Contact Us +44 (0) 1274 595728

Follow Don Whitley Scientific

Archive for February, 2016

Whitley Workstation Used in Novel Bio Fuel Process

Whitley Workstations are manufactured primarily for use in hospitals, public health laboratories, food testing organisations, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions. However one piece of Don Whitley Scientific equipment has found its home at one of the most interesting and exciting biofuel production companies in the UK, Celtic Renewables Ltd.

Professor Martin Tangney founded Celtic Renewables in 2012 at Edinburgh Napier University. After searching for a low cost renewable energy source he opted to look at using residues from the Whisky industry to produce biobutanol, a fuel which can be blended with both petrol and diesel. By using the by-products of one of Scotland’s most popular exports (the Scottish Malt Whisky industry is worth £4 billion) he has built a hugely successful biofuel company that has gained attention and acclaim worldwide.

Celtic Renewables Ltd adapt the ABE fermentation process (Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol) to use a sustainable substrate combining solid and liquid residues from the whisky industry which is fermented by bacteria to produce biobutanol.

The Whitley DG500 Anaerobic Workstation is used to do all small scale manipulations of anaerobic strains (solventogenic strains of Clostridia) during this process. Eve Bird, Head of Research and Innovation points out that within a Whitley Workstation “These manipulations are far more convenient, safe and reliable than carrying them out within glass bottles rendered anaerobic with an over-pressure of sterile nitrogen”.

This process also provides a sustainable method of by-product disposal for one of the UK’s largest industries. Only 10% of a distillery’s output is future whisky, the rest is Draff and Pot Ale which are the two by-products combined to create the substrate from which biobutanol is produced. This biofuel can then be used as a direct replacement for fossil-derived fuel, reducing oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions whilst providing energy security and making efforts to meet EU mandated biofuel targets.

For more information on Celtic Renewables Ltd, click here. For more information on Don Whitley Scientific and our wide range of equipment click here.

Hypoxystation Poster Presented at Keystone Symposia

This week at the Keystone Symposia “New Frontiers in Understanding Tumor Metabolism” joint with “Immunometabolism in Immune Function and Inflammatory Disease”, Hypoxystation user Kate Hollinshead of the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research at the University of Birmingham presented a poster and held a talk on her results. Her project, carried out together with colleagues in La Jolla, California and Cambridge, UK, is entitled “IDH1 mutated cells demonstrate pseudohypoxic proline metabolism”. The lab currently utilizes two Don Whitley Scientific H35 Hypoxystations for their low oxygen cell culture work.

Her abstract summarizes the work the collaborators carried out:

“Cytosolic isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) enzymes catalyse the reversible NADP+-dependant oxidative decarboxylation of isocitrate to α-ketoglutarate (α-KG). Recurrent heterozygous missense mutations in the IDH1 gene have been reported in the majority of low-grade gliomas and secondary glioblastomas. Although the majority of studies have concentrated on the biological effects of the significant production of ®-2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) that occurs as a result of the R132X mutation, IDH mutations have also been suggested to affect cellular redox, most likely though a change in NADPH metabolism. Importantly, gliomas are highly hypoxic, which itself results in a change in cellular redox state. We therefore investigated the potential interplay between hypoxia and IDH1 mutations in terms of cellular redox through stable isotope labelling experiments using 13C-glucose and 13C-glutamine. Samples were analyzed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR0 spectroscopy and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Our results suggest hypoxia (1% O2 and 0.3% O2) significantly increases glutamine-derived proline biosynthesis in wild-type IDH1 cells. However, proline biosynthesis from glutamine in mutant IDH1 cells is significantly increased in both normoxic and hypoxic oxygen tensions compared to wild-type IDH1 cells. As the synthesis of proline requires NADPH, this highly redox-sensitive pathway may be an important means by which cells and tumors bearing an IDH1 mutation may regulate cellular redox state.”

Tuttnauer Autoclaves – Equipped with the latest technology

Don Whitley Scientific are one of the leading suppliers of  autoclaves in the UK, offering a fantastic level of service and UKAS calibration. They now supply and distribute autoclaves from a highly respected worldwide manufacturer, Tuttnauer, who Don Whitley Scientific believe hold the key to successful autoclaving solutions.

Tuttnauer have decades of experience in sterilisation and infection control, identifying that an autoclave is vital for a clean and hygienic laboratory. They have links with universities and researchers around the world and these relationships help them develop their products, ensuring they are always supplying the most advanced and sought after products. The same goes for the relationships they hold with suppliers and distributors, building a level of trust and commitment worldwide.

Tuttnauer autoclaves are equipped with many nifty features, boasting the latest in technology. Possibly the most useful of these is R.PC.R (Remote PC Reporting), from this users can access detailed data logs including graphs and tables of various measured values. These reports can then be saved as PDFs, accessible via a USB drive or a network connections. There are also optional features such as built in steam generators and vacuum pumps, these are available on autoclaves from both the vertical and the benchtop range.

