Pickering Laboratories

How Pickering Supports the Fight Against COVID-19: Amino Acids Analysis

By Maria Ofitserova

As novel Covid-19 virus spreads around the globe, pharmaceutical companies worldwide are racing to develop vaccines, therapeutic agents and prophylactics to combat the disease. A lot of these pharmaceuticals are biologics – in other words, they are either isolated from natural sources or manufactured via biotechnology methods.

The focus on biological products during the current pandemic has highlighted the crucial role Amino Acids Analysis plays in the research and production of pharmaceuticals. As a result, Pickering Laboratories is seeing a surge in demand from customers requiring the consumables necessary to support these critical efforts.

Amino Acids Analysis can be used for:

  • Identification tests for peptides and proteins by means of amino acids composition analysis;
  • Determination of Impurities and related substances in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and intermediates;
  • Single or total amino acids quantification in drug products, including markers determination in complex matrixes;
  • Control of manufacturing processes for recombinant proteins.

Our Amino Acids Analysis methods allow laboratories to perform testing according to European Pharmacopeia as well as testing of hydrolyzed and native substances.

Though it seems the focus is now set firmly on pharmaceutical industry, there are other vital areas of amino acids testing that cannot be overlooked. No less important is the Amino Acids Analysis of physiological samples done by hospitals and clinical laboratories. Testing of newborns for inborn errors of metabolism, such as PKU and MSUD, as well as monitoring amino acids markers for different medical conditions, including rejection of organ transplants, metabolic disorders and diabetes, are all tests that still have to be done in a timely manner to prevent adverse health outcomes, pandemic or not.

Preventing disruption in food supply is another area that needs amino acids analysis to continue uninterrupted during the global Coronavirus crisis. Feed and food testing laboratories are already under stress due to special quarantine requirements, so providing a steady supply of reagents and chemicals is another way Pickering doing its part in keeping these industries running.

As an expert in Amino Acids Analysis and a trusted supplier of related consumable products, Pickering Laboratories is focused on supporting our new and existing customers as they navigate increased demand for testing. We are open for business and operating at full production capacity during the pandemic.

During these trying times, we are proud to continue providing timely product delivery and technical assistance to help ensure uninterrupted operations for essential children’s hospital, clinical laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and their testing laboratory partners, not to mention drinking water and food testing labs worldwide with our other post-column applications.

To learn more or ask specific questions about our product availability and up-to-date lead times, please contact us at orders@pickeringlabs.com or support@pickeringlabs.com and we will gladly address your concerns.

How Pickering Supports the Fight Against COVID-19: Product Testing Solutions

By Maria Ofitserova

For several years now, Pickering Laboratories has continued to expand our line of Product Testing Solutions to include new synthetic body fluids or environmental solutions. We offer a variety of formulations of artificial perspiration, sebum and saliva for testing fabrics, plastics, dental alloys, medical devices, wearables and other electronics and many different consumer products.

The challenges that Covid-19 pandemic presents for the pharmaceutical and health care industry are staggering, and they impact manufacturers of medical devices and personal protective equipment as well. This brings into focus the need for artificial bodily fluids that can be used for both ongoing testing and tackling the new developments introduced by the Coronavirus crisis.

Currently, Pickering Laboratories offers Artificial Lung Fluid called Gamble’s solution, which is used to simulate different interstitial conditions in the lung. Several artificial lung fluid formulations are described in literature and we would be happy to discuss customers’ particular testing needs and help you choose the correct solution for your specific application. As established manufacturers of medical devices are now joined by companies newly entering the health care space, we are proud to do our part in ensuring that medical equipment, such as ventilators, get properly tested.

Extensive shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) are creating another layer of emergency during this time. The shortage has forced many companies to consider implementing new sterilization techniques for personal protective equipment originally designed for a single use only.

Masks are especially challenging to sterilized since they get saturated with sweat and oil during use. They are also normally disposable items, not intended to undergo cleaning procedures. Pickering’s artificial perspiration and sebum can simulate the real-world conditions most PPE are exposed to and can be used to help develop ways to safely extend their use.

