Sample preparation may initially be assumed to be the most basic element of analytical processes in research laboratories. However, the accuracy of measurements achieved during analysis is heavily dependent on the quality of the sample preparation performed. If the substances analyzed do not accurately represent the original samples, the generation of meaningful data is undermined and the study findings are unreliable.
A microplate is a tool used routinely in analytical research and diagnostic testing. It is a flat plate containing “wells” that serve as small test tubes. The accuracy and reliability of the data generated in microplate analysis can be adversely affected by a number of factors and many laboratories are focused on eliminating these. Adequate microplate mixing is an important part of achieving this and laboratories are interested in acquiring technologies that can ensure mixing is reliable, accurate and fast.
The Ther-Mix is a heated mixer that is helping laboratories to improve performance. This heated mixer, which can be used for a number of microplate and tube formats, is repeatable, reliable and highly accurate. The user can precisely mix and heat samples, as required for their chosen single- or multiple-step mixing program. This device reduces the number of stages required for an assay, therefore providing significant time savings.
Users no longer need to watch over samples - ready to switch mixing speeds and temperatures, and an easy-to-use touch-screen interface allows the creation and storage of individual mixing programs with multiple mixing and heating steps. Once a program has been set up and saved, the Heated Module for the user’s consumable is attached and the program is played until an audible alert is sounded, notifying the operator that the program has ended. This automated process significantly reduces variables, human error and time in sample preparation.
Designed by highly qualified medical device engineers, the Ther-Mix is fitted with a unique integrated heated lid; providing both all-round intimate sample thermal contact and independent temperature control at the top and bottom of the sample, thus eliminating the risk of sample condensation. The Ther-Mix can offer significant benefits across a number of applications including: DNA extractions, nanoparticle research, lysis reactions, ELISA assays, PCR sample preparation and forensics.
Dr Helen Bennett reviews the Vitl Ther-Mix
Cell disruption or cell lysis is the disruption of parts of the cell wall or the whole cell so that the contents inside can be released and separated. Lysing the cell enables contents such as organelles, DNA, RNA and plasmids to be extracted. The products released are referred to as “the lysate,” which is then separated into its components for analysis in further studies.
Cells have a semi-permeable plasma membrane that serves as a barrier, dividing and protecting the cell cytoplasm from the extracellular environment. Disruption of this membrane as a result of lysis, exposes cell contents to this environment. With its pH differing to the inside of the cell, this environment can lead to the inactivation and denaturation of the biomolecules of interest. Cell lysis is therefore usually carried out using a buffer solution.
Using the Ther-Mix for cell disruption
Vitl are pleased to announce that, cell disruption has been successfully carried out using the Ther-Mix. No longer do researchers need to use three separate instruments as the Ther-Mix combines it all.
Amongst the numerous commonly available protocols that could be made more accurate, efficient and reliable using the Ther-Mix, is the Bode Technology Manual extraction using silica-membrane technology with the Qiagen QIAamp DNA Investigator Kit. The fourth step of this protocol includes the option of using a heated mixer or a heat block/water bath to improve lysis.
The heated mixer would obviously be the preferred option in terms of efficiency, as the user would need to be sure that the sample and buffer were adequately mixed. The Ther-Mix has the same controlled mixing technology as Vitl’s Co-Mix laboratory mixer and shaker and can perform thorough mixing of highly viscous solutions. The well known risk of contamination associated with water baths is another reason the use of a heated mixer would be preferable.
The Ther-Mix is hugely advantageous in its field, introducing a whole new level of repeatability to heating and mixing protocols. Having this instrument in the laboratory can cut down on variables, errors and time, some of the most important factors for improving laboratory performance.
About Vitl Life Science Solutions
Vitl designs, manufactures and sells high quality laboratory instruments to compete with market leaders at an affordable price with unrivalled functionality, usability and style.
The growing Vitl laboratory products range includes the world’s best-selling microplate heat sealer- the VTS and its compact counterpart the MicroTS. Vitl also sell a range of foil and film heat seals as well as microtube pickers and programmable mixers and vortexers.
Vitl products was established in 2006 by the medical, diagnostic and analytical device design and manufacturing company Integrated Technologies Ltd.
As a member of the ITL group, Vitl benefits from the experience and expertise of a parent company that works with globally successful medical devices and laboratory instrumentation.
Vitl products are sold through a global network of distributors and OEM (private label) partners, managed by their main sales offices in the UK, USA and China.
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