Pickering Laboratories

Chromatography Quiz #38 – Troubleshooting High Pressure

Chromatography Quiz #37—Get to know the Onyx PCX—Winners

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

Dick's Sporting Goods Gift App

Josiah Hakala from Minnesota Department of Health, Jim Balk from Nebraska Public Health Environmental Lab, Tom Schneider from Suffolk County Water Authority, and Narjes Ghafoori from Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory.

Winners will soon receive a Dick’s Sporting Goods eGift Card ($100 value)!!! We hope this helps kick off an awesome start to their summer fun in the sun.

Congratulations to our quiz winners!

Thank you all for your submissions!

Chromatography Quiz #38 – Troubleshooting High Pressure

Correctly identify the source of the blockage and win a prize! Simply email your answer and your full contact information to Rebecca at rsmith@pickeringlabs.com by July 30, 2021 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).

Troubleshooting a High-Pressure Shutdown

Scroll down or click Troubleshooting a High-Pressure Shutdown to view a more accessible PDF.

Quiz #38 Step 1 Quiz #38 Step 2 Quiz #38 Step 3 Quiz #38 Step 4 Quiz #38 Step 5








COVID and Related PTS Products

By Maria Ofitserova, PhD

Pickering Test Solutions brochure coverFor 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.

With that in mind Pickering has introduced new artificial saliva with mucin made according to ASTM methods E2720-16 and E2721-16. The official ASTM methods E2720-16 and E2721-16 specify artificial saliva formulation for the evaluation of decontamination procedures for surfaces and materials contaminated with human pathogenic viruses. The formulation has a mineral composition and pH close to human saliva and contains Mucin to increase the viscosity and lubricating ability of the solution. This artificial saliva can also be used for dental, drug delivery or pharmaceutical studies.

Pickering Laboratories also offers Artificial Lung Fluid called Gamble’s solution, which is used to simulate different interstitial conditions deep 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.

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.

Maria Ofitserova, PhD
Senior Research Chemist
Pickering Laboratories, Inc.
1280 Space Park Way
Mountain View, California 94043 USA
Phone: 650-694-6700, ext. 703  ǀ  Fax: 650-968-0749

Brand-new Amino Acids Analysis Brochure

Amino Acid brochure coverNo other analytical technique, including pre-column derivatization followed by reversed-phase chromatography, has been shown to match post-column ion-exchange methods in accuracy and reproducibility. This is because the retention mechanism in ion exchange provides for chromatography that is almost completely matrix-insensitive. Simple sample preparation for native samples is an added benefit of the ion-exchange method.

With the alternative pre-column derivatization method, the prepared sample is subject to a chemical reaction that takes place in a very complex medium: the residual matrix. Matrix complexity produces both competition and inhibition in chemical synthesis, resulting in decreased reproducibility in peak areas and retention times. Very often, the pre-column method must be optimized for each different sample matrix. In contrast, ion-ex­change chromatography followed by post-column derivatization is intrin­sically more rugged and repeatable, since the matrix components do not retain on the cation-exchange column and have no influence on separation or derivatization of amino acids. The same method can be used for variety of samples, from plant extracts to serums or spinal fluids.

Pickering Laboratories, Inc. provides a complete solution to Amino Acid Analysis. We supply columns, eluants, reagents and post-column derivat­ization instruments that work seamlessly with virtually any modern HPLC, so we can guarantee the accuracy and reproducibility of the analysis. Our chemists will help you choose the method and instrumentation best suited to your requirements, work with you on any custom method optimization and offer continuous support in day-to-day operation.

Download a copy of the brand-new Amino Acids Analysis brochure here. Do not hesitate to contact Pickering Labs Support (support@pickeringlabs.com) with any questions.

David Mazawa
Technical Support Chemist
Pickering Laboratories, Inc.
1280 Space Park Way
Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Phone: (650) 694-6700 x710

Meet Our New Sales Manager!

By Rebecca Smith and Kevin McKeown

It is my great pleasure to have the chance in this newsletter to introduce Kevin McKeown, our new Sales Manager, to all of our customers, vendors and distributors!  When the COVID-19 pandemic finally recedes and life resumes some semblance of normalcy, we hope to have the chance for some of you to get better acquainted with Kevin in person…  Perhaps at trade shows or through an on-site visit (remember those?!) if 2021 shapes up sooner rather than later.  But in the meantime, this virtual introduction will have to do! 

Kevin McKeown with his two boys flying a kite on beach

In early November, Kevin joined the team and he has quickly come up to speed with the way of life here at Pickering Laboratories.  In his former role, he managed the Sales/Customer Service team at SPEX CertiPrep, where he spent the last 13 years of his career.  Coming on-board with a background in chemicals/consumables and already having established relationships with many of his current Pickering colleagues, this transition has been smooth sailing!  Kevin is experienced and enthusiastic – he can’t wait to interact closely with both direct end-users and valued dealers/distributors.  He is VERY excited to finally get back “on the road” again for Pickering!  In lieu of travel, Kevin has become well acquainted with “zooming” his way to a full social calendar.  He will surely enjoy getting to meet each and every one of you virtually and starting to put faces to names.

Kevin McKeown with his twin boys at their birthday party

Kevin is the proud father of 4-year-old identical twin boys: Miles and Colin.  He lives in New Jersey, but he will quickly make sure that you know he’s born and raised in Delaware (also the location of his alma mater: The University of Delaware!).  In his free time, Kevin enjoys golfing, playing with his kids, reading, Super Hero movies, Notre Dame football and skiing (although that’s mainly before kids!).