Pickering’s staff is dedicated to working hard to support our customers, new and returning. We are recommitting to our promise of providing quality reagents and solutions quickly to support essential businesses and supporting manufacturers.

We are accommodating custom formulation requests with accelerated response times. Our Technical Support Chemists are ready to answer any questions you may have. Our Research Chemists are working side-by-side with our production team to rapidly meet demand on new custom projects.

Please reach out if you would like additional information: support@pickeringlabs.com

Pittcon 2020 – Taking a Trip to Chicago!

By David Mazawa

Pittcon 2020 was hosted in the “Windy City” of Chicago, Illinois from March 1-5 this year. I was joined by Rebecca Smith and Skip Vo and we had a wonderful time in Chicago! We all hope to come back in the near future.

We used the Pittcon platform to formally launch the Onyx PCX: the newest post-column instrument from Pickering Laboratories, Inc. It was a great opportunity to introduce our latest and greatest post-column instrument to distributors and interested customers from all around the world. Retaining all the best features of the Pinnacle PCX, our new Onyx PCX also supports greater compliance and usability for our customers.

Our redesigned marketing literature was also on display, including our brand-new catalog. All materials are free to download from our website here:

     – 2020 Catalog
     – Onyx PCX Brochure
     – Post-Column Brochure 
     – PTS Brochure

Pickering’s “best in show” giveaways enticed many show attendees to venture closer to our booth. Once drawn in, scientists and engineers alike were fascinated by our growing Product Testing Solutions line. It was great to see lots of interest in our Artificial Saliva products especially.

Our daily raffle was a big hit and we would like to congratulate the following raffle winners: Leonard Ver Vers of NALCO Water, Brian Edwards of Neurocrine, and Glendon Parker of UC Davis. Each of them is now enjoying an Onyx Whoop Strap and 6-month subscription to the Whoop online health and fitness community – perfect timing help our winners to stay moving during a shelter in place order.

Pittcon also gave us the chance to take our newest employee, Skip Vo (Purchasing Agent), on his first trip to Chicago! Skip and I took time before the conference started to see Chicago’s sites and have a classic Chicago steak dinner to celebrate. Skip was a big help with booth management and said he really enjoyed meeting our customers and vendors alike. Thank you for your help, Skip!

Rebecca Smith and Skip Vo showing off the colorful Pickering booth!
Rebecca Smith and Skip Vo showing off the colorful Pickering booth!

I know I speak for all the staff at Pickering Laboratories when I say I’m looking forward to mingling with the scientific community once again at Pittcon 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana from March 6-10, 2021.

If there is anything I can do to provide service or support for you and your laboratory between now and then, please reach out to me at support@pickeringlabs.com without hesitation.

PTS Product Updates for April 2020

Dear Valued Customer,

We continue to receive almost-daily inquiries from customers for new types of Product Testing Solutions, resulting in both proprietary and open market formulations being created. As our product line expands, we will be reaching out to you via our Newsletter for periodic product updates and announcements. You can also check our PTS website for up-to-date product information.

This Artificial Saliva is formulated according to ISO 10271-2011 standard procedure. ISO 10271-2011 specifies the method for corrosion testing for metallic material in dental devices. The solution should be stored in the refrigerator and has a 1-year shelf life. The pH of the solution is 2.3.
1700-0313 Artificial Saliva, ISO 10271-2011, Not Stabilized, each (200 mL/bottle)

This ready-to-use solution closely resembles the mineral composition of natural saliva and can be used for testing a wide variety of products, including dental metal alloys. The modified formulation has added Potassium Thiocyanate to achieve better stability at higher pH and make it more similar to human saliva This product is manufactured to customer-requested pH and it can be stored at room temperature.
1700-0314 Artificial Saliva, Modified Fusayama/Mayer, Custom pH (up to 6.5), Stabilized, each (200 mL/bottle)

This formulation is used to determine corrosion (tarnishing, oxidation and surface penetration) resistance for gold alloy coverings on watch cases and accessories, including bracelets when they are permanently attached to the case. The solution is at pH 4.7 per ISO 3160 specifications and buffered for long-term pH stability.
1700-0537 Artificial Perspiration, ISO 3160 with added Pyruvic acid, buffered, Stabilized, each (200 mL/bottle) (minimum order quantity of 2 bottles)

Inspired by the ASTM D4265-98 method for staining, Eccrine Perspiration is emulsified with Artificial Sebum. Prepared without dust/dirt for a more universal application, this emulsion mimics non-exercise induced skin surface film liquids (SSFL). As SSFL, it can be used to test any topical use product or to test the stability of any article that will come in contact with human sweat. This product requires refrigeration to remain in solution and prevent rancidity.
1700-0549 Artificial Eccrine Sweat-Sebum Emulsion each (950 mL)

This solution is made according to ASTM D2322-00 and is used to test the resistance of shoe upper leather against perspiration. The pH of the solution is 7.5 and it is stable at room temperature.
1700-0550 Artificial Perspiration, ASTM D2322-00, Stabilized, each (200mL/bottle)

Artificial Urine is prepared according to the DIN EN 1616:1999 standard procedure. DIN EN 1616 specifies the method used to test sterile urethral catheters. This ready-to-use solution should be stored frozen to avoid bacteria growth. The pH of the solution is 6.6. 1700-0603 Artificial Urine, DIN EN 1616-1999, Not Stabilized, 19.8L

Substitute ocean water is prepared according to official ASTM method D1141-98. This product can be successfully used in a wide variety of tests where solutions simulating sea water are required, such as oil contamination testing, detergent evaluation and corrosion testing. The pH of the solution is 8.2 and it is ready-to-use. Product is stored at room temperature. Please inquire about different sizes.
1700-0804 Synthetic Hard Water, custom hardness, ASTM E1945-02, each (200 mL/bottle)

Contact Pickering Laboratories’ Technical Support team at support@pickeringlabs.com with any questions or comments.

Best regards,
David Mazawa

Congratulations to Young Scientist Abby Loney, Bronze Award Winner in the State Science Fair!

By Maria Ofitserova

At Pickering Laboratories, we are always excited to support young scientists as they explore their interests. Let us introduce Abby Loney from Moorhead, Minnesota. Abby’s science fair project idea was to investigate the durability of ballet pointe shoes and to see if some non-traditional materials could provide increased longevity. 

It is not a secret that hard working ballerinas put tons of effort into their training and performances, resulting in sweat-soaked pointe shoes! So, Abby wanted to study the effect of sweat on different materials. Abby’s search for sweat solutions that could be used for testing brought her to Pickering’s artificial perspiration products. She’s in good company – several well-known footwear companies have followed the same line of thought and currently use Pickering artificial perspiration products to test the materials used in design and production of footwear insoles, leathers/uppers and soles.

After Abby contacted our technical support chemists about her proposed project, Pickering was happy to donate the artificial perspiration needed to complete her science fair work. We left off by wishing Abby luck in her experiment and future presentation at her local Science Fair.

Recently, Abby shared with us that over the last couple of months, her project earned the ASM Materials Education Foundation Award, as well as 3rd place in Middle School Division at the Regional Science Fair, then finally earning the Bronze Award at the Minnesota State Science Fair! These are really great accomplishments and we would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Abby on her wonderful work.

If you would like to learn more about this project and whether or not manufacturers of ballet pointe shoes should change their ways, please take a look at Abby’s presentation:

Congratulations again, Abby! Best of luck with all your future scientific adventures!

Chromatography Quiz #35

Chromatography Quiz #34: “What the Brij?”- RESULTS

Pickering Labs would like to congratulate all of our winners for our previous newsletter’s Chromatography Word Puzzle:

Ben Covert from New Mexico State Laboratory Division, Jim Balk from Nebraska Public Health Environmental Lab, Naomi Herrera from New Mexico Department of Health, Joy Gottlieb from New Mexico Department of Health, Josiah Hakala from Minnesota Department of Health, Jiufeng Fan from GSK, Tom Schneider from Suffolk County Water Authority, Narjes Ghafoori from Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory.

