Category Archives: lctech

Freestyle Automated Sample Prep Instrument

The new FREESTYLE system is the most adaptable robotic equipment for sample preparation currently available on the market. With its nearly universally applicable system range, numerous processing steps can be elegantly automated. The FREESTYLE system takes on daily routine tasks in the laboratory, but also offers the user the unique opportunity to combine specific working steps that were previously carried out individually.

FREESTYLE SPE Module: The FREESTYLE SPE system is suitable for the fully automated processing of the most diverse column formats. The technology is unique:

    • One rack for different SPE columns: Different columns can be combined in any fashion. Adaptation is achieved through choosing the respective adapter. Different adapters are available for different sized columns.
    • Handling of both open as well as closed (e.g. IAC) columns is possible
    • Sample processing directly on the robotic arm under positive or negative pressure
    • Simple method set-up through pre-determined single steps, which can be arbitrarily combined and parametrized individually:
      • Conditioning
      • Emptying (e.g. let buffer drain off from immunoaffinity columns)
      • Loading: a variety of options for loading the sample onto the column
      • Washing
      • Drying the SPE cartridge with ambient air or nitrogen stream
      • Elution with various solvents, with multiple repetitions, and into different containers
    • Any combination of methods and/or columns within a sample list is possible
    • Various – almost unlimited – possibilities of using different containers for any type of sample or for filling of the eluate

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FREESTYLE EVAporation Module:
The FREESTYLE EVAporation system is suitable for the fully automated evaporation of many samples – if you wish overnight or over the weekend. The novel FREESTYLE technology:

    • allows for free end-volume selection of between 0.2 mL and 5.0 mL (automatic calibration),
    • individually for each sample,
    • combines the rotary evaporator technology (vacuum) with gentle blowing off with nitrogen (optional),
    • allows an automated solvent exchange liquid/liquid or to dryness (optional),
    • results in a concentrate, precisely bottled or dispensed in aliquots in free-selected glasses (e.g. closed GC vials).

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FREESTYLE GPC Module: The FREESTYLE GPC module facilitates the upgrade to a fully automated chromatographic sample preparation system (gel permeation chromatography), as is used for example for clean-up of food, animal feed and environmental samples. It complies in all areas with the requirements of general methods, e.g. DFG S19, EPA 3640A, AOAC 984.21, EN 1528 and more. The module consists of a preparative LC-double piston pump with all its advantages e.g. minimizing pulsation. With a flow rate of say 5 mL/min, the preparative pump incurs only a small load and is consequently particularly low maintenance.

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Be sure to visit www.freestyle-robotic.com for more details, configurator, and applications

Analysis of Total Ergot Alkaloid Amount in Various Grain Samples by ELISA

By Dr. Frederik Wuppermann and Dr. Uwe Aulwurm

Introduction:

Ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins produced by fungi (Claviceps sp.) on various grain species with a highly toxic impact on the health of consumers (Figure 1). The toxins provoke symptoms summarized as ergotism.

ergot wheat

Figure 1: Sclerotia grown on crop

The toxins are characterized by two different isomers, which occur under different pH conditions, they are named –ines and –inines. The main toxins found are ergocristine, -inine, ergometrine, -inine, ergosine, -inine, ergocryptine, -inine, ergotamine, -inine, ergocornine, -inine. The assessment of toxin amount becomes necessary due to the toxic effects of ergot alkaloids. For this purpose an ELISA was developed to detect all ergot alkaloids in various crop material and the detected amounts of ergot alkaloids were correlated with LC-MS data.

 

 

Method

ergoread quick method
Figure 2.
ELISA procedure

The sample is extracted by 40/60 methanol / 0.25% phosphoric acid as described by Ware et al. 2000. After centrifugation the sample was diluted with sample dilution buffer and filtered again. The filtered sample was applied in the ELISA plate and compared with a standard solution (enclosed in the ErgoREAD kit). The enzyme immune reaction is performed as depicted in Figure 2.

 

 

Results:

Analysis of wheat samples:

analysis of wheat

 Analysis of Rye Samples:

analysis of rye

Comparative Analysis of Naturally Contaminated Samples:

The samples showed good correlation between 0 to 10 ppm, indicating that the ELISA is suitable for the screening of various crop material for the presence of ergot alkaloids. The partially over quantification in the comparative analysis could be due to the cross reactivity of the ELISA against various ergot alkaloids which were not monitored by the LC-MS or HPLC analysis. comparative analysis of naturally contaminated samples

Figure 3 cross reactivity of ErgoREADThe ELISA shows significant cross reactivity against various ergot alkaloids e.g. ergonovin (ergometrine or ergocristine) and can be used to determine the qualitative stuatus of a crop sample concernig the sum of ergot alkaloids.

