Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools in modern science. Since its discovery 50 years ago, in 1945, it has spread from physics to chemistry, biosciences, material research and medical diagnosis.NMR spectroscopy uses the magnetic property, called spin, of a nucleus in an atom. When a sample is set in a strong magnetic field, it is possible to transfer energy into the spin system in the form of radiofrequency pulses and change the state of the system. After the pulse, the system relaxes back to its state of equilibrium, sending a weak signal that can be recorded. Because every nuclear spin in a molecule senses also the small magnetic fields of its nearest neighbours, it is possible to separate the signals coming from different atomic surroundings. The structure of the molecule can be determined from these individual signals.Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exploits the nuclear magnetic alignments of different atoms inside a magnetic field to generate images. An MRI machine consists of large magnets that generate magnetic fields around the target of analysis. These magnetic fields cause paramagnetic atoms such as hydrogen, gadolinium, and manganese to align themselves in a magnetic dipole along the magnetic fields, created by the radiofrequency (RF) coils inside the MRI machine. What the machine captures from the subject is the relaxation of the atoms as they return to their normal alignment when the RF pulse is temporarily ceased. With this data, a computer will generate an image of the subject based on the resonance characteristics of different tissue types.MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a scanning method developed primarily for use in medicine to provide doctors with the ability to view all sorts of body structures and organs including soft tissues. MRI is arguably the greatest advance in diagnostic medical techniques over the past century.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been widely used in preclinical research on experimental small animals.Studies have typically been aimed at understanding the patophysiological status and evaluating the efficacy/side effects of newly developed treatments such as pharmaceutical and regenerative medicine.Although small animal scanners are superior to clinical scanners in terms of providing a better signal-to-noise ratio, the available pulse sequences are different from those in clinical scanners, and the magnetic field strength is often much higher.Small animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques are currently one of the premier research tools available to probe and validate structural and functional relationships at the biosystem, cellular or molecular level. In fact, a growing number of MRI facilities dedicated to imaging small animal models of disease now exist in a variety of environments encompassing pharmaceutical, medical and basic science research. Preclinical Imaging studies are typically performed at high magnetic field strengths, yielding high signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and soft tissue contrast compared to other available modalities.Preclinical MRI applications.The range of preclinical MRI applications includes brain and organ imaging, tumor assessment, disease progression and functional imaging. Other potential research applications include investigation of new contrast mechanisms and agents, monitoring gene expression, analysis of protein interactions, and determination of pharmacokinetics.A majority of preclinical studies, especially those that involve characterization of disease progression and response to therapy in transgenic animal models, require an elaborate experimental design using large cohorts of animals. The acquisition of these large MRI data sets can be expensive, time consuming and labor intensive. Therefore, automation techniques to improve throughput, increase efficiency and/or improve accuracy would represent a significant advance, especially with regard to screening and phenotyping animals.Advantages of pre-clinical MRI:Good spatial resolution, up to 100 ï¿½m and even 25 ï¿½m in very high strength magnetic fields. Has excellent contrast resolution to distinguish between normal and pathological tissue. Preclinical-MRI can be used in a wide variety of applications, including anatomical, functional, and molecular imaging. Safety: since micro-MRI’s mechanism is based on a magnetic field, it is much safer compared to radiation based imaging modalities such as micro-CT and micro-PET.Weaknesses:One of the biggest drawbacks of micro-MRI is its cost. Depending on the magnetic strength (which determines resolution), systems used for animal imaging between 1.5 and 14 teslas in magnetic flux density range from $1 million to over $6 million, with most systems costing around $2 million. Extremely long image acquisition time, spanning into minutes and even hours. This may negatively affect animals that are anesthetized for long periods of time. In addition, micro-MRI typically captures a snapshot of the subject in time, and thus it is unable to study blood flow and other real-time processes well. Even with recent advances in high strength functional micro-MRI, there is still around a 10-15 second lag time to reach peak signal intensity, making important information such as blood flow velocity quantification difficult to access.
Category Archives: technology
The time is to think beyond component sourcing with next generation optical element design and complete prototyping services. The expertise of electronic design professionals has simplified the opto-mechanical systems to a great extent. Apart from quality, the cost of products is another most important consideration while someone opts for the supplies from optical manufacturers. And, that is the reason why it is essential to come up with quality assurance keeping the dexterity within budget. Not only the companies, but nowadays the individuals with requirements for lens design are involving the professional consultants to simplify their tasks. Let’s find how the lens design consultants are actually contributing in the biomedical industry! With advancement of biotechnology, the laser scanning system requires non-contact measurement with superior sensitivity in addition to the microarray images in high resolution. Besides, in metrological practice, the microarray biochip images essentially need ultra wave sensor or optical detector in the imaging system. In order to perfectly address such advanced biomedical needs, the development of micro-meter focusing, and scanning lenses are now in practice. An electronic design consultant works with the customer specific development protocols to come up with highly tailored solutions, which in turn enable the company to provide with cutting edge metrology tools at appreciably lower prices. The biomedical instruments such as microscope, mass spectroscope, blood gas analysis system, and others extensively use illumination and micro imaging systems. In non-contact metrology, the unique property of telecentric lens is used by the professional lens designers. The lens characteristically maintains constant magnification over a specific range of object distance. A lens design consultant suggests using this mechanism to get accurate dimensional measurement, especially for the inspection of three dimensional or 3D objects. The concept is not really that new but has recently been implemented in optical metrology to avoid inherent distortions and attain optimum accuracy. However, it is difficult if not impossible to get the accuracy in measuring the object’s position, length and straightness if the defined telecentric depth is not maintained. The professional electronic design consultants serve their customers, individuals and companies whoever require the expertise, with advanced techniques and technologies. They mostly provide with complete subsystem production and prototyping solutions for a variety of devices. Precision is accomplished by using state of the art engineering tools and devices. Their keen observation to the minute details of opto-mechanical systems enables the manufacturers and users to answer many important questions about the structures and functions of the devices more efficiently. No matter whether it is a small or high volume production, the consultants are there to support the ventures from every possible aspect. Starting from simple optical sub-assemblies to the design and development of next generation metrology tools, a professional electronic design consultant can help materializing the ideas with great precision. However, one cannot expect the superior quality service from just about any consultant or service providers as the skill set depends solely on reflective knowledge and profound experience. However, not to worry, a little Google search should yield the options to attain ultimate optometric solution from the renowned experts.
Acrp30, familiarly known as adiponectin, is a member of the adipocytokine family – cytokines expressed specifically in the adipose tissue. Our antibody catalogue contains 24 adiponectin antibodies, proteins and lysates, which have come under the spotlight recently with respect to mitochondrial biogenesis.Acrp30 is known to positively regulate lipid and glucose metabolism. Adiponectin deficiency is connected to obesity resulting from dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction. In 2003, Yamauchi et al identified two binding receptors, Adiponectin Receptor 1and 2 (Adipo R1/R2, also known as Adipor1/2). Further research revealed Adipo R1 is predominantly expressed in skeletal muscle, the body’s main site for the utilising of glucose.Recently, M. Iwabu et al published a paper confirming Adipor1 was integral to glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, using an Adipo R1-deficient mouse model (the muscle-Adipo R1KO strain). Exceptionally high levels of plasma glucose and insulin were revealed in vivo, while antibody assays revealed significant alterations in signalling molecules phosphorylated by insulin stimulation, among them p70 S6 kinase, IRS-1, Akt and JNK. Decreased activity of mitochondria-specific proteins, including the transcription factor PGC1, a regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, were also noted. Other effects included enhanced oxidative stress in the muscle tissue, and impaired fatty acid oxidation. Despite the absence of Adipor1, some of these effects were partially overcome when muscle-Adipo R1KO mice were subjected to exercise, indicating exercise as a possible therapeutic tool in humans deficient in adiponectin.A number of in vitro knockdown studies, involving a number of antibodies, siRNAs and specific inhibitors, were then performed on normal mouse myocyes. It was seen that Adiponectin-induced mitochondrial biogenesis was reduced when Adipo R1, CAMKK beta, PGC1 alpha and AMPK alpha1/alpha 2 were inhibited. Also, PGC1 alpha expression was blocked when CAMKK beta and Adipo R1 were inhibited by siRNAs.The studies showed Adiponectin mediated extracellular calcium influx in normal cells. In the absence of Adipo R1 this mechanism was defective. It was suggested that Adiponectin-induced calcium influx is essential for activation of a signalling cascade, involving CaMKK beta, PGC1 alpha, AMPK and SIRT1, which ultimately promotes transcription of mitochondrial biogenesis proteins via the transcription factor PGC1.Studies continue into Adipor1 signalling and the calcium influx. We at Novus Biologicals have an extensive antibody catalog covering this area of research.
