Welcome to the Don Whitley Scientific blog
There are many reasons to choose a Whitley Workstation when it comes to Anaerobic, Hypoxic or Microaerophilic work. We can discuss these with you anytime, but we also have plenty of satisfied customers who have expressed why using a Whitley Workstation improves their working methods and results.
Over the years, customers have supplied us with many testimonials about their Don Whitley Scientific products. From these we can see that not only have Whitley Workstations become approved by fantastic researchers worldwide, but we can also help promote the amazing work that is done by our customers.
Dr Vaibhao Janbandhu at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCR) in Sydney, Australia uses a Whitley H35 Hypoxystation in his work on finding new ways to stimulate heart regeneration during ageing and after heart attack. He uses his H35 Hypoxystation to isolate, culture and characterise adult cardiac stem cells. In Dr Janbandhu’s words the H35 is “an integral part of the project to advance the project aims”.
In this video testimonial, Jane Freeman at Leeds General Infirmary explains how her Whitley A95 Workstation improves the working methods in her Clostridium difficile research. Jane reports that she and her team are able to use the workstation for “several hours at a time in relative comfort” and that the workstation is able to house all the technical equipment her team requires. This allows “the whole experiment to be performed in optimum conditions without introducing air at all”. Jane explains that “reliability, versatility and space are the significant benefits of the workstations in our work on Clostridium difficile“.
The Institute of Cancer Research in London is one of the world’s most influential research institutes, with an outstanding record of achievement dating back more than 100 years. At the Institute, George Poulogiannis uses a combination of Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation (with Seahorse XF Analyzer) and Whitley H35 Hypoxystation in his research into breast cancer. Hypoxia is a key factor in the “Hallmarks of Cancer” and this team are studying the role of hypoxia in cell invasion and metastasis, oncogene-induced senescence and resistance to current treatment options. The i2 and H35 replicate a physiologically relevant atmosphere for these studies, enabling consistent and reliable results. This combination of Workstations is also used by Dr Ayse Latif, who is researching gynaecological cancers at The University of Manchester.
Don Whitley Scientific would like to take this opportunity to thank all customers who have provided testimonials. If you would be interested in supplying a testimonial, please contact Alex_Rhodes@dwscientific.co.uk.
This article was written by Burga Kalz Fuller, join her and HypOxygen at the 15th International Tumour Microenvironment Workshop in Miami
In most cancers, the hypoxic microenvironment affects the development and progression of tumours, driving alterations in gene expression, metabolism and cell signalling, and significantly influencing the Hallmarks of Cancer. So what about in vitro cancer research, do culture parameters matter? Definitely! Numerous studies have shown that even very brief exposure to ambient oxygen levels and temperature significantly impacts cell culture, behaviour and function of cells in vitro.
HypOxygen will be exhibiting our Hypoxystation at the 15th International Tumour Microenvironment Workshop in Miami from 27th – 29th April. The special focus there is on “Hypoxia, Angiogenesis and Vasculature”, reflecting the critical importance of hypoxia in the context of cancer. With the Hypoxystation, cancer researchers have their finger on the pulse of physiological cell culture.
The Hypoxystation mimics the hypoxic conditions present in cancer, providing a closed workstation format with contiguous, stable low oxygen down to 0.1%. Precise oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity control within a temperature-controlled environment, as well as ample space for cellular manipulation, assays and microscopic observation, allow researchers to recreate physiological conditions. HEPA filtration, sterile steam humidification, and remote parameter monitoring are some of the features that make the Hypoxystation so unique.
Cancer research labs, who use a Hypoxystation to re-create hypoxic conditions in the tumour microenvironment, are publishing brilliant papers which demonstrate the influence of hypoxia on the Hallmarks of Cancer. Metabolic adaptation, sustained growth, resisting cell death, and angiogenesis are just some of the Hallmarks which are affected by hypoxia. Here are some recent highlights:
- Eales et al. (2016) Hypoxia and metabolic adaptation of cancer cells
- Prickaerts et al. (2016) Hypoxia increases genome-wide bivalent epigenetic marking by specific gain of H3K27me3
- Stegeman et al. (2016) Interaction between hypoxia, AKT and HIF-1 signaling in HNSCC and NSCLC: implications for future treatment strategies
- Maeda et al. (2016) In Vivo Imaging Reveals Significant Tumor Vascular Dysfunction and Increased Tumor Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1Î± Expression Induced by High Single-Dose Irradiation in a Pancreatic Tumor Model
- Mysore et al. (2016) A DNA-binding Molecule Targeting the Adaptive Hypoxic Response in Multiple Myeloma Has Potent Antitumor Activity
Hypoxystation users are showing that “culturing cells in ambient air, or ‘normoxia’ is far from physiological.“
Visit HypOxygen at the 15th International Tumor Microenvironment Workshop in Miami
WASPLab to be shown at the forthcoming 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
Held in Vienna, this event brings together the world’s leading experts to discuss the latest developments in infectious diseases, infection control and clinical microbiology. The scientific programme features talks from key figures in antibiotic susceptibility testing, infection control and antimicrobial resistance.