 Conclusion:

The ErgoREAD ELISA is an appropriate tool for screening wheat, rye and triticale samples for presence of ergot alkaloids. The range of measurement is from 0 to 5 ppm. Due to the readout as the sum of all reactive ergot alkaloids, the cutoff for critical samples is 0.4 ppm. All shown ELISA samples are correlated with HPLC. The total amount of samples which need to undergo LC-MS analysis could be dramatically reduced.

More information about this kit and other Mycotoxin analysis products can be found on LCTech’s Website. The original poster can be downloaded here.

Pickering Laboratories is proud to bet the distributor for LCTech in North America. For more information about our long-time relationship with LCTech, check out our blog entry on Pickering’s Company & Product Offerings in 2013.

 

 

Pickering Exhibits at Pittcon 2013

This year’s Pittcon was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from March 17-21, 2013.

view of philly from the museum On display were Pinnacle PCX, EluVAC, and a video of the FREESTYLE Automated Sample Preparation Instrument.  The video was a new technique for us, and it was well received.

The video in our booth was a combination of the separate videos for each module of the FREESTYLE Automated Sample Preparation Instrument. You can view the originals here (they are very informative, and we highly recommend them): FREESTYLE VIDEOS

Wendy, Mike and David enjoyed visiting with existing and future customers, as well as our distributors from around the world, including our Canadian distributor, Chromatographic Specialties.

Before the show opened, we had the opportunity to explore the city.  Philadelphia is one of our oldest cities and is full of history and landmarks. Some of this editor’s favorites include Independence Hall and the surrounding neighborhoods, and the Art Museum (see more below).  On this trip, we explored Reading Terminal Market, and sampled that famous cuisine, the Philly Cheese steak Sandwich. I’m told it is not truly a Philly Steak sandwich unless you have it with Cheez Whiz. Any type of real cheese doesn’t count. I made that mistake on my first trip to Philadelphia, and the man behind the counter let me know it!  I wasn’t about to make that mistake again:

philly cheesesteak

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is known for its amazing collection of artwork (viewed on a previous visit), but is also made famous by the scene of Sylvester Stallone running up the stairs in the movie Rocky.  Since the author of this entry happened to be training for a race, she decided that a little cold wasn’t going to stop her. So she put on her iPod (Rocky Theme playing, of course), and ran from the hotel to the top of the steps and back (total distance: about 2.8miles).

view from the bottom

wendy philly top of steps

wendy rockyOn the return to the hotel, I came across a version of the LOVE sculpture, by American Artist Robert Indiana. I always thought it was was much bigger…

love sculpture

 

For those of you interested in learning more about the sculpture, click HERE

If you’re ever in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is definitely worth a visit.

But if you can’t make the trip to Philadelphia, you could also stay home and watch Rocky…

New! FREESTYLE Series Instrumentation

Pickering Laboratories introduced the Freestyle™ Sample Clean-up workstation from LCTech at this year’s AOAC International meeting in New Orleans.  Building on the success of the GPC Ultra product line of Gel Permeation Chromatography systems,  the FREESTYLE™Series  is an innovative design adding new time saving features to the automated sample clean-up work flow.

The Freestyle™ begins with:

  • FREESTYLE Basic, which has an XYZ robotic arm for automated liquid handling; dilutions, additions, mixing, extraction, dispensing, and other operations.
  • Add the GPC module for GPC processing of up to 4 GPC columns. 
  • Add to this the SPE module to enable SPE processing. 
  • Add the EVA module for programmable evaporation and solvent exchange for a completely automated in-line evaporation instrument.
Flexibility of the system starts with the suspended rack design. The system can handle multiple vial shapes from 1mL to 1000mL.

The FREESTYLE™software is drag and drop to program multiple sample parameters and able to handle exceptions to insert into the workflow. Graphical reporting and full audit logs round out the robust software.

The FREESTYLE™ automation of sample clean-up saves time, improves consistency and protects your staff from potentially harmful chemical exposure.

Send us an email or give us a call to find out how FREESTYLE™ can solve your sample clean-up challenges. 

Email: sales@pickeringlabs.com
Phone: Toll-free: 800-654-3330, Direct: 650-694-6700

A Brief Report on the European Pesticide Residue Workshop in Strasbourg, France

By Laszlo Torma
The 8th European Pesticide Residue Workshop (EPRW 2010) was held in Strasbourg, FR on June 20-24, 2010. As usual, EPRW 2010 was a great success and it was a productive and worthwhile meeting.

