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Science  12 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6436, pp. 197
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6436.197

High-Speed Microscope Autofocus

PureFocus 850 from Prior Scientific is a fast, accurate focusing system designed to fit both upright and inverted microscopes using infinity-corrected optics. Easy to use and quick to set up, the system provides a real-time focus for a range of sample types, saving the user from spending time finding and maintaining focus on the sample, thus preventing focus drift. It reliably focuses on slides, well plates, chamber slides, and Petri dishes, while maintaining clear images for long-term studies. PureFocus 850 also works on samples with reflective surfaces, including metallurgical, semiconductors, and liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). It is also ideal for high-speed slide scanning. A stand-alone system with no PC required during operation, PureFocus 850 is fully controllable via keyboard option, and further optional PC control can be made via USB.

Anti-Eculizumab Antibodies

Bio-Rad Laboratories offers a range of recombinant monoclonal anti-idiotypic antibodies that inhibit the binding of eculizumab (Soliris) to its target, complement C5 protein. This new range of antibodies comprises four inhibitory antibodies that are highly specific for the humanized IgG2/4 kappa monoclonal antibody drug eculizumab, a biotherapeutic used to treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. The anti-eculizumab inhibitory antibodies can be used to quantify the level of eculizumab in patient samples, and may also be used in bioanalytical assays for biosimilar development. An antibody pair is suitable for the development of a pharmacokinetic (PK) bridging ELISA, and antibodies of high, medium, and low affinity can be used as a positive control or calibrator in an antidrug antibody assay.

Cloud-Connected Pipette

Gilson Connect is a cloud-connected platform that powers smart liquid handling devices, and includes the company's first Internet of Things (IoT) products: TRACKMAN Connected, an all-in-one kit that includes a tablet with the PipettePilot tracker application, and PIPETMAN M Connected, a Bluetooth-enabled smart electronic pipette. Gilson Connect devices can record and track pipette performance in real-time and transmit data to sciNote, a free, open-source electronic lab notebook. Researchers can check their pipetting data to detect errors and help improve traceability and experiment reproducibility. An environmental sensor wirelessly connects to the tablet and app, giving researchers a time-stamped record of environmental conditions that can affect pipetting accuracy. By partnering with sciNote, Gilson Connect makes it possible for researchers to store data and consolidate records in a secure location that is easily accessible and sharable, effectively eliminating lost data, a significant contributor to the irreproducibility crisis.

Substrates for Nanotechnology Applications

AMS Biotechnology is a leading supplier of gold-, silver-, and platinum-coated substrates for nanotechnology researchers looking to use these surfaces to characterize self-assembled monolayers using atomic force microscopy or scanning tunneling microscopy. Gold, silver, and platinum surfaces offer a clean, near atomically flat surface that is ideal for applications in nanotechnology, such as studies on self-assembly, single-molecule imaging, nano- or microcontact printing, DNA origami, or nanophotonics. Deposited under high vacuum (10–8 Torr) with 99.9% purity, noble metal presents researchers with an atomically flat coated substrate that is free from oxygen, organics, and other contaminants, and consequently does not require cleaning prior to use.

Sintered Porous Materials for Chromatography

Developed for the Bioscience market, BioVyon from Porvair Sciences is a high-performance, porous, polymeric material manufactured to the highest cleanliness standards. This unique material, produced from high-density polyethylene resin using a modifiable proprietary process, is activated and then formed into filtration media of different void volumes according to the target application. Of special note is BioVyon's application in chromatography. Used in filter and pipette tips, and solid-phase extraction microplates (such as the Porvair Sciences MicroLute) and cartridges, BioVyon has found a niche with many blue-chip chromatography supply manufacturers because of the benefits it offers, particularly in demanding scientific applications. BioVyon co-sintered products are made using a solid-state media created from an ultrapure, highly modified polymeric material with the lowest levels of extractables and leachates. Porvair's proprietary BioVyon technology allows high-purity silica or divinylbenzene (DVB) resins to be supported in a matrix that provides a high surface area while reducing channeling through the column.


Using LyoSpeed technology on SP Scientific's Genevac EZ-2 Elite and Series 3 HT evaporators, HPLC fractions can be automatically concentrated to a few milliliters, then frozen and rapidly lyophilized to produce a diffuse, dry powder that can easily be redissolved or weighed out. For certain compounds, a fully dried result can be hard to achieve with traditional methods due to compound interactions with water, resulting in formation of a gum or oil. Such samples are of little use in biological assays, since accurate weights cannot be obtained. In most samples, LyoSpeed technology produces a dry powder rather than the traditional thin film, making downstream processing more convenient, since compounds can be more easily removed from the evaporation vessel. The resultant powder is not excessively fluffy, as it would be if obtained from conventional freeze-drying. This avoids the problems associated with static formation, particularly when trying to weigh out such compounds, and helps prevent airborne contamination, which is important if the compound is harmful or toxic.

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