Representatives from Don Whitley Scientific will be present on the Copan stand at this event to help promote WASPLab. WASPLab is the sophisticated barcode driven microbiology specimen processor and work-up system, moving samples from front end processing to full specimen management, automated incubation and digital microbiology. With its modular design and small footprint, WASPLab can be customised to the unique needs of the lab. The robotic plate management system, smart incubators and state-of-the-art image acquisition technology are changing the way labs work and opening the door for groundbreaking digital microbiology.
Don Whitley Scientific is one of the primary distributors of the WASPLab in the UK. We have installed a WASPLab at Leeds General Infirmary and will soon be installing a second system at Manchester Royal Infirmary. We invite you to come along and meet representatives from Don Whitley Scientific on Copan’s stand at this international event.
This article was written by Burga Kalz Fuller of HypOxygen, giving an account of her and HypOxygen’s recent involvement at the Keystone meeting in Whistler, Canada.
Really, a day in Whistler doesn’t get any better: talks on the newest results on hypoxia and tumour metabolism from morning till night, and outside the snow falls all day, every day. The joint Keystone Symposia on “Adaptations to Hypoxia in Physiology and Disease” and “Tumour Metabolism: Mechanisms and Targets” in Whistler, British Columbia last week featured both skiing and science, and HypOxygen was honoured to be a part of it all.
Joint sessions every day highlighted the many ways in which hypoxia controls gene expression, influences metabolic pathways, and regulates immunological and inflammatory processes, with new data showing how hypoxia affects the Hallmarks of Cancer. North American Hypoxystation users Navdeep Chandel, Nick Denko and Brad Wouters gave talks on respiration, mitochondrial function, and hypoxic regulation of autophagy. European Hypoxystation users Almut Schulze, Janine Erler and Ester Hammond spoke about glucose/lipid metabolism, ECM remodeling and DNA replication in hypoxia. Together, a global community of cancer researchers are targeting hypoxia as a key factor underlying tumour genesis and cancer progression.
Some of our own Hypoxystation users gave poster presentations: Ji Zhang (pictured top left) from Brad Wouters’ lab at Princess Margaret Cancer Center had a poster on “Characterizing oxygen metabolism and hypoxia tolerance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma“, and Sara Timpano from Dr. Jim Uniacke’s lab at University of Guelph presented “Investigating cellular metabolism, DNA damage, and oxidative stress response under physiological oxygen conditions“. Hypoxystation users Navdeep Chandel, Nick Denko and Brad Wouters gave talks on respiration, mitochondrial function, and hypoxic regulation of autophagy, to name just a few.
We spoke to many of the Keystone attendees about our Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation and the Whitley H35 HEPA Hypoxystation by Don Whitley Scientific. The closed workstation format of the Hypoxystation provides reliable hypoxia down to 0.1% for cells accustomed to the very low oxygen customary in any body tissue, and especially in the tumour microenvironment. Precise oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity control within a temperature-controlled environment as well as ample space for cellular manipulation, assays and microscopic observation allow researchers to mimic and monitor physiological conditions. HEPA filtration, sterile steam humidification, and remote parameter monitoring are some of the features that make the Hypoxystation so unique.
As Jim Uniacke states in this video tutorial on creating physiological oxygen, “It is important to keep cells in the hypoxia workstation up until the point of lysis, as oxygen can rapidly alter the biochemical properties of these translation factors.” His lab has been producing exciting results on translation control at hypoxia with the Hypoxystation for several years, earning him the honorary title of “cancer cells’ worst nightmare.” Dr. Uniacke and all the other researchers at the Keystone symposia are working on conquering the nightmare of cancer, Hypoxygen and Don Whitley Scientific want to assist you in that endeavour where possible.
Don Whitley Scientific recently headed up north into the Cairngorms National Park to attend the Scottish Microbiology Association Spring Meeting at the Macdonald Resort in Aviemore.
The meeting featured talks and presentations from various different people working in microbiology in Scotland, with topics ranging from antimicrobial resistance to invasive infections. The event gave Don Whitley Scientific a chance to interact and network with key figures in Scottish microbiology and discuss how the DWS product range may benefit their working methods.
Don Whitley Scientific had an A35 Anaerobic Workstation on their stand, equipped with many unique options and features. Many microbiology labs in Scotland are well aware of Whitley Workstations, already using them in their labs, however the meeting was a good opportunity to introduce the product to those who were looking for a more efficient and easy way to cultivate anaerobes.
The oral bacteriome comprises about 700 species, most of them anaerobic and participating in symbiotic relationships with their human host and each other which are essential for overall health, not just of the mouth but also of the heart, the brain, and other organ systems. Up to one third of these bacteria have been characterised solely by culture-independent molecular methods such as 16S rRNA cloning, but have yet to be cultivated in vitro. These bacteria are so difficult to culture outside of their biofilm habitat because they rely on metabolic cooperation and intercellular signalling with the community.
Sonia Vartoukian and William Wade of Queen Mary University of London, using their Don Whitley Scientific Anaerobic Workstations, have been shining a bright light into the dark niches of the oral cavity for years. They have identified a novel species in a new genus, Fretibacterium fastidiosum, through co-culture with other oral bacteria cultured in the anaerobic workstation. More recently, they were able to isolate five novel strains from subgingival plaque, using a combination of community culture with helper strains and supplementation with siderophores as growth supplements. The bacteria are surprisingly agile in adapting to changes in their co-dependent habitat, as long as they are provided with the signals and factors they themselves have lost the ability to synthesize. Over the course of up to 21 day culture of the samples, Vartoukian and Wade were fastidious about not exposing the cultures to air, using plates that were pre-reduced in the workstation’s anaerobic atmosphere and making sure to minimise time spent outside of the workstation. The Whitley Anaerobic Workstation makes it easy to work with sensitive cultures. The 10mm thick annealed acrylic, patented use of Anotox, rapid transfer airlock, and easy-to-use sleeve gassing system ensure a robust and strictly anaerobic atmosphere.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Microbiology International distributes the Don Whitley Scientific anaerobic workstation to North American groups researching the oral bacteriome in physiology and disease. Dr. Yihong Li at New York University Department of Dentistry uses his A35 workstation “to facilitate cutting-edge research in clinical microbiology, antimicrobial treatment evaluation, and infectious disease identification.” The A35 can accommodate up to 600 90 mm plates and features bare-handed access to a consistent and strictly anaerobic environment, reliably monitored by the Anaerobic Conditions Monitoring System. Dr. Li’s research on dental caries has shown that the anaerobic environment is essential for colonization by oral lactobacilli. His group’s large-scale studies of the diversity of lactobacilli associated with severe early childhood caries have demonstrated the necessity to provide a range of anaerobic and microaerophilic niche environments in order to capture the complexity of Lactobacillus variables.
Dr. Li’s group will be presenting new research on oral biofilms at the AADR conference.
Visit Microbiology International at the AADR/IADR meeting in San Francisco on 22-25 March to experience anaerobic workstations for yourself!
In the United States, nearly half a million infections are caused by Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) annually, with approximately 17% experiencing at least one recurrence; almost 6% of patients die within 30 days of diagnosis.
The standard first-line treatment for C. difficile infection (CDI) relies on the antibiotic metronidazole; however, metronidazole is not as effective for severe cases of CDI, due to its rapid absorption in the upper GI tract. At Texas A&M, Julian Hurdle’s group are using Whitley Anaerobic Workstations to improve treatment outcome by developing modified derivatives of metronidazole.
Julian Hurdle and Philip Cherian describe their research in their 2015 paper “Gastrointestinal localization of metronidazole by a lactobacilli-inspired tetramic acid motif improves treatment outcomes in the hamster model of Clostridium difficile infection“. In essence, the group synthesized a series of metronidazole derivatives with a tetramic acid motif utilized by Lactobacillus strains, assaying their efficacy in C. difficile cultures growing in a Whitley A35 Workstation. In animal experiments, the modified compounds were found to exhibit significantly better efficacy in treating CDI, due to minimal absorption as compared to the unmodified drug. The A35 Anaerobic Workstation enables comfortable gloveless access to the chamber, where cultures are manipulated and incubated under consistent anaerobic conditions. Features such as HEPA containment and anaerobic conditions monitoring system guarantee that the atmosphere inside the workstation is absolutely anaerobic and particulate free. Drs Hurdle and Cherian have recently applied for a patent for compounds and methods based on their C. difficile research.
All over the world, labs are using Whitley Workstations to research C. difficile. In the UK, C. difficile is still a challenge with 17,925 cases reported in 2015. Leeds General Infirmary now has five Whitley Workstations. Dr Jane Freeman at Leeds uses an A95 Anaerobic Workstation, our largest workstation, which can accommodate two technicians simultaneously and has a capacity of up to 1400 plates. The team at Leeds appreciate the reliable anaerobic atmosphere, the spacious working area, and the ability to keep instrumentation inside the workstation. Watch this YouTube video highlighting Dr Freeman’s work with C. difficile.
