DON WHITLEY SCIENTIFIC – THE LEADING INTERNATIONAL SUPPLIER TO THE MICROBIOLOGY AND TISSUE CULTURE INDUSTRIES


Contact Us +44 (0) 1274 595728 sales@dwscientific.co.uk

Follow Don Whitley Scientific

Welcome to the Don Whitley Scientific blog

28 Years of Workstations

old article

Whitley Anaerobic Workstations looked a little different in 1989 … like something out of the Tardis, looking at this old newsletter article from the archives.

It’s interesting to see, however, what things have changed in the  28 years that have passed. Looking at the photographs in the article on the right, a couple of innovations are evident immediately. The round gloveports on the Compact Workstation pictured have been replaced with either patented oval ports or Whitley Instant Access Ports in our modern workstations and all those buttons and switches have been replaced by a full colour touchscreen display. The latest airlocks are integral and the 12 litre version (pictured on the Whitley A35 Workstation below) takes only 60 seconds to run a cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A35_Front_Close Crop

Don Whitley Scientific also now manufactures the Hypoxystation range of workstations for cell culture applications. These workstations accurately control oxygen and carbon dioxide via gas sensing technology. We now use this technology on our anaerobic workstations too, to accurately monitor oxygen levels at all times so you no longer have to rely on chemical indicators … as was the case in 1989!

With a strong focus on quality and ergonomics, we think we have taken the design of our workstations to another level over the years and our customers tell us they agree. But there are a couple of Compact Workstations out there, still going strong

 

 


“A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points,

but it is by no means the most interesting.”

The Doctor, 3rd (Jon Pertwee), The Time Warrior


newdesign article

A more recent article published in the NewDesign Yearbook 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorate Your Workstation and Win!

Shrewsbury Cabinet at Christmas 2Have you decorated your lab and your Whitley Workstation? If so you can win a DWS goody bag for your efforts!

To celebrate the Christmas period we are inviting you to send us photographs of your Whitley Workstation dressed in a festive fashion. The best decorations will win a bag of DWS goodies.

We encourage you to be creative with your decorations but please don’t put yourselves or your research at risk (don’t decorate the inside of the workstation!)

Send in your photos via Twitter @dw_scientific or email Alex_Rhodes@dwscientific.co.uk

We will announce the winner on the 22nd of December. You have until the 21st to get your entries in!

WASP Touch

WASP Touch and ProtoCOL3 play key part in Australian Lab

A research and development lab at the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Sydney, Australia) recently purchased a WASP Touch Spiral Plater and ProtoCOL3 colony counter. The lab is carrying out research on food safety of fresh horticultural produce and nuts. The head of the research program, Dr SP Singh, spoke to Don Whitley Scientific to explain how these two new products, provided by DWS, are key to his team’s working processes.

Dr Singh and his colleagues are exploring fresh options when it comes to food safety: “We are developing new ways of sanitising the produce by killing potential foodborne bacterial pathogens”. The produce his lab are sanitising is often used for export, meaning this is a vital process to ensure safety for the consumer. Dr Singh explains that “we have to deal with hundreds of samples everyday” meaning “plating and enumeration is a core lab activity”.

The lab’s project was recently featured on NBN News – http://www.nbnnews.com.au/2017/11/10/world-first-food-sanitiser-at-ourimbah/. The project is a world’s first and to sanitise food without the use of chemicals could be a revolutionary step forward in food safety.

Speaking about his decision to invest in the DWS products, Dr Singh said “we were looking to improve lab productivity and resource use efficiency by switching to spiral plating and automatic counting”.

The Whitley WASP Touch is the latest spiral plater from Don Whitley Scientific (who have been manufacturing spiral platers since their inception in the 1970s). WASP Touch provides real cost savings and process improvements, as well as eliminating the time-consuming process of serial dilution.