The problems associated with harmful algal bloom (HABs) have become tremendous, resulting to huge economic deficit and serious health issues. The accumulation of HABs in public and commercial water systems has been rampant, inflicting critical health and ecological problems among waterways and wetlands around the world.Most problems attached with HABs infestation are economic related which include lost of revenue, consumer fears, and shift in livelihoods. Almost $82 million loss has been recorded each year in United States alone due to the impact of harmful algae bloom. The total estimated deficit was taken from public health and commercial fisheries sectors in U.S. In 2005, New England’s economy was paralyzed due to Alexandrium fundyense bloom (commonly known as red tide). Closure of shellfish harvesting had been mandated to prevent the cases of shellfish poisoning, and this brought massive loss, approximately $18 million, in the shellfish industry. Texas did not escape the threat of algal bloom as the Karenia brevis outbreak caused chaos in the coastal waters. In the height of summer 2000, the fish kills spread in many areas in Texas which prompted the closure of shellfish harvesting, resulting to millions of deficit from fishery closures and costs from water cleanup.Toxic algal bloom is being feared for its damaging effects on commercial fisheries and marine environments. Algal bloom effects include the production of harmful toxins that are dangerous or fatal to humans and other organisms. Meanwhile, some species of algae can be non-toxic to humans and animals but adversely damage the ecosystem by forming large blooms that cover corals and the entire sea floor. Human health and ecosystem are at stake when HABs increase and remain untreated.So what is algal bloom? Some species of algae, including cyanobacteria, are responsible for blooms. Algal bloom happens when the population of algae increase rapidly, causing damaging effects to aquatic environments. Lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers are prone to algal bloom infestation.Algae bloom is a natural phenomenon that may arise invariably, depending on weather and water conditions. Blooms are widespread during summer or spring due to the sudden change in temperature. Most algal blooms crop up under favourable conditions: excess nutrients, direct heat, and high concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen. However, human activity greatly contributes to the expansion of algae bloom. For example, in urban areas, the nutrients from septic tanks and sewage treatment plants can overflow and pollute the waterways or systems. Likewise, in rural areas, agricultural runoff from pesticides and other waste coming from fields may increase the pollution from water features such as lakes, rivers and estuaries.An algal bloom is also part of the natural aging process of lake. However, severe blooms occur when dead algae deplete the levels of oxygen in the water. In highly eutrophic lakes, algal blooms may lead to anoxia and fish kills during the summer.It is advisable to expedite the removal of HABS on commercial fisheries and other marine waters to prevent further damage. There are number of algae solutions formulated to treat and prevent algae infestation.
If you were like most people not too long ago, you heard the news that former President Bill Clinton was admitted into the hospital with chest pains. Had it been a different era, hospital professionals would be faced with the real possibility of doing exploratory surgery on President Clinton. That procedure could very well cause death due to riskiness and exposure to germs. Yet, a mere 3 hours later, he had a simple procedure done and was released to recuperate at home. It’s amazing how far the healthcare industry has come, isn’t it? The fact that a president of our country who receives superior healthcare relied on the technology of radiology which is commonplace in hospitals makes an important statement as to the strides we have made.However, it is important to note that while radiology technology is crucial to diagnosing a health issue, there is one component that is even more important to recognize what keeps radiology results so accurate. Cleaning radiology equipment is crucial to producing clear images which is what diagnoses are made from.How do you keep equipment in top condition? The answer is simple, purchase radiology supplies to keep the equipment clean and in top working order. Let’s face it; the beauty of this technology is that something as detailed as a hairline fracture can be detected easily with these machines. If you neglect to properly care for these machines, simple diagnosis is lost and possible unnecessary surgery ensues. If you are a healthcare professional, be sure to keep a good inventory of radiology supplies on hand. You’ll be glad you did.