By Dr Burga Kalz Fuller
Microbiology International is the exclusive distributor for Whitley Anaerobic Workstations in North America.
Most solid tumours exhibit areas of both chronic and acute hypoxia, all of them evolving dynamically as a function of cellular growth, vascularisation, oxygen consuming metabolism and therapy response. Tumour hypoxia, generally far below 1% oxygen, correlates with increased recurrence rates and decreased survival rates in most cancers, so the recent review by Hypoxystation users Rey et al. describing “Molecular Targeting of Hypoxia in Radiotherapy” gives a valuable overview of the mechanisms cancer cells have developed to respond to hypoxia.
Dr. Rey of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada, and his co-authors Luana Schito, Marianne Koritzinsky and Brad Wouters have contributed vastly to our knowledge about the cellular response to hypoxia in the context of tumour behavior. Since 2009, they have acquired four Hypoxystations for their lab, in order to culture cells under conditions which authentically mimic the physiological environment of cancer. The Hypoxystation provides a closed workstation format for rigorous control of oxygen, CO2, temperature and humidity, facilitating accurate regulation of cell culture conditions as the in vivo tumour situation is simulated.
In their 2016 review, Rey et al. describe the cellular response to the complex interplay of temporal and spatial variations in oxygen levels, and the rippling effects exerted on vascular, stromal and immunological responses.
By Burga Kalz Fuller, HypOxygen
Information on an upcoming exhibition in Whistler for HypOxygen. Words by Dr Burga Kalz Fuller.
At 2140 feet in Whistler, BC, the air will be getting thinner at the Keystone Symposia on “Adaptations to Hypoxia in Physiology and Disease” joint with the meeting on “Tumour Metabolism: Mechanisms and Targets”. But after all, hypoxia is what we do at HypOxygen, so we are very excited to be spending time at altitude with old friends and new ones on March 5-9.
At the Keystone Symposia in Whistler, HypOxygen will be exhibiting Whitley Hypoxystations for low oxygen cell culture under in vivo conditions. Conceived as an incubator workstation, but allowing gloveless access “to avoid spikes of normoxia” for cancer cells accustomed to very low oxygen, the Hypoxystation enables researchers to culture and manipulate cells growing at consistent oxygen, CO2, humidity and temperature. Another member of the Hypoxystation family, the i2 Instrument Workstation, was developed specifically to house instrumentation such as the Agilent Seahorse XF Analyzer for metabolism assays at hypoxia.
Since seeing is believing, we are greatly looking forward to talks and posters by a number of researchers who use Hypoxystations for their hypoxic cell culture. The broad range of these researchers’ presentations clearly illustrates how closely oxygen availability is linked to cancer cell behavior and metabolism, as the Hallmarks of Cancer are influenced and even determined by hypoxia in the tumour environment. These Hypoxystation users will be presenting data in Whistler:
- Nicholas Denko, Ohio State University, USA
Hypoxic Regulation of Mitochondrial Function
- Almut Schulze, University of Würzburg/Theodor-Boveri Institute, Germany
Targeting Glucose and Lipid Metabolism in Cancer
- Janine T. Erler, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Hypoxia-Driven ECM Remodelling during Cancer Progression
- Navdeep S. Chandel, Northwestern University, USA
Why Mammalian Cells Respire?
- Sara M. Timpano, University of Guelph, Canada
Human Cells Cultured Under Physiological Oxygen Utilize a Different Mode of Translation Initiation, Have Higher Proliferation Rates, Less Oxidized DNA and More Tubular Mitochondria
- Karen H. Vousden, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, UK
A Role for p53 in the Adaptation to Metabolic Stress
- Cormac Taylor, University College Dublin, Ireland
The Role of Hypoxia in Immunity and Inflammation
- Eyal Gottlieb, Technion Integrated Cancer Center, Israel
Metabolic Dependencies of Leukemic Stem Cells
- Bradly G. Wouters, University Health Network, Canada
ULK1 Regulates Oxygen Metabolism, Hypoxia Tolerance and Is a Therapeutic Target in Pancreatic Cancer
- Ester M. Hammond, University of Oxford, UK
Ribonucleotide Reductase Favors the RRM2B Subunit to Maintain DNA Replication in Hypoxia
Please stop by our exhibit at the Whistler Conference Center to learn more about the ways the Hypoxystation can recreate the tumour environment for your cancer research. We also have a “heart-warming” gift for you!