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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Princeton Instruments’ IsoPlane 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes a little disorder is precisely what’s in order. Taking advantage of the sensitive nature of randomly scattered light, Yale Univ. researchers have developed an ultracompact, low-cost spectrometer with improved resolution over existing micro models. The innovation represents an advance in lab-on-a-chip technology, or the consolidation of laboratory capabilities in miniature, highly portable devices.
Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that the 8800 Triple Quadrupole ICP-MS has been named an 2013 R&D 100 Award winner. Unlike existing instruments, the Agilent 8800 is the only ICP-MS system with a tandem mass spectrometer, or MS/MS, configuration.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. announced that five of its analytical instruments were included on the R&D Magazine list of the year’s top 100 technology innovations. The R&D 100, known as the “Oscars of Innovation,” span industry, academia and government-sponsored research.
A newly developed microscopy method that combines several imaging techniques is capable of recording the rapid movements of molecules in live samples. Called STED-RICS microscopy, the innovation relies on confocal scanning, fluorescence imaging using stimulated depletion emission technology and raster image correlation spectroscopy. It could help applications such as analyzing the dynamics of cell membranes at high protein concentrations.