The ProtoCOL3 (from Synbiosis) facilitates automated colony counting and zone reading using a hi-specification digital camera and LED lighting. The system comes equipped with a touchscreen PC for analysing samples. Another positive that we provided to Dr Singh was the fact Don Whitley Scientific was able to provide both of these products, making the acquisition of vital equipment more straight forward: “Don Whitley Scientific offered this integrated solution of automatic plating and counting”.

To summarise, the WASP Touch and ProtoCOL3 should provide improvements to the efficiency and working methods of Dr SP Singh’s revolutionary lab.

 

Dr S.P. Singh's Lab

Dr SP Singh’s Lab

 

 

The WASP Touch and ProtoCOL3 should provide improvements to the efficiency and working methods of DR SP Singh’s revolutionary lab. To find out more about the Don Whitley Scientific product range in the UK click here, call us on +44 (0) 1274 595728 or email us at  sales@dwscientific.co.uk

For Don Whitley Scientific Australia click here call us on (02) 4339 1029 or email us at  sales@dwscientific.com.au

 

 

 

SP

Whitley Hypoxystation

Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer: Metabolic Reprogramming

Hanahan and Weinberg’s seminal papers on the Hallmarks of Cancer describe how cancer cells accommodate the frenzied growth characteristic of tumours. Low oxygen is eminently characteristic of tumours, and in this hypoxic environment, metabolism is reprogrammed to satisfy energetic and synthetic needs of the cells.

 

Our series on Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer has showcased research on how hypoxia in the tumour microenvironment affects 8 of the Hallmarks, and in the fifth and final chapter, we look more closely at how researchers are using the Hypoxystation to delineate the Hallmark Metabolic Reprogramming.

The Hypoxystation creates authentic cell culture conditions with regard to oxygen, CO2, temperature, and humidity.  Glove-less access to culture and manipulate cells under physiological atmosphere, in a HEPA-clean environment, allows cancer researchers to re-create the hypoxic tumour microenvironment. Hypoxystation user Dr Ali Tavassolli states that “We have only ever used the H35. I like the ease with which we can regulate and change the oxygen concentration”. And our user Dr. Brad Wouters at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, who recently purchased his fourth Hypoxystation, says, “The continuous hypoxia we achieve in the workstation is a prerequisite for studies with hypoxia-activated drugs used in cancer therapy strategies.”

 

Metabolic Reprogramming

Changes in energy metabolism feature prominently in aggressive malignancy, and tumour hypoxia and the responding signalling pathways, featuring many HIF target genes, clearly interface with reprogrammed tumour metabolism. Reprogramming of conventional metabolic pathways serves to satisfy burgeoning energetic and anabolic needs of the tumour cells; many cancer cells may preferentially utilise glycolysis over oxidative phosphorylation, uncoupling mitochondrial metabolism from oxygen availability. Hypoxia-induced HIF’s attenuate mitochondrial function through diverse mechanisms, including down-regulation of enzymes in the electron transport chain and suppression of biogenesis of mitochondria. Signalling pathways involving HIF’s and many products of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes interact to balance the energy needs of dividing cells with the requirement for bio-synthetic intermediates. Activation of lipid biosynthesis and other pathways with biosynthetic significance, such as the pentose phosphate pathway, is another metabolic consequence of hypoxia and HIF up-regulation. Reactive oxygen species ROS produced by the mitochondria stabilise HIF-1, influence redox homeostasis, and provide protective antioxidants to the cancer cells.

reprogrammingSliceLITERATURE:

WASP Touch in operation

Spiral Plating: Then and now

Sorting through the archives recently, we came across an edition of our customer newsletter from 1991 featuring an article on early spiral platers. The article gives a detailed explanation of the principles of spiral plating and provides a range of examples where this technique could be used to good advantage.

The technology used in Whitley Automated Spiral Platers (WASP) has come a long way in 27 years, yet the time saving to perform a threefold serial dilution on a single Petri dish are still as relevant today as they were in 1991.