Benchtop autoclaves are designed to save space on laboratory workbenches, while the vertical autoclaves are easy to use and equipped with castors for ease of movement. Both benchtop and vertical autoclaves come with state-of-the-art control systems featuring multi-colour displays.

For more information on the Tuttnauer Autoclaves that DWS supply – click here

Paper published involving use of Whitley Anaerobic Workstation

A paper has been published describing the effects of oxygen limitation on food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. The study was conducted by Carol Philips’ group at The University of Northampton and involved the use of a Whitley Anaerobic Workstation as well as a Whitley Automated Spiral Plater. The workstation was used to incubate the samples which were then plated onto BHI (Brain Heart Infusion) agar using the spiral plater.

This is just one of the areas of microbiology where Don Whitley Scientific equipment can be beneficial. Due to the level of atmospheric control on offer, Whitley Workstations are used across the broad spectrum of microbiology and can also be used in other scientific disciplines.

The Whitley Workstation range includes various sizes of workstations, accommodating 250 to 1200 petri dishes. Other products on offer from Don Whitley Scientific can be used in conjunction with our workstations, for example in this study a Whitley Automated Spiral Plater was also used.

Click here to read the full study

DWS Demo Truck

Liverpool Mini-Exhibition

Cell culture in physiologically relevant conditions – Mini-Exhibition

Don Whitley Scientific today announced the first in a series of UK events using our sophisticated, new demonstration truck. Now you don’t have to travel to see how your research can benefit from better control of oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity, we can come to you.



Don Whitley Scientific today announced the first in a series of UK events using our sophisticated, new demonstration truck. Now you don’t have to travel to see the latest innovations in controlled atmosphere cell culture workstations, we can come to you:

  • High resolution control of O2, CO2, temperature, and humidity
  • Automated sensor calibration
  • High classification HEPA filtration
  • User programmed oxygen profiling
  • Automated sterile humidification system
  • Workstations of increasing size and complexity for housing instruments

Staff and students at the University of Liverpool are invited to the Don Whitley Scientific mobile laboratory to find out how the latest innovations in modified atmosphere cell culture workstations could improve their research.

This MINI-EXHIBITION will take place on

9nd March 2016 from 10am to 3pm


Biosciences Car Park, University of Liverpool, Crown Street, L69 7ZB

For those whose research involves cell/tissue culture and who want to maintain physiologically relevant conditions in which to culture and manipulate cells, then the Whitley Hypoxystation should be of interest. Whitley Workstations allow users to control their cell culture atmosphere in a more accurate and reliable manner when compared to conventional incubators – increased accuracy and reliability that is reflected in experimental results. A number of researchers at the University of Liverpool are already making use of Whitley workstations to facilitate their research:

Dr Michael Cross in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology uses his H35 to simulate the physiological in-vivo oxygen levels when he cultures cardiac spheroids in-vitro. He also makes use of the oxygen profiling system to lower the oxygen levels for set periods of time in order to simulate ischemia/reperfusion.

Dr Violane See in the Institute for Integrative Biology uses her H35 to simulate the hypoxic tumour microenvironment in order to study the link between tumour hypoxia and metastasis.


Some of the research areas in which our other customers are working include:

Glioblastoma – Autoimmune Diseases – Reproductive and Perinatal Biology –
Cell Invasion and Metastasis – Drug Toxicity – Metabolism – Inflammation –
Stem Cells – Molecular Biology – Cancer Research

Coffee and Pastries

Attendees will be able to share coffee and pastries and find out how using a Whitley Workstation could improve their research.

We will also be holding a free prize draw to win a Nespresso U Coffee Machine by Magimix.




A crucial update for Dr Rob Fagan at The University of Sheffield

Rob Fagan’s lab recently welcomed a new addition in the form of a Whitley A35 Anaerobic Workstation. Located at The University Of Sheffield’s Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Rob Fagan’s group study the interaction between Clostridium difficile and its host. Until recently, the group were monitoring their samples within a Whitley MG500 Workstation. They will continue to use this older unit but have now acquired the much more sophisticated A35 Workstation to use alongside it. The amount of atmospheric control that the A35 offers is greatly beneficial to work of this type, and real time feedback on the conditions within the cabinet makes monitoring results far more accurate. The rapid airlock system also makes the removal and addition of samples an efficient process, all whilst maintaining stable atmospheric conditions.

“Our work focusses on the secretion, assembly, structure and function of Clostridium difficile surface structures – in particular the S-layer. The A35 is an addition to our existing anaerobic work space. We started the lab 3 years ago with a recommissioned MG500. The A35 is a much more advanced piece of kit, allowing much greater control and monitoring of our anaerobic growth conditions. For some of our work this capability is absolutely crucial.”Dr Robert Fagan, The University Of Sheffield

workstation in useworkstation in use2