Winners will soon receive: Amazon eGift Card! ($40.00 Value) Happy online shopping!

Congratulations to our quiz winners!

Thank you all for your submissions!

Chromatography Quiz #35 – Bad Carbamate Chromatography

Correctly answer the question below and win a prize! Simply email your answer and your full contact information to Rebecca at rlsmith@pickeringlabs.com by June 15, 2020 in order to win. You will receive email confirmation when your submission is received, and the troubleshooting answer and winner congratulations will be published in the next issue (to be anonymous, please notify Rebecca in submission).

Below you will find the method details for the Carbamate Method. What could be causing the poor peak shape and low response?

Analytical Conditions

          Carbamate Column P/N 0846250
          (250 x 4.6 mm), C8, 5 um
Flow Rate: 
          1 mL/min
Column Temperature: 
          42 ºC
Mobile Phase: 
          see Table 1

Post-column Conditions
Post-column System:
          Pinnacle PCX or Vector PCX
Reactor 1: 
          100 ºC, 0.5 mL
Reactor 2: 
          Ambient, 0.1 mL
Reagent 1: 
          Hydrolysis Reagent CB130 or CB130.2
Reagent 2: 
          100 mg of OPA, 2 g of Thiofluor in
          950 mL of CB910
          FLD, Excitation 330 nm, Emission 465 nm
Injection Volume: 
          10-20 uL

Full method details from our website here.




Introducing the Onyx PCX!

By Rudy Suez

Click to enlarge

As the end of the year approaches, the leaves change colors and the days get shorter, here at Pickering Laboratories we are preparing for some exciting changes in our own familiar climate. We’re all extremely proud and excited about our next big release, the Onyx PCX. The Onyx PCX is our sleek next generation upgrade to the Pinnacle PCX that many of you are familiar with, and it delivers the same seamless operation and optimized analysis each and every time you run a sample. The Onyx PCX is the newest addition to our integrated family of post-column derivatization instruments, chemistry and support instrumentation.

The Onyx PCX is amazingly simple and intuitive, producing results you can rely on. The Onyx PCX’s reliable performance, elegant design, ease of use, and minimal maintenance make it the optimal Post-column system for research and analytical testing laboratories, as well as pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The Onyx PCX is capable of connecting to an array of HPLC units to meet your testing needs. Pickering Laboratories still offers the only instrumentation optimized for the analysis of Amino Acids, Carbamates, Glyphosate, Mycotoxins, Antibiotics and many other applications.

Pickering Laboratories commitment to quality and providing customers with technical solutions means we maintain a robust application-specific quality system, testing every instrument and consumable exactly as our customer will be using our products.  It also means we pride ourselves in being a leader in innovation by developing, producing, and delivering safe, effective, high quality post-column instruments and consumables that meet or exceed our customer expectations, on time, every time. We achieve these objectives through our chemists’ precision and expertise as well as adopting industry best practices and operating in the spirit of continuous improvement. 

Lastly, at Pickering Laboratories we are well aware that our success is derived from the mutual respect and support from our industry peers and long-time customers. So, thank you! We appreciate all of your feedback during the last decade; you have directly impacted our Onyx PCX instrument improvements.  To learn more about how the Onyx PCX differs from the Pinnacle PCX, please read David’s article where he discusses exactly that! 

To learn more about the new Onyx PCX please consider reading our exciting new brochure!

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Open for Business: COVID-19 Update

With the increasingly lengthy disruptions to daily life caused by COVID-19, Pickering Laboratories, Inc. wants to continue reassuring our customers that we remain open for business this summer.  We continue to maximize support for our customers and provide essential businesses with the reagents and supplies necessary to operate, including hospitals, clinical laboratories, food safety and environmental testing facilities.

Our inventory levels and response times remain normal.  Responsiveness is subject to change and new orders still may need to be prioritized accordingly to supply essential businesses. 

Thank you for your patience and for your business as we continue to work together through this difficult time.  Please contact us with any questions you may have.

Customer Service: orders@pickeringlabs.com
Technical Support: support@pickeringlabs.com
Phone: 650-694-6700