 

 

 

 

wasp touch then and now



Whitley WASP Touch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

m45

Just Enough Oxygen: Cultivating Fastidious Pathogens in Microaerobic Workstations

A sustainable microaerophilic environment for incubation and manipulation of microbiological samples is crucial to culturing Campylobacter jejuni, Helicobacter pylori, and other fastidious pathogens. The ability to provide a customisable low level of oxygen for pathogens that can’t be cultivated successfully in ambient air or under strictly anaerobic conditions is a prerequisite for culturing these microorganisms.

The M series microaerobic workstations by Don Whitley Scientific, provide precise gas control of up to four gasses for a customisable low oxygen environment that doesn’t require expensive custom gas mixes. The entire temperature-controlled interior of the chamber serves as the work and incubation area, ensuring that growing cultures are never exposed to ambient conditions. Though the robust MACS VA workstations are still being used in many laboratories, we have invested considerable resources into developing the next generation microaerobic workstation, the M series, with increased atmospheric precision and a touchscreen interface. A range of sizes with capacities from ~600 to ~1400 plates will accommodate every workflow and space requirement. Options such as data logging, internal HEPA filtration, gas pressure monitoring and automated humidity control provide protection and accountability.

 

Clinical and research institutions worldwide are using our microaerophilic workstations to cultivate fastidious microorganisms with confidence.

Researchers are taking advantage of the stable microaerophilic atmosphere generated in our workstations to investigate the expression of H. pylori toxin in gastric pathology, integration of selected genes onto the C. jejuni chromosome, spectroscopic differentiation of foodborne Campylobacter strains and the epidemiology of antibiotic-resistance in Campylobacter in cattle.

2016    Horemans et al.    In-vivo evaluation of apocynin for prevention of Helicobacter  pylori-induced gastric carcinogenesis

2016    Fontenete et al.    Fluorescence In Vivo Hybridization (FIVH) for Detection of Helicobacter pylori Infection in a C57BL/6 Mouse Model

2016    Sinnett et al.    Helicobacter pylori vacA transcription is genetically determined and stratifies the level of human gastric inflammation and atrophy

2016    Su et al.    Combination of OipA, BabA, and SabA as candidate biomarkers for predicting Helicobacter pylori-related gastric cancer

2016    Muhamadali  et al.    Chicken, beams, and Campylobacter : rapid differentiation of foodborne bacteria via vibrational spectroscopy and MALDI-mass spectrometry

2015    Jervis et al.    Chromosomal integration vectors allowing flexible expression of foreign genes in Campylobacter jejuni


Please feel free to contact us on +44 (0) 1274 595728 or email at sales@dwscientific.co.uk


WJGS with Metal Jar 1000x1000

Anaerobic Conditions in Jars – When funds don’t allow for a Whitley Workstation

One of the products in the Don Whitley Scientific range that sometimes gets overlooked is the Whitley Jar Gassing System (WJGS). When your budget or number of samples are just not enough to justify the purchase of even a small workstation, such as the DG250, the WJGS could be the answer.

Who could benefit from a WJGS?

Perhaps you only have a small number of plates to incubate. Perhaps you use gas packs. Perhaps you have a large number of jars already and don’t want to invest in a different solution. The WJGS can also be interesting for those who want to incubate small numbers of plates in different gas mixtures, as the WJGS can be connected to any gas mixture you want to use.

 

What are the cost implications?

The system is deceptively simple but highly effective and has a number of key benefits that have proven very popular. One of the main positives is the low running costs of the WJGS as opposed to the high cost of gas generating kits. Whilst there is an obvious initial investment in the purchase of a WJGS, the operating costs will save money in the longer term.

 

What are the features and benefits?