Healthcare has advanced by leaps and bounds and nowhere is it more apparent than in the field of radiology. Most people may associate a few key procedures with radiology, but the fact of the matter is that more advancement has been made in this field than patients realize.For example, when patients are admitted to the hospital with strange symptoms and doctors are unsure how to proceed, the next course of action was customary to perform “exploratory. Not only was this type of surgery painful but carried an unusually high risk for infection.Radiology has given the gift of protection as well as pin-pointing problems in a painless and precise procedure. It’s no wonder that hospitals, doctors, vets and other types of professionals and facilities utilize this medical invention. The types of medical problems that benefit from radiology can be: identifying cancer, problematic arteries with regard to heart function, broken bones and getting a look at an infant via an ultrasound.The key to this accurate medical procedure is keeping radiology supplies and equipment clean. There are quite a few radiology supplies that are required to do a proper job of evaluating health issues such as X-Ray equipment cleaner, Ultrasound paper, Disinfectant, Lighting, Mailing and filing envelopes, Marker sets, Towels, Wipes and Veterinary products as well. Proper cleaning of these radiology supplies eliminates the possibility of germs and provides a clear and clean view of an affected area. Whether radiology is used to check a problematic artery on a loved one or an expectant mother’s baby development, the benefits of using this technology is priceless.
Passwords are still the weakest link in a security system. Biometric access control systems would have prevented the recent data breaches at Sony and Gawker.There are a plethora of examples one can give of security breaches where a company didn’t just incur millions of dollars in damage, they also lost the trust of their customers. Access control systems that still use the traditional password system are still in danger of security breaches that could happen at any time. Even in the face of such examples, companies still make simple mistakes like using weak passwords and not changing them often. According to some reports, more than 70% of security breaches are carried out with the help of an insider who exploits his or her access to service and administrative accounts even after they have left the company a long time ago.The recent security breaches at Sony and Gawker highlight the vulnerability of the password system. Phishing or key loggers can easily be used to steal the password, among various other methods that exist.Security experts say that an organization should have a more personalized and multilayered approach in order to make their valuable data more secure from cyber attacks. Furthermore, companies do not wish to cause any inconvenience to their users and employees and, therefore, do not take the steps necessary to ensure a more fool-proof security system. What is required is a security system that identifies a person instead of a code. This is where Biometric access control systems come into play, especially fingerprint access control systems.The use of such access control systems will guarantee that only the correct individual is identified and granted access to the system. Fingerprint access control systems save the unique fingerprint of a person in its database and grant access only to them. This is the most efficient manner in which the movement of people in a system can be monitored.A modern and technologically advanced fingerprint access control system is equipped with a scanner that captures a high resolution image of the fingerprint. These systems have gained acceptance in a number of places like banks, hospitals, etc. and are increasingly being used in place of password systems to mark attendance and grant access.