Please give me a hand in giving Kevin a warm welcome!  You can reach out to him via email to say hello or schedule a quick zoom greeting.  Also, if you enjoy unsolicited pictures of kids (rather than puppies) he’s an excellent source for adorable photos!   


Pandemic Puppy Pictures

By Rebecca Smith

As I teased in the last quarterly newsletter introduction, when it comes to my personal life, I have spent the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic growing my household!  My fiancé and I are very pleased to have actually added not one but TWO pandemic puppies to our family this year.  We showed you a picture of our first puppy as a wee little tyke, before we’d even picked her up.  Now, our “little” Luna is six months old and weighs over fifty pounds already!  She’s going to be a big girl.

Here you can see her September vs December as a lap-pup:

Rebecca's puppy, Luna

Here are a couple more baby pictures of Luna, including her “kraken” Halloween costume:

Rebecca's puppy, Luna, dressed in Halloween costume

Finally, here’s Luna as a big girl in December, right before she got to meet her new baby “sister” (also pictured is coonhound “auntie” Annabelle):

Luna grown up with old coonhound “auntie” Annabelle

Speaking of sisters, we’ve just returned from picking up Luna’s new baby sister!  Tiny little Terra is barely nine weeks old and cannot compete with her sister in stature just yet – but she’ll catch up soon enough!  She’s only been home for a few days but Terra is making her presence known!  Auntie Annabelle isn’t too interested in her just yet, but big sister Luna cannot wait until she’s big enough for tug-of-war.

Our newest addition, Terra:

Rebecca's newest puppy addition, Terra

While I absolutely love nothing more than showing off unsolicited pictures of my “kids,” I don’t want to steal the thunder from our other newsletter articles!  Suffice to say, if you’d like to see more puppy pictures or want to know anything else about the girls, just reach out to me by email or phone.  I’d love to say hello and talk about all things Swissy (or coonhound for that matter!).  I always enjoy seeing pictures from other dog moms too, so if anyone else has a pandemic puppy and wants to share pictures… send them my way!  Since the Coronavirus disruption seems determined to trickle into the beginning of 2021, I’d love to share cute or silly quarantine pictures of your pups with our Pickering team. 

Happy New Year to you and your families!  Wishing you a healthy and safe start to 2021! 

I’ll end with a “side-by-side” with Terra watching Luna watch their dinner preparations:

Terra watching Luna watch their dinner preparations.

Socially Distanced Holiday Season

Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays from the Pickering Laboratories Team!

By Christopher Nguyen

Most people would agree that 2020 has been a wild year. For us here at Pickering, we unanimously agreed that in light of this year’s events, the Pickering Team still needed to find some festive cheer despite (to spite?) the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So as the year came to a close, we celebrated the socially-distanced holiday season with one another from a safe distance and wearing our most festive outfits and masks. Here’s a look at our fun filled December! From pajama day to DIY tree ornaments, catered “box lunches” to secret Santa exchanges, we at Pickering Laboratories held on to the holiday cheer and closed out the year with smiles, joy, and laughter. Thanks, team, for the awesome year! Here’s to a great 2021!

Pickering employees hanging Christmas decorations

From all of us here at Pickering Laboratories, we are wishing you all a wonderful, safe, and warm holiday, but more importantly, a safe and happy 2021!


Chromatography Quiz #37 — Get to know the Onyx PCX

Chromatography Quiz #36—Amino Acids bent outa shape—Winners

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

Amazon logo

Narjes Ghafoori from Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory and Tom Schneider from Suffolk County Water Authority.

Winners will soon receive an Amazon eGift Card! ($100 value)

Congratulations to our quiz winners!

Thank you all for your submissions!

The Answer to Chromatography Quiz #36

The answer is column temperature was set too low. Column temperature has a big affect on retention time stability. That it is why it is important to use a column heater for your analytical methods. We have used this principle to our advantage with our column temperature gradient methods. Our fast amino acid methods use a column temperature gradient where the temperature is changed throughout the run. This has cut some of our older run times in half. Please note that these methods can only be run on our Pinnace or Onyx PCX. No other post-column systems have our repeatable temperature gradient capabilities. See our amino acid method abstracts for more details: https://www.pickeringlabs.com/library/method-abstracts-2/

Chromatography Quiz #37 – Get to know the Onyx PCX

Correctly answer the questions below and win a prize!  Simply email your answer and your full contact information to Rebecca at rsmith@pickeringlabs.com by March 15, 2021 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). Hint: Download the Onyx PCX Brochure here: https://www.pickeringlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Onyx-PCX-Brochure.pdf

Questions Select Answer
1. The Onyx PCX has a larger color display.  True or False
2. The Onyx PCX can be calibrated in the field. True or False
3. The Pinnacle PCX has a Journal for audit tracking.    True or False
4. The Pinnacle PCX is larger than the Onyx PCX.  True or False
5. The Onyx PCX heated reactor is backwards compatible. True or False
6. The Onyx PCX reagent tray can be used as secondary containment. True or False
7. The Onyx PCX only uses USB connection to the PC.   True or False
8. The Onyx PCX pump and valve motors are backwards compatible. True or False
9. The Onyx PCX syringe pump offers pulse free reagent flow. True or False
10. Older Pinnacle methods can be easily transferred to the Onyx PCX.  True or False
11. Both the Pinnacle and Onyx PCX have automated piston wash. True or False
12. Maintenance is easier with the Onyx PCX because of the larger size. True or False
13. The Pinnacle and Onyx PCX have the same relay connector. True or False
14. The Pinnacle and Onyx PCX feature quick change reactors.   True or False
15. The Pinnacle and Onyx PCX feature a column heater with temperature gradient capabilities. True or False








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