In addition to the cost savings that can be achieved, the WJGS provides many other benefits, including:

  • Create the perfect anaerobic conditions in your jars in just 2 minutes and for microaerophiles, in 15 seconds. The WJGS reduces the cost of creating microaerobic conditions by 98% and for anaerobic conditions by 89%.
  • Most types of jar can be adapted for use with the WJGS so if you already have a supply of jars, check with us to find out if they are suitable or can be adapted.
  • If you are a busy clinical lab with an anaerobic workstation but also have a few microaerophiles that you need to cultivate, you could attach a WJGS to the workstation and run a microaerobic cycle for those samples. It gives you additional flexibility as well a little extra anaerobic capacity at times of high demand.
  • Having samples in jars means that you can incubate at alternative temperatures than are possible inside a workstation.
  • You can be confident that a vacuum has been drawn and that the jar is sealed and airtight. With a gas pack you have no way of knowing whether the container is leaking.
  • There is an optional printer to provide full traceability.
  • If you need to open the jar to add more samples once you have activated a gas pack, it’s a waste as you will have to activate another gas pack. However, with jars you can open them as many times as you want and re-gas them for pennies.
  • The other benefit of the ability to re-gas so cheaply is that samples don’t have to be left on the bench for hours whilst enough are assembled to justify the use of a gas
  • A further consideration is that the used gas pack needs to be dealt with as hazardous waste. It needs autoclaving and disposing of accordingly. There is no such consideration with the WJGS.

Royal Stoke Hospital recently joined the long list of Whitley Jar Gassing System customers. The new system will replace the old style gassing system the hospital has been using and will improve their working methods and reduce costs.

 

 

The video below shows how easy the system is to use

 

So, if your budget won’t stretch to a Whitley Workstation or you want the flexibility to incubate in jars at different temperatures, the Whitley Jar Gassing System could be the perfect solution.

 


For further information, please call our sales team on +44 (0)1274 595728 or email sales@dwscientific.co.uk


 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Culturing Cells in Ambient Air is Far From Physiological

Based on the premise that the physiological range of oxygen in tissues is between 1- 8%, and pathologies from cancer to diabetes are characterised by much lower oxygen levels, researchers worldwide are cultivating their cell cultures in the Hypoxystation by Don Whitley Scientific. The Hypoxystation provides physiologically relevant conditions for cell culture and manipulation to ensure authentic behaviour of cells. User-defined parameters for temperature, CO2, O2 and humidity, plus the workstation format, where cells reside throughout the entire duration of the assays, minimise the extra-physiologic oxygen shock that is known to negatively impact cell metabolism and growth.

Numerous recent publications by our Hypoxystation users demonstrate that cell culture conditions which mimic physioxia, are essential in avoiding the significantly impaired growth rates, reduced lifespan, and altered molecular behaviour encountered in cells cultivated at ambient conditions. Oxygen levels in tissues are in constant flux; they change in response to functional status and blood delivery in the organs, and this too can be re-created in the Hypoxystation through programmed oxygen profiling.

Recent research using the Hypoxystation to investigate hypoxia inducible factors and the array of signalling pathways that regulate angiogenesis, metabolism, redox homeostasis, inflammation, and cell death, and the many other processes which enable the cellular and organismal response to hypoxia, “highlights the importance of oxygen as a cell culture parameter when making physiological inferences” (Timpano and Uniacke, 2016).

mdelogo horizontal greentext

From: Burr et al. (2016) “Mitochondrial Protein Lipoylation and the 2-Oxoglutarate Dehydrogenase Complex Controls HIF1a Stability in Aerobic Conditions” Cell Metabolism 25, 740–752


To find out more about Hypoxystations or other DWS products, please call +44 (0) 1274 595728 or email sales@dwscientific.co.uk


 

WASP Touch in operation

How to Choose a Spiral Plater for Your Microbiology Laboratory

In this exclusive interview with rapidmicrobiology.com, Dr. Andrew Pridmore, Head of Microbiology at Don Whitley Scientific, discusses the benefits of using a spiral plater, what to look for in a system and how the new WASP Touch from Don Whitley Scientific (DWS) can help ensure your laboratory has consistent trackable, plating results.

