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Archive for May, 2015

Whitley H35 Hypoxystation

The hypoxic secretome induces pre-metastatic bone lesions through lysyl oxidase


A new paper has been published in Nature magazine, outlining how hypoxic cancer secretomes induce pre-metastatic bone lesions through lysyl oxidase (LOX).

The study shows how hypoxia is specifically associated with bone relapse in patients with oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer, and identifies a novel mechanism of regulation of bone homeostasis and metastasis, opening up opportunities for novel therapeutic intervention with important clinical implications.

The researchers, who used a Whitley H35 Hypoxystation (pictured left), came to the following conclusion:

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Interrogating gynaecological cancer cell metabolism at different oxygen tensions reveals simvastatin as metabolic regulator.

Earlier this month at the Keystone Symposia, Hypoxia: From Basic Mechanisms to Therapeutics, Dr Ayse Latif (pictured below) from the University of Manchester presented a poster entitled “Interrogating gynaecological cancer cell metabolism at different oxygen tensions reveals simvastatin as metabolic regulator”.

The poster describes the background of the study
as follows:Ayse Latif Keystone

Around 200,000 new cases of gynaecological cancers are diagnosed in Europe every year. Potentially 75% of these cancers could benefit from improved treatment regimes. Gynaecological cancer cells have an increased glycolysis rate and lactate concentration which have been suggested to predict increased likelihood of metastasis, resistance to therapy and reduced survival in patients. Lactate transport in cancer cells is carried out by members of the monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) family, notably MCT1/4. Thus, we hypothesized that pharmacologic inhibition of MCTs could improve treatment outcome by reducing glycolytic potential of these tumour cells… (To continue reading, click here).

Researchers at the University of Manchester used a Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation, housing a Seahorse XF Analyzer, connected to a Whitley H35 HEPA Hypoxystation. This allowed for the preparation of cell lines under hypoxic conditions and their subsequent transfer to the i2 for analysis in a CO2 free and controlled temperature environment without exposure to ambient conditions.




Simplifying Sample Preparation: Part II

Just because you work in a laboratory;
it doesn’t mean your work has to be laborious.

When it comes to making and standardising your initial sample dilution – it couldn’t be easier than with one of the Dilumat series. Simply place a random amount of sample in a blender bag, and the Dilumat START (left) will weigh it and add the correct amount of diluent to achieve your pre-set dilution.

With a small, compact footprint and the ability to prepare samples from 3g to 2kg with a high degree of accuracy, these are some of the additional benefits:



  • No need to spend time and effort weighing out exact amounts of sample – speeds up the whole process. Weighing stabilisation in only 0.1 seconds.
  • One or two pumps can be connected.
  • No need for diluent blanks – a saving in time, consumables and media preparation.
  • The user interface is housed in a separate, colour touch-screen unit so is protected from spillages – especially if you order the control unit arm (“heads-up display”).
  • Speed: 25g 1:10 dilution in 16 seconds.
  • The dispensing arm rotates automatically to the blender bag or vessel then rotates away from the sample preparation area to provide more room to work.
  • No inaccuracies due to incomplete sample volume – the diluent will not be added until sufficient sample has been included for the required dilution.
  • Large bore, high quality, long-life tubing to accommodate a greater amount of diluent in a shorter time. This speeds up the process whilst retaining a high degree of accuracy.
  • Can connect to your LIMS or operate as a stand-alone unit.

Dilumat expert evoAlternatively, if you need to weigh larger samples,
the Dilumat expert EVO (right) can handle samples from
3g up to 7kg.

You also have the option of adding up to 6 additional pumpheads to this model for maximum flexibility.







Simplifying Sample Preparation: Part I

Just because you work in a laboratory;
it doesn’t mean your work has to be laborious.

Don Whitley Scientific offers a wide range of automated equipment, designed to save valuable time and effort and cut down on menial tasks.

The Smasher is the quietest peristaltic blender on the market, producing perfectly homogenised samples and with an LCD display screen to allow constant monitoring of blending duration and speed.

  • Proven to operate at 10dBA less than other standard blenders – 8 times quieter – so is suitable for use anywhere in your laboratory.
  • No jam, patented smash effect to ensure continuous operation.
  • Quick release paddles that can be removed without the use of tools and a totally accessible chamber make cleaning an easy task.
  • Easy to use, digital keypad for the programming of different blending cycles (from 10 to 180 seconds or continuously).
  • Blending capacity of 80ml to 400ml bags giving you plenty of flexibility.
  • ISO7518 and ISO6887 compliant.



If you have a large volume of samples to process, the Smasher XL (left) may be the most desirable option. With the ability to blend 1 x 4 litre sample bag or 2 x 1.5 litre bags simultaneously, it also has a 250ml waste drawer fitted into the door to facilitate cleaning should any leaks occur.

An optional, ergonomic, stainless steel trolley (700mm high) is available to facilitate loading/unloading and moving around the laboratory to where it is needed. The trolley has four wheels with brake mechanism and comes complete with a large volume waste bucket.





Media Preparation: The Options

Are you looking for a reliable and efficient media preparator?

With the ability to produce anywhere between 9 and 60 litres of agar/broth/fluid media, we offer a range of Masterclaves to suit every laboratory.

See the table below for a feature comparison:

 Masterclave 09Masterclave 528Masterclave 60
Media preparation capacity1-9 L5-28 L10-60L
Sterilisation temperature95-125°C95-125°C95-125°C
Can be linked to plate pouring devices and gravimetric diluters
Eliminates risks associated with manual preparation of media in glass vessels
Integral ticket printer
Optional chart recorder
Transport wheelsoptional trolley
Range of safety features including automatic locking


Masterclave Range L-R: 09, 528, 60

L-R: Masterclave 09, 528, 60


The combination of a Masterclave and an automated pourer stacker provides the ideal media production system – giving maximum flexibility to produce the amount you need, when you need it – whilst also minimising the risk of contamination and repetitive strain injury.

If quantity demands are high, and workspace restricted, the APS One Pourer Stacker could be exactly what you are looking for. The most compact automated Petri dish filling and distribution system on the market, this machine is able to process 800 plates (18ml) per hour. It is also the only plate pourer that rotates the Petri dish as it dispenses the media, thereby providing a level agar surface.

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H135 at Keystone Symposia: Dublin

Representatives from Don Whitley Scientific and our American distributor, HypOxygen, are attending the Keystone Symposia on Hypoxia: From Basic Mechanisms to Therapeutics this week in Dublin, Ireland. From May 12th – 17th you will have the opportunity to see the brand new Whitley H135 HEPA Hypoxic Workstation.

Delegates attending the Keystone Meeting can pick up a free Hypoxia t-shirt from the DWS stand - while stocks last!

Delegates attending the Keystone Meeting can pick up a free Hypoxia t-shirt from the DWS stand – while stocks last!

The largest workstation in our range, the H135 (pictured left) has an enormous capacity for working and incubation of over 550 litres. Combined with the ability to house large pieces of equipment such as live cell imaging devices, microscopes, plate readers and more – it’s our most revolutionary Hypoxystation yet.

Without compromising on quality or precision, this innovative product allows you to take your research to new heights whilst maintaining confidence in your results.

 Some of the great features include:

  • Rapid 12L airlock
  • 3 gas operation
  • Automated Ocalibration
  • Removable front
  • Option for Whitley Internal HEPA Filtration System with Enhanced Biological Containment

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Cell Press Webinar: Available On Demand

In last month’s Cell Press webinar, Dr Randall Johnson of the University Cambridge and Dr Hannele Ruohola-Baker of the University of Washington spoke about the role of the hypoxic microenvironment in physiological contexts as diverse as cancer, hypertension and stem cell differentiation. Dr. Johnson described the regulatory functions of the HIF-1α and β isoforms on the hypoxia response, specifically on nitric oxide production via the enzymes inducible NO synthase and arginase 1. Inhibition of HIF-1α results in reduced NO production and can actually decrease tumour metastasis, while alterations in HIF-1β  have the opposite effect.

Dr. Ruohola-Baker spoke about the transition of naïve to primed stem cells taking place in the hypoxic environment of the uterus, and about the role of HIF-1α and β in the re-programming of somatic to pluripotent stem cells. Metabolic differences in the stem cell states can be traced to epigenetic factors acting on the HIF pathways. Both talks reflected the importance of conducting any type of cell-based research at parameters which mirror the natural biological state, to allow cell functions to proceed consistently.

Whitley H35 Hypoxystation

Whitley H35 Hypoxystation

Don Whitley Scientific, manufacturers of the Hypoxystation, and our American subsidiary, HypOxygen, were honoured to sponsor this Cell Press webinar, and we want to thank Drs. Johnson and Ruohola-Baker for their excellent talks. The Hypoxystation is designed to create hypoxic conditions within a closed temperature and humidity controlled environment and thus enable researchers to culture cells at physiological conditions mimicking the in vivo situation.

You can now listen to the webinar at your convenience. Click here to register for access.


Words by Dr Burga Kalz Fuller.



Hypoxia and Immunity

Whitley H35 HypoxystationThe upcoming Cell symposium “Cancer, Inflammation and Immunity” will shine a spotlight on research delineating the complex cross-talk between inflammatory processes, immune response and the development of cancer diseases. Don Whitley Scientific will be exhibiting the Whitley H35 Hypoxystation (pictured right), a controlled environment workstation for low oxygen cell culture, at the meeting on June 14-16 in Sitges, Spain.

As we look forward to the conference, Dr Burga Kalz Fuller, Product Manager at our American distributor, HypOxygen, has summarized five interesting and recent papers concerning hypoxia and its role in immunology and cancer research:

1.         “A mechanism of hypoxia-mediated escape from adaptive immunity in cancer cells” Barsoum et al, Cancer Res. 2014 Feb 1;74(3):665-74

In cancer cells exposed to hypoxia, HIF-1α induced expression of programmed cell death ligand PD-L1, which increased the cells’ resistance to CTL-mediated lysis and contributed to tumoral immune escape. This effect was blocked through administration of glyceryl trinitrate (GTN), an agonist of nitric oxide signalling, suggesting that NO mimetica inhibiting PD-L1 may present a novel cancer therapy strategy.
2.         “HIF-mediated innate immune responses: cell signaling and therapeutic implications” Harris et al., Hypoxia 2014:2 47–58

Host defense through innate immune cells takes place in a low oxygen environment where functions as diverse as cytokine secretion and pathogen phagocytosis are modulated by HIF’s. This review summarises the roles of HIF’s in acute and chronic immune response and gives a perspective on therapies targeting the HIF pathway.

3.         “Identification of CD300a as a new hypoxia-inducible gene and a regulator of CCL20 and VEGF production by human monocytes and macrophages” Raggi et al., Innate Immunity October 2014 vol. 20 no. 7 721-734

Hypoxia is characteristic for sites of inflammation and lesion, and monocytes and other immune cells accumulating in these hypoxic areas are specifically stimulated by the low oxygen environment. Raggi et al. investigated the hypoxic transcriptome and describe members of the CD300 superfamily of immunoregulatory cell surface receptors which are up-regulated in hypoxia.

4.         “HIF Transcription Factors, Inflammation, and Immunity”, Palazon et al., Immunity 41, October 16, 2014

Hypoxia-signaling pathways which trigger HIF expression act in the immune system to modulate host immune function. In this review, Palazon et al. describe the myriad ways oxygen sensing regulates innate and adaptive immunity.

5.         “Hypoxia attenuates the proinflammatory response in colon cancer cells by regulating IκB”, Mueller-Edenborn, Oncotarget April 2015

Mueller-Edenborn’s group shed light on signalling pathways regulating hypoxia and inflammatory responses, which exhibit a surprising degree of cross-talk in colon cancer. Hypoxia attenuated proinflammatory responses by inhibiting translocation of NF-κB into the nucleus, demonstrating yet again that both these aspects of the tumour microenvironment influence therapy response.

Tour de Yorkshire


This weekend will see cyclists from all over the world coming to compete in the first ever Tour de Yorkshire. Organised as a tribute to the historic Grand Depart last July for the Tour de France, the 3 day race will cover more than 500km and pass within a few miles of Don Whitley Scientific!

More than 1 million spectators are expected to line the route and support the likes of Olympic gold medallist and former Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins, not to mention the eleven Yorkshire-born riders who will be competing for various teams.

This map shows the final stage of the race scheduled for Sunday, May 3rd:


tour de yorkshire