Intrinsic Viscosity measurement is now easier than ever with m-VROC!

Intrinsic viscosity is correlated with the size of the molecule in a solution. Figuring out the molecule’s intrinsic viscosity provides insights to molecular weight, structure, and its interaction with other molecules and neighboring solvents. This method has been used for numerous applications such as:

•  Polymerization
•  Hydrodynamic radius
•  Degradation and stability of polymers
•  Denaturation or aggregation of proteins
•  Hydration and tertiary/quaternary structure of proteins
•  Sensitive detection of low molecular weight polymers

m-VROC offers fast and reliable intrinsic viscosity measurement for small sample volume. Operators will obtain results within 15 minutes for a single point measurement in addition to its true dynamic viscosity measurement capability.


    Glass capillary      
 True dynamic viscosity  Yes No
 Sample volume, ml  1  10
 Cleaning between samples  Not Necessary  Necessary
 Average operation time per sample, min  5  10

(Results may vary depending on operator’s skill)


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SensiQ Technologies, Inc. announces dynamic injection SPR (diSPRTM), a major upgrade to their flagship Pioneer label-free sensing platform.
“Dynamic injection SPR (diSPRTM) provides enhanced information content, including binding affinity characterization, without requiring the time-consuming individual concentration dilutions necessary with other SPR instrumentation,” said Eric Reese, PhD, VP-Marketing for SensiQ Technologies. “With diSPR™, we obtain affinity values (KD) with a single injection. In addition, the software upgrade included with diSPR™ – Version 3.1 – delivers new capabilities focused on ease of use, workflow acceleration, and enhanced data analysis.” Dr. Reese further noted that SensiQ Technologies has already received strong customer feedback concerning new software features such as Remote Notification, which allows operators, lab managers and other personnel to receive cell phone status updates of automated, unattended instrument operation in real-time, enabling faster response times in the lab.

“SensiQ Technologies’ new diSPR™ technology is available to new or existing customers through modular hardware enhancements to the existing Pioneer platform, combined with the updated software package,” said Tom Jobe, Chief Operating Officer for SensiQ Technologies.

The Pioneer system with fully-featured diSPR™ has completed a six month beta evaluation period in the labs of key opinion leaders and is now being shipped to customers.

Please contact us and speak to one of our sales representatives to request a quote or a demonstration of SensiQ’s new DiSPR™ technology

Understanding how to reliably measure viscosity

Viscosity is the ease in which a fluid flows – in other words, how thick a fluid is. So, for example, mercury is thicker than water and therefore has a higher viscosity.

But why do we need to know this and how do we measure it?

Knowing the viscosity of a fluid (and fluid doesn’t necessarily mean a liquid, it can also be a paste) is key to ensuring that it flows as it should. Brake fluid, for example transmits force through the braking system of a vehicle. That system wouldn’t work correctly if the fluid’s viscosity were different. And no one wants to drive a car with brakes that don’t work properly.

Sunscreen also depends on well-characterized viscosity so that you can spread it across your skin. If it wasn’t viscous, it would drip all over you before you rubbed it in.

Viscosity is measured using a viscometer. In general, either the fluid remains stationary and an object moves through it, or the object is stationary and the fluid moves past it. The drag caused by the relative motion of the fluid and a surface allows a measure of the viscosity.

To measure viscosity, a fluid sample is needed. Recently, RheoSense introduced the m-VROC viscometer which reliably and accurately measures viscosity with as little as 50 microlitres of sample. This capability is unmatched in the industry. It significantly reduces material costs when testing expensive samples and preserves precious materials.

In cases where extremely small sample volumes are needed, the m-VROC viscometer can be used to make reliable and accurate viscosity measurements with sample volumes as low as 20 microlitres. Other products on the market require nearly four times as much sample to perform a viscosity measurement. The m-VROC has an advantage for testing expensive and limited early stage drugs, for example.

To learn more about the manufacturer and products related to this article, please visit the following link:

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Bringing surface plasmon resonance technology to drug discovery labs

In the pharmaceutical drug discovery field, determining how cells and biomolecules interact with each other is key to how well a drug works. A drug that efficiently binds to the appropriate location on or in a cell has a greater chance of being an effective medicine. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technology is an invaluable tool during this kind of research.

SPR uses light to provide a non-invasive, label-free way of observing binding interactions in real time. With SPR, scientists can learn more about the mechanics of biomolecular interaction. This information is then used to improve the binding properties of a drug – in other words, to improve a drug’s performance.

SPR is also a powerful tool in cancer research. In this field, the technique is not only used to develop drugs to fight disease, but is also used to study how cells and biomolecules interact with each other. Cancer is often characterized by rampant cell division, and SPR is being used to investigate the molecular basis for this phenomenon.

Until now, however, researchers have often been dependent on core facilities and centralized labs for access to SPR technology. With SensiQ’s dual-channel, semi-automated SPR system, this kind of research can be performed in real time, with high quality affinity and kinetic data available to labs of all sizes, in an uncompromised, affordable solution. The SensiQ technology uses advanced microfluidics, proven surface attachment methodologies and state-of-the-art data analysis tools to provide kinetic, affinity and concentration data that researchers can use with confidence.

To learn more about the manufacturer and products related to this article, please visit the following link:

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Oxford Instruments plc: Acquisition of Asylum Research Corp.

Oxford Instruments plc (“Oxford Instruments” or “the Group”), a leading provider of high   technology tools and systems for industry and research, announces the acquisition of Asylum Research Corporation (“Asylum Research”), a leading provider of Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPM).  The acquisition is subject to customary conditions and is expected to be completed before the end of December 2012.

Asylum Research is an established US company based in Santa Barbara, California, with subsidiaries in the UK, Germany and Taiwan. Its SPM technology is used to image and characterise the properties of surfaces and structures down to the atomic scale providing invaluable information to enable development and exploitation at the nanoscale. Its products are used by academic and industrial customers across the world for a wide range of materials and bioscience applications. The combination of Oxford Instruments and Asylum Research strengthens the Group’s Nanotechnology Tools sector. SPM is a fundamental nanotechnology measurement technique and complements the existing portfolio of products and technologies within the Group.

Asylum Research is being acquired from its management for an initial debt free, cash free consideration of US$32.0 million with a deferred element of up to US$48.0 million payable over three years dependent on its performance over that period. Asylum Research generated Earnings Before Interest and Taxation (EBIT) of $1.1 million in the twelve months to 31 December 2011 from revenue in the same period of $19.6 million.  It had gross assets of $6.2 million as at 31 December 2011.  The acquisition will be funded from existing facilities.

The acquisition of Asylum Research is in line with Oxford Instruments’ 14 Cubed objectives, to achieve a 14% average compound annual growth rate in revenues and a 14% return on sales by the year ending March 2014.  This acquisition contributes to the planned acquisition element of the revenue growth objective. While Asylum Research is expected to deliver less than the 14% targeted margin in this and the next financial year, following the acquisition the 14 Cubed margin target for the Group remains unchanged.

As part of Oxford Instruments there will be significant scope to accelerate the inherent strong growth of Asylum Research’s end markets and to deliver substantial improvements in margin over time based on increasing scale.  Approximately 60% of Asylum Research turnover comes from customers working in the materials science area where the customer base and routes to market are shared with Oxford Instruments. This opens opportunities for market synergies and the development of new integrated products. The remainder of Asylum Research’s turnover is in the bio-nano area where SPM instruments are used for research into soft materials, such as DNA. This market provides a new growth opportunity for Oxford Instruments.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jonathan Flint, Chief Executive of Oxford Instruments, stated:

“The acquisition of Asylum Research significantly increases our footprint in the nanotechnology space and complements our strong position in electron microscopes with a presence in another fundamental nanotechnology measurement technique. The acquisition also gives us access to the rapidly growing bio-nano market as it allows customers to perform analysis of organic samples in their natural liquid environments, something which cannot readily be done using electron microscopes.”

To read Asylum’s message to their customers please click here

Thermo Scientific issues Newsletter on Material Characterization

MC Matters

Thermo Scientific’s  latest issue of MC MATTERS with news on Thermo Scientific measuring mixer and extruder systems, rheometry and viscometry, micro-compounding and sample preparation, pharmaceutical application solutions, service as well as information on seminars, expert tips and much more!

Lab Instruments – Discover new opportunities for your Thermo Scientific Rheometer

New accessory catalogues are available for their Thermo Scientific™ rheometers HAAKE™ MARS™ and HAAKE™ RheoStress 6000. The catalogues provide a brief overview of expansion capabilities or replacement needs. Discover new opportunities!

Rheology Seminars

Customized solutions in hardware and software are featured in theory and practice. Do not miss the chance to discuss your specific rheological requirements with their application specialists. For more information on global seminars please visit their website

They not only offer a broad seminar program but also an extensive webinar program featuring various topics. Have a closer look at

To view the complete newsletter please click here

Rheology: Looking beyond the food industry

Rheology is the study of the flow of matter, primarily in the liquid state but also as ‘soft solids’ or solids under conditions in which they respond with plastic flow rather than deforming elastically in response to an applied force. When trying to understand the science of rheology, the most common explanation is a discussion on the deformation of food. So, oil and water flow in normal ways whereas mayonnaise, ketchup, peanut butter and chocolate syrup flow in complex and unusual ways.

But using rheology in food production is only one subfield of this broad science. Many industrial and pharmaceutical problems have rheological concerns and many common formulas and products have intricate rheological properties. Variations in seemingly identical products can also affect its rheology, such as protein, API concentration and excipient type for biopharmaceuticals.

Some examples of common formulas or products where rheology is necessary are:

  • paints and coatings for product application and final finish quality
  • personal care products for their ability to pump and spread
  • rubber mixtures and the influences of different additives, such as carbon black, fillers, lubricants, accelerators or sulphur

We’ve partnered with Thermo Scientific to offer a wide range of rheological instruments. Thermo Scientific provides material characterization solutions that analyze and measure viscosity, elasticity, processability and temperature-related mechanical changes of plastics, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and coatings, chemical or petrochemical products, plus a wide variety of liquids or solids.

To learn more about the manufacturer and products related to this article, please visit the following link:

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NTNU’s NanoLab facility uses NanoSight NTA system to characterize nanoparticles.

NanoSight, leading manufacturers of unique nanoparticle characterization technology, reports on the characterization of nanoparticles at the NanoLab of the Norwegian University of Science & Technology, NTNU.

NTNU NanoLab is a cross faculty, strategic initiative with the objective to coordinate and promote nanoscience and nanotechnology at NTNU. The laboratories are well-equipped with state of the art instrumentation designed to be used by as many researchers from as many disciplines as possible.

For example, Katarzyna Psonka- Antonczyk is a post-doctoral fellow in the Biophysics and Medical Technology group within the Department of Physics. Her interests include the characterization of nanovesicles (exosomes) with sizes ranging from 30 to a few hundred nanometers secreted by cancer cells to the extracellular matrix. Exosomes are intercellular shuttle vehicles of various materials and contain information that can reprogram targeted cells. Exosomes contain membrane proteins, cytosolic proteins and small RNAs (miRNA). These vesicles are transported by bodily fluids (blood) and can likely fuse back with plasma membranes, introducing new proteins and RNA in new cells distant from the cell of origin. She is applying single-molecule techniques like atomic force microscopy and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to visualize individual exosomes and to characterize their membrane repertoire.

Knowing the concentration of secreted exosomes can facilitate estimation of the secretory abilities of cells and can help in further sample preparation. When coupled with fluorescent light, the NanoSight Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis system enables the analysis of exosome samples to provide information of various distinct subpopulations of vesicles by labeling with specific antibodies tagged with a fluorescent reporter. In the opinion of Dr Psonka-Antonczyk, the NanoSight LM10 has proven to be a very suitable instrument to access the concentration and size profile of exosomes.

Prior to using NanoSight, Dr Psonka-Antonczyk tried to employ dynamic light scattering but the results were rather irreproducible and not very reliable. In contrast, NanoSight exceeded her expectations. She said “NanoSight’s system is simple and easy to operate in providing information on the exosomes concentration and size profile in a very short time. I can also use it as a test measurement providing the first glance on the exosomes before running more elaborate and time-consuming experiments.”
The range of applications for NTA at NanoLab is diverse. For example, metallic and magnetic nanoparticles (Chemical Engineering) used for biomedical applications including targeted drug delivery and MRI contrast enhancement are studied by Dr Gurvinder Singh. He likes the NTA approach because “it provides the determination of particle concentration, better resolution of particle size and size distribution with real time visualization. This instrument is more impressive than DLS.”

Calorimetry As A Key Technique For Gas Adsorption Investigation

The investigation of gas adsorption on catalysts and solid sorbents depend upon a good interaction between the reactive gas and the powder. The SENSYS evo DSC is equipped with a crossing furnace, which allows the use of a quartz tube reactor. This makes it possible to operate in true plug-flow fixed bed reactor mode, widely used in heterogeneous catalysis, and thus precisely simulate industrial processes.

Additionally the exhaust gases can be flowed to an on-line gas analyzer such as a mass spectrometer, TCD or FTIR analyzer.

More complex thermal and gas flow profiles can provide adsorption / desorption / temperature programmed desorption data from a single experiment.

Example of application

  • Determination of the heat of adsorption / desorption of NH3 on different solid media. Simultaneous determination of the amounts of NH3 adsorbed / desorbed with coupled quantification techniques.
  • Catalytic oxidation of propane

Evaluation of the performance of catalysts for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NO with NH3 and O2

See more in the following Aplication Note AN674 -Gas adsorption on catalysts and adsorbents using a quartz tube reactor on a Calvet type DSC


Introducing the New Environmental Scanner for the Cypher™ AFM – the Highest Resolution Fast Scanning AFM

Imagine an AFM that routinely images the DNA double helix (top image) and atomic point defects (bottom) – in any environment.

We invite you to Booth 510 at the MRS Fall Meeting for an exclusive preview of the new Environmental Scanner for Cypher.

The Cypher Environmental Scanner is a modular and customizable platform with sample temperature control in a wide spectrum of environments. The Environmental Scanner is designed around a sealed cell which can sustain moderate positive pressures and uses chemically inert materials, such as fused silica and FFKM, to provide a controlled environment while maintaining accurate and distortion free imaging.

Cypher offers the widest range of scanning environments:

  • Buffers, solvents, inert gases, strong acids/bases
  • Liquid/gas perfusion
  • Continuous liquid flow
  • Temperature control from 0°C to 250°C
  • Optional electrical feedthroughs

If your experiments require a glove box, Cypher can also be operated in this configuration.

MFP-3D™ AFM – High Resolution,
Closed-loop Precision, and Flexibility

We’ll also be featuring the MFP-3D, the most versatile AFM platform with numerous environmental accessories and advanced scanning modes. The MFP-3D can be configured as:

Both the MFP-3D and Cypher AFMs scan with all standard AFM imaging modes (tapping, contact, MFM, phase, etc.), and numerous exclusive imaging modes: