Bioanalytical Development Tools - - BioPharm International


Bioanalytical Development Tools

BioPharm International

Microbial Testing

BacT/Alert 3D´s patented colorimetric sensor-and-detection technology
Electronic gadgetry speeds up microbial testing. While bioburden still has to be grown in culture media, colorimetric methods make analysis easier. The BacT/ALERT 3D is a system patented by bioMérieux that demonstrates excellent recovery of a wide range of organisms with greater than 95 percent recovery within 24 hours and greater than 98 percent within 72 hours. It must use a matching culture media to detect aerobic microorganisms and high-acid-producing organisms such as lactobacillus, yeasts, and molds.22

BacT/Alert 3D's patented colorimetric sensor-and-detection technology detects microorganism growth by tracking CO2 production. Notification of positives is immediate and results are dependable.

Here's how it works.

1. Microorganisms multiply in the media, generating CO2. As CO2 increases, the sensor in the bottle turns yellow.

2. Measuring reflected light, the BacT/ALERT 3D monitors and detects color changes in the sensor.

3. Algorithms analyze the data to determine positivity, and the laboratory is notified immediately with visual and audible alarms.

4. Changes in the sensor are permanent and visible to the unaided eye, unlike any other method.

Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

The near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum extends from 700 to 2,500 nm. This is an old technology and so the news from an Advanstar publication is market-oriented.23

"Infrared and near-infrared (NIR) instruments represent about 27 percent of the molecular spectroscopy market, and both are experiencing moderate growth in the 5-6 percent range. Pharmaceutical and biotech applications represent growth opportunities, but food analysis, especially milk and grains, forensics, plastic recycling, and cellular analysis are the most important application areas. Color measurement instrument demand improved in 2004 and should grow at around 5 percent in 2005. Major industrial users such as paints, textiles, and printing have rebounded, while prospects in Asia, especially China, are burgeoning. "

NMR Spectroscopy

In a magnetic field, atomic nuclei with magnetic movements acquire a magnetization parallel to the field. A burst of energy at the right frequency, in the FM radio frequency range, can perturb that magnetization. This creates a small voltage than can be detected.

Improvements are rolling out from leading manufacturers of the instruments. There is steady improvement in the software and the magnets. Some machines now have superconducting magnets. One manufacturer claims a range of 4.7 to 14.1 Tesla is now commercial.24

Probes get hot working in salty biological samples and damage the experiments. University of Illinois Urbana-Champlain and a partner company have teamed up to develop a scroll coil that runs cooler in salty samples than a solenoid coil.25 A patent has been applied for. This company has also developed a cryogenically cooled probe that also solves the local overheating problem.26

NMR has been applied to many research projects. Springer Netherlands has a specialty publication, Journal of Biomolecular NMR, edited by Nobel Medalist (Chemistry 2002) Kurt W_rtrich. Access it at

Peptide Mapping

Proteins are selectively cleaved into fragments that are subsequently separated to create a characteristic pattern. As you can imagine, it takes a number of tools and computer programs to be successful. BioPharm International located a recent paper combining mass spec and powerful computer programs to discern the peptide sequence and quotes parts of it with permission.27

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