Don Whitley Scientific introduced their first Spiral plater in 1978, why are they still relevant to today’s modern microbiology lab?
Much of the testing done back in 1978 when we first introduced spiral plating to the UK, is still relevant today. However, increased quality control measures have led to laboratories looking more to automation to help improve reproducibility and accuracy. Spiral plating offers a real reduction in the cost-per-test and standardises counting methods. Serial dilutions, for many users, can be eliminated, which in turn saves time, the cost of consumables and space in the incubator.

 

One of the key issues facing labs is calibration, validation and traceability, how can a spiral plater help with this?
Spiral plating techniques are recognised in the ISO 4833-2 standard. This is a general recognition of the use of spiral plating techniques in food microbiology and provides standardised procedures for their use.

Many spiral plating processes cannot be calibrated but with the WASP Touch, users can calibrate the delivery of the sample. There is also the option to include a bar code scanner. Traceability is facilitated with the inclusion of the Data Handling package for WASP Touch. This option records date, time, user, plate id, volume, date and at which volumes, date of the last start and finish position check, and date the last dye plate was performed. It also provides multi-level PIN-code protection. Data can be downloaded via USB in a format that can be loaded directly into Excel. An Ethernet connection for data transfer/service support is also included.

When choosing a new spiral plater what features should a buyer be looking for?
An automated spiral plater is ideal for those who regularly need to plate samples with a microbial content greater than 1,000 CFU/ml. Buyers should look for a plater that is flexible enough to process their particular samples, in terms of quantity and type of sample. For example, WASP Touch offers an Extended Volume Package to enable a wider range of volumes on a plate. Buyers should also consider the level of after-sales service, maintenance and support offered by the manufacturer. If you are opting for an automated method to speed up your processes, the last thing you want is for there to be a problem that causes an unacceptable level of downtime.

 

 

 

If a lab is getting an in-house demo for a spiral plater do you have any recommendations for how to test it?
At Don Whitley, we feel that any test should be as realistic as possible so would always look to perform a demo or trial with the actual samples the laboratory uses. After working through a demonstration with the customer, we would ideally arrange for them to have a spiral plater for an extended trial. This helps them to make a more informed purchase decision.

DWS have recently introduced a next generation spiral plater, what issues does this model address?
The new WASP Touch spiral plater simply modernises the process of spiral plating. The user interface is now a touchscreen with easy-to-use icons. Other features such as FlowSense ensure that the sample is correctly processed, alerting the user to any issues in time for corrections to be made; and AIMS, the intuitive software that guides users through the set-up routine.

If a lab wanted to introduce the new DWS spiral plater, what validation steps would be needed (is that the same if they were introducing spiral plating for the first time or upgrading to the new DWS system)?
WASP Touch, and spiral platers in general, require minimal validation because spiral plating methodology has already been validated and published in the international standard ISO 4833-2:2013.  The ISO standard includes methods for calibration and validation of the sample volumes deposited onto an agar plate by a spiral plater.

 


To find out more about WASP Touch or other DWS products, please call +44 (0) 1274 595728 or email at sales@dwscientific.co.uk


Scientist Working in Whitley Workstation

Practical & Clinical Microbiology of Anaerobes Course 2018

A 2 day residential course delivered by The UK Anaerobe Reference Unit, Public Health Wales, Cardiff

14-15 June 2018

Is it time to refresh your knowledge on the culturing, identification and clinical importance of anaerobes?

Are your staff wanting to learn from experts about the latest technologies and techniques?

• Recognised by the IBMS & RCPath CPD approved (11 credits)
• Invaluable preparation for FRCPath

Only 26 places available.

Cost: £375 + VAT (£355 + VAT for SAM members) which includes: one night accommodation at the Park Plaza Hotel, Cardiff, all meals and refreshments plus dinner on 14th June.


For more information please visit the Don Whitley Scientific website
www.dwscientific.co.uk/practicalmicrobiologycourse/

To reserve your place on this course, please contact:
Deborah Robinson at Don Whitley Scientific Limited on 01274 595728/sales@dwscientific.co.uk
Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

 

PaCMan Course 2017