First, I would like to share a little information about Strasbourg. The city is the capital of region which was part of the Holy Roman Empire and later annexed by France. In more recent history, Alsace changed hands four times between France and Germany in 75 years. Although the historical language of Alsace is Alsatian, a Germanic language, today most Alsatians speak French and only about 40% of the adult population is fluent in Alsatians. Strasbourg is the seat of several European Institution such as the European Parliament, the Council of Europe (with its European Court of Human Rights) and others.

Back to the meeting; EPRW meets every 2 years and in my opinion, it gets better and larger each time. In spite of the global economic down turn, there were about 500 participant and 30 exhibitors representing all the continents. The Scientific Organizing Committee has assembled a great program, including 29 oral presentations, more than 200 posters and a number of vendor sessions. Scientists from all over the world were represented and participated in various discussions to exchange new ideas in the area of pesticide regulations, residue monitoring, new analytical techniques and methodology. I enjoyed the high quality posters that have been presented. These posters demonstrated the desire of many scientists to share their practical and fundamental know how with the participant during the workshop. And last but certainly not least, I had the opportunity to work with our European distributor, LCTech from Germany and to visit with our mutual customers.

International Connections, by Laszlo Torma

The “Pickering Brand” is well known all over the world. Thanks to our customers and our dedicated distributers, Pickering Laboratories instruments and methods are utilized in more and more countries. In order for us to offer better service and communication we have been expanding our participation at international meetings.

Pickering Laboratories is regularly represented at the Latin American Pesticide Residue Workshop (LAPRW). The first LAPRW was held in Brazil (2007) and Wendy Rasmussen and I were representing our company. We worked with Roberto de Souza Cruz of Cromatec. The second LAPRW (2009) was in Argentina and David Mazawa and I were representing Pickering Laboratories. We visited our distributer Victorio Bogunovich of Analytical Technologies. We had great cooperation from Analytical Technologies; sharing booth space during the meeting and were able to visit their facility. In Argentina the level of interest and knowledge of participants was much better than the first workshop. At both meetings we had the pleasure to meet lots of interesting people. In Latin America, like other parts of the world many Laboratories are struggling to purchase high performance and high cost instruments. In Argentina during a general discussion, many people expressed their anger about the very high cost of instruments like LC/MS/MS and requested reliable methods with affordable instruments. Latin American countries are using large amounts of glyphosate and are interested in reliable analytical methods in crop and environmental samples. It seems to me that glyphosate is an emotional and political issue in Argentina. The next LAPRW meeting is in Montevideo, Uruguay in 2011.

In 2009, David Mazawa attended BCEIA, China’s largest conference on analytical instruments. David worked with our distributer Ameritech and enjoyed meeting potential customers and as well as their hospitality. You can read more about this trip in our January 2010 Newsletter.

Recently Wendy Rasmussen and David Mazawa represented Pickering Laboratories at Analytica in Germany. Analytica is similar to PITTCON but they meet every second year and it has become larger than PITTCON in recent years. Wendy and David were assisting our distributer and business partner LCTech GmbH during the show. They also received training on LCTech’s new products that we are marketing in the USA.

Wendy, David, and the LCTech team at Analytica

In April, Wendy and I attended the Western Canada Trace Organic Workshop in Vancouver, Canada. We are presented 2 posters; and Wendy gave a presentation on “Sample Clean-Up with Immunoaffinity columns and Gel Permeation Chromatogphy”. We had a great time and we especially were glad to meet with our distributor, Chromatographic Specialties as well as some current and (hopefully!) future customers. Chromatographic Specialties have a great product range and offer wonderful support all accross Canada.

In June, I will attend the European Pesticide Residue Workshop (EPRW2010) in France. This will be my fourth EPRW meeting. EPRW meets every two years alternating with LAPRW. I will work with our distributor LCTech and visit with our customers. Scientists and pesticide regulators from all over the world will attend this meeting because it is considered by many to be the best pesticide residue workshop. In addition to the Europeans, the attendees are from Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America. This meeting allows me an opportunity to visit with laboratory personnel with different scientific backgrounds, from different parts of the world.

And last but not least, we are regularly participating as exhibiters and presenters at PITTCON and AOAC International. Even though these meetings are in the USA there are lots of foreign scientists attending and this gives us additional opportunity to cultivate our relationship with them.