, sensitivity and speed in analyses of complex biological and environmental samples by providing more comprehensive coverage of smaller samples with higher measurement throughput.

User-Inspired ICP-MS

August 28, 2013 8:00 am | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Award Winners

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s iCAP Q is a new quadrupole-based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) with user-inspired design featuring an advanced interference removal technology and significantly higher productivity for the determination of trace elemental concentration in various matrices.

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Small chip to advance the art of drug testing

August 27, 2013 2:43 pm | by Kurt Pfitzer, Lehigh Univ. | News | Comments

Standard drug-testing methods have shortcomings. Animal testing is expensive and unreliable, and the static environment of cells and cultures don’t mimic the behavior of the entire organism. An interdisciplinary research team at Lehigh Univ. is using microscopy and optical tweezers to develop a new finger-sized chip that can study the activities of cells at the nanoscale, possibly offering an alternative to traditional drug testing.

R&D 100 Video: Nanoflow LC-MS Becomes More Reliable

August 26, 2013 8:29 am | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Videos | Comments

Nanoflow LC-MS is used for qualitative and quantitative proteomics studies due to its high sensitivity. However, traditional nanoflow operation can be unreliable. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s EASY-Spray nano-electrospray ion source addresses this through the use of specifically designed devices in which the separation column, heater, high-voltage electrode and emitter are integrated in a ready-made assembly.

R&D 100 Video: Ion Chromatography, Revolutionized

August 26, 2013 8:21 am | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Videos | Comments

Ion chromatography (IC) is an analytical technique for the separation and determination of anionic and cationic analytes in various sample matrices. By introducing a high-pressure reagent-free IC system that successfully integrates conductive, electrochemical and charge detection, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has brought a new level of performance and speed to this important separations process.

Wyss Institute’s “Organ-on-a-Chip” to test radiation exposure therapies

August 14, 2013 6:02 pm | News | Comments

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Univ. has received a $5.6 million grant award from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use its Organs-on-Chips technology to test human physiological responses to radiation. The project will investigate if the microfluidic devices lined by living human cells can be used instead of animals to evaluate the efficacy and safety of medical treatments for radiation sickness.

Waters wins 2013 R&D 100 Award

August 8, 2013 3:29 pm | News | Comments

Waters Corp. announced that R&D Magazine recognized the Waters ACQUITY UPC2 system as a 2013 R&D 100 Award winner. The ACQUITY UPC2 system is the first in a new class of separations tools based on the technology of ultraperformance convergence chromatography (UPC2).

How much caffeine is in your drink? Watch the traffic light

August 7, 2013 1:18 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers in Singapore and South Korea have developed a fluorescent caffeine detector and a detection kit that lights up like a traffic light when caffeine is present in various drinks and solutions. Based on a technology called “lab-on-a-disc”, the detection system identifies caffeine concentrations using laser light.

Gold nanoprobes hold the key to treating killer diseases

August 7, 2013 12:14 pm | News | Comments

Stem cell therapy is in its infancy, but has the potential to change the way we treat cancer and other diseases by replacing damaged or diseased cells with healthy ones. Identifying the right cells to use is the challenge, and scientists in the U.K. have found a way to use gold nanoprobes with surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy to differentiate the nearly identical cells.

3-D IR images in full color

August 6, 2013 8:35 am | News | Comments

Researchers have created the first technique to offer full-color IR tomography, a non-destructive 3-D imaging process that provides molecular-level chemical information of unprecedented detail on biological and other specimens with no need to stain or alter the specimen.

Fast Acquisition

August 5, 2013 1:59 pm | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

Earlier this year, physicists working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, determined the ionization potential for astatine, a naturally occurring element so rare that, until now, its ionization potential couldn’t be determined. All told, less than a tenth of a gram exists on Earth, which led researchers to create artificial astatine in the laboratory, then test it later using laser spectroscopy.

Modular Spectroscopy Tools for Measuring Intrinsic Protein Fluorescence

August 5, 2013 1:19 pm | by Yvette Mattley, PhD, Product Leader, Ocean Optics, Dunedin, Fla. | Articles | Comments

Intrinsic fluorescence is a powerful indicator of protein structure and function. The amount of fluorescence can often give the researcher insight into the protein’s conformational states or activity under different biological conditions including changes in temperature, pH and ion concentration.

Chemists develop innovative nanosensors for multiple proteins

July 31, 2013 10:46 am | News | Comments

Researchers have shown that test strips bearing gold nanoparticles as sensor elements can detect numerous proteins simultaneously. This new cost-effective method for parallel protein analysis, developed at Johannes Gutenberg Univ. in Mainz, Germany, is, in principle, capable of identifying hundreds of even thousands of different proteins. It could even be used to detect the presence of viruses and their type.

Scientists analyze genetic makeup of human, mouse embryos in unprecedented detail

July 31, 2013 9:22 am | by Shaun Mason, UCLA | News | Comments

In collaboration with teams in China, researchers in California have used the technology of single-cell RNA sequencing to track the genetic development of a human and a mouse embryo at a high level of accuracy. The technique could lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses of genetic diseases, even when the embryo consists of only eight cells.

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