Stem Cell Clinical Trials and the Challenges The therapeutic stem cell and Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Product (ATMP) market is continuing to develop. Over the last two years the focus of industry discussion groups within the UK has moved forward from research techniques during development to the challenges of GMP manufacturing these products. Once manufacturing issues are resolved focus will move onto the challenges of stem cell clinical trials. The difficulties of obtaining approval from authorities to conduct the trials will be the main focus of the sponsor. With these challenges ahead, there may be little time to focus on the actual method of labelling, storage and distribution of the product to the trial sites. Challenges of Stem Cell Clinical Trials Phase I trials are generally conducted at a single site with a single investigator and a close relationship between the investigator and the sponsor. The investigator in these trials is often a pioneer in their field and closely involved with the development of the product. Trials involving autologous products require collection of cells, processing of the cells and delivery back to the cell donor; this whole operation may be conducted on a single site or alternatively it may require transport to a separate site for cell processing and then return of the material to the same patient. Although the manipulation of the material and the technology to process the cells is extremely complex, the logistics of the trial are relatively simple. It requires secure traceability of the sample, obtained by following good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines and a validated shipper, which transports the material at the desired temperature between the patient and the processing site. Following production and labelling the material will require confirmation that it is GMP compliant; in the EU this is confirmed by a Qualified Person (QP). At Phase II the study is likely to take place at more than one investigator site. For autologous treatments this has the added complication of more than one patient’s treatment being processed at the same time. Traceability of samples is critical and the synchronisation of patients, the manufacturing site and QP availability becomes more complex. Competent project management and good planning should overcome these difficulties. Additionally tracking systems for these samples using patient biometrics are being developed which would flag up an incorrect sample being returned to a patient. Allogeneic products are derived from stem cells which are used to treat people other than the donor. These cells are typically manufactured in batches, on a larger scale and may be intended for use in trials in a number of countries. Labelling Solutions One issue faced with clinical trials of ATMP products is ensuring regulatory compliant labelling. The primary containers must be labelled during the manufacture and prior to freezing. Consideration needs to be given to the labelling process of the primary containers ,once frozen to -80 or -196??C, the primary container cannot be labelled , therefore producing bulk unlabelled batches and then determining which trials the stock will be allocated to at a later date is not possible. Distribution Once the product is packed in primary containers (units), it may be shipped to a second site for secondary packaging, storage and distribution to clinical sites. This is similar to the logistics of more traditional pharmaceuticals. For example, bulk batches of labelled material could be shipped from the manufacturer to a storage site. These could then be assembled into kits in a cryostorage box, containing enough material to dose one patient. Alternatively, to avoid cell wastage material could be handled with a ‘just in time’ packing method, which has proved successful in more conventional drug trials where the drug is either very scarce or very expensive. Receipt at the investigational site would be simpler using the kit model, the site would not have to record receipt of each individual tube into inventory. In addition the secondary container could be tamper proof, giving added protection to the primary tubes. This can be particularly important if the cells are to be stored at the investigator site’s own cryostorage facilities rather than in the nitrogen shipper, as cross contamination could be a risk. None of the issues in the clinical trial supply chain of stem cell products are impossible to overcome as long as there is consideration very early in the trial process for the method of labelling, distribution and on site storage of the product. Even for conventional products, it is a challenge to persuade sponsors to carefully consider the clinical supply chain at a sufficiently early stage. For stem cell products this is perhaps even more essential and it will be a continued challenge over the coming years for the supply chain companies capable of supporting ATMPs to engage with sponsors at an early enough stage to ensure the provision of a service that can meet patient recruitment needs and is affordable for the sponsors.
The techniques that are used in the dispersion of powders in both aqueous and non-aqueous media are quite similar. Dispersants aid wetting and stabilization of a suspension can be ionic (anionicor cationic) or non-ionic. However, concentrations of dispersants must be low. Otherwise, their properties are reduced or even inverted (i.e., cause aggregation or flocculation). In dispersing a powder in a non-aqueous medium, it is critical to select an organic solvent that is a good diluent as well as dispersant, although there are many organic dispersant aids. Aqueous surfactants are primarily responsible for reducing surface tension, hence aiding in the dispersion of powders in aqueous systems. The first task in dispersing a dry powder is the wetting of the sample with diluentor dispersant, if needed. Gentle spatulation of the resulting paste prior to addition of diluent further aids the dispersion process. Once the diluent is added, a sample of the slurry can be placed on a slide for a microscopic evaluation of the effectiveness of dispersion. Providing that the sample is well dispersed, the use of a magnetic stir bar is suggested to keep the sample fully dispersed, so are presentative sample can be drawn for analysis while stirring is in progress. Physical Methods of Liquid Dispersion Chemical Methods of Liquid Dispersion Wetting agents:Used to lower surface tension (e.g., hydrophobicity) between diluent (typically water) and particle (usually non-ionic agent). Surfactants: “Surface active agents” increase the surface charge of the particles in order to cause them to repel one another so that they remain properly dispersed while in the suspension.Types of surfactants include: Stabilization by Surface Charge Common Ions Multiple-charged Ions Surfactant Ions which charge the surface Reference –