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


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Clostridium difficile studies can be done in a Whitley Workstation

Anaerobic Workstations; Why Bigger is Better!

Anaerobic workstations offer precise and reliable atmospheric control, more stringent anaerobic conditions and consistently low running costs. One of their greatest advantages is that culture plates can be inspected at any time without disturbing the incubation conditions. In clinical laboratories, this has been proven to increase the isolation rate of anaerobic pathogens and also provide the earliest possible indication of their presence in a patient’s sample.

Don Whitley Scientific has excelled in meeting the needs of microbiologists for over 40 years, and as our customers’ needs have evolved, so too have our products. The unique Whitley Internal HEPA Filtration System is an extremely attractive feature, particularly when used in conjunction with research applications as it ensures that all of the atmosphere inside the workstation is passed through the filter hundreds of times an hour.

Over the past few years, an increased demand for using microscopes and other instruments such as the Workstation WASP Touch under anaerobic conditions resulted in the introduction of the A135 HEPA (pictured below); currently our tallest, widest, deepest workstation with a huge internal volume of 560L. The A135 is fitted with a removable front to facilitate thorough cleaning, easy replacement of the HEPA filter, and the transfer of bulk samples and larger pieces of equipment for use in the workstation. Other features include a built-in rapid airlock, integrated gas control and automatic commissioning cycle. To read the full specification and see the extensive list of factory-fitted options, please click here.

KU Leuven in Belgium were one of the first customers to purchase an A135 HEPA, and we asked them to describe the work they are doing and how this workstation has benefited their research:

A135 HEPA

“One of the key research activities in the Raes lab involves the isolation and culturing of gut anaerobes to study their metabolic and genomic properties and, ultimately, to unlock their biotherapeutic potential in human health and disease. In order to scale up these isolation efforts, we aim to move beyond conventional approaches based on agar plating and explore the application potential of novel, miniaturized, and high-throughput technologies. For testing a recently developed millifluidics-based single-cell sorting device, we soon realized that the operational space in our current DWS A35 HEPA anaerobic workstation would be insufficient. Therefore, we brought together product specialists from millifluidics and DWS to constructively discuss technical details on required dimensions, operator access, power supply, connection to an external PC, possible interference of the workstation’s pressure and the device’s heat output as well as safety aspects. This guided us towards the purchase of the DWS A135 HEPA, which is probably one of the best options currently on the market for the anaerobic integration of medium-sized pressure-controlled devices while still offering sufficient operator space and incubation volume.”

– Geert Huys, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Rega Institute, KU Leuven & VIB Center for Microbiology, Leuven, Belgium

For one of our UK customers, however, 560L was still not big enough. They approached us in early 2018 and asked if we could build something even bigger! Always keen to rise to a challenge… Don Whitley Scientific is pleased to announce that in early 2019 we will release the first A155 HEPA Anaerobic Workstation. This exciting new product will offer all the same advantages as the A135, but with the added benefit of over 1000L of capacity. More information on the A155 will be made available in due course.

If you would like to speak to one of our sales team about our range of anaerobic workstations, or to arrange a demonstration, please contact us here.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Charity Fundraising Update for 2018 & 2019

Yorkshire Air AmbulanceEvery year Don Whitley Scientific chooses a local charity to support, and in 2018 we put our efforts to raising money for The Yorkshire Air Ambulance. With the help of a variety of raffles and bake sales held throughout the year, we are delighted to announce that we have raised £1,200 for this wonderful organisation and a cheque is now on its way.

For 2019, we have decided to support the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Foundation, in memory of our friend and colleague, Steve Whitley, who tragically and very unexpectedly passed away at the end of 2018 whilst being treated at Leeds General Infirmary.

The son of our chairman, Don Whitley, Steve was the mastermind behind the renovation of our new facility in Bingley, and his efforts over the past few years to create a truly state-of-the-art facility for us leaves behind a legacy which will benefit the company for many, many years to come. We miss him greatly, and hope that the money we raise in his name this coming year will assist The Leeds Teaching Hospitals in continuing to provide high quality patient care, and research in all fields of medicine.

Whitley Workstation stress toy in Notre Dame

2019 Photo Competition Announced

There will be a Summer prize awarded on June 3rd 2019, and a second chance to win the Winter prize which will be awarded on 2nd December 2019. In addition to each receiving a £100 Amazon voucher, the two winners will also have the unparalleled honour of seeing their winning photos framed and displayed on our reception wall for all to see.

Pick up your mini workstation from a Don Whitley Scientific exhibition stand, or ask your Sales Representative to bring one in on their next visit. Get creative, and get started!

Upload your photo to Twitter, follow and tag us @dw_scientific or email it to us at sales@dwscientific.co.uk and tell us your name, where you work, and where the photo was taken.

Please ensure that all images submitted are decent, respectful, obtained legally, do not infringe copyright and do not result in any damage to a structure or object. DWS staff are not permitted to enter this competition. Maximum 3 entries per person, per competition. 

Distributor Meeting Held at New Factory

Last week, DWS welcomed 38 representatives from over 20 different countries for the first International Distributor Meeting to be held at our new factory in Bingley. On the first night we held a welcome dinner, and as part of the evening there was a presentation to four of our distributors who had excelled in certain areas. Our special thanks and congratulations to VWR (Sweden), Lab Technologies (India), Cold Spring Biotech Corp (Taiwan) and Hua Yue Enterprise Holdings Ltd (China). Another award should go to our colleagues from AS1 Limited in New Zealand, who travelled over 11,000 miles to be with us!

It was a busy few days packed with sales and installation training on the WASP Touch and our hypoxic, anaerobic and microaerobic workstations. The meeting provided an invaluable opportunity for the distributors to get hands-on experience with our whole product range and to receive training from the people who design and build our equipment on a daily basis. One of the attendees commented: “Our thanks to you and all your colleagues for a brilliant couple of days and a superbly structured meeting which I’m sure will be very fruitful.”

As with our past meetings, we felt it was important to balance out the hard work with some fun and offer our guests a chance to socialise after the training sessions. Our evening entertainment included lots of delicious food and activities such as bowling, cheese-tasting, a magic show (courtesy of our wonderfully multi-talented sales rep, Stuart) and a musical performance from a local brass band.

Distributors_Oct18_Group PhotoWe are very grateful to the distributors who took time out of their busy schedules to attend, and for all of their hard work during the week. We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did and look forward to our next meeting!

Hollins_Oct18_Award_Labtech India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parkside School

MD Speaks at Local School

Earlier today, Paul Walton (Managing Director of Don Whitley Scientific), gave a presentation to 180 thirteen and fourteen year olds at Parkside School, in Cullingworth, Bradford as part of a careers event. Paul stressed the importance of working hard at school and suggested students see school as a real investment in their futures – potentially ensuring they don’t spend a huge proportion of their lives in jobs they don’t like! He talked about the different roles at DWS and what students might need to study for roles such as these.

 

 

Paul gave some background information on DWS and the workstations that the company manufactures. He also spoke about the apprenticeship scheme at DWS, as one of the routes into manufacturing organisations.

Our thanks to Joanne Sykes, Assistant Head at Parkside School who organised the event in conjunction with Bradford Manufacturing Week.

Whitley Hypoxystation

The Leukemic Stem Cell Niche: Adaptation to “Hypoxia” Versus Oncogene Addiction

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are responsible for constantly maintaining and replenishing the supply of new blood and immune cells. They give rise to both lymphoid and myeloid progenitor cells, which then proceed to differentiate down their respective paths to form various specialized cells such as erythrocytes, macrophages, B and T cells, to name a few. Within the body, HSCs are found to reside in extremely low oxygen environments called stem cell niches (SCN). Like all other regulated cell cycles, HSCs can lead to cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma if cell division becomes uncontrolled.

MEL (a), Kasumi-1 (b), or NB4 (c) cells were incubated in atmosphere at 0.1% O2 and lysed at the indicated times, and total cell lysates were subjected to immunoblotting with the indicated antibodies. GAPDH, H4, or ARD1 were detected to verify loading equalization. Migration of molecular weight markers is indicated on the left (kDa). For each cell population, one out of three independent experiments with similar outcome is shown.

Figure 2: Suppression of oncogenic proteins driving non-CML blood neoplasias in the course of cell “adaptation to hypoxia.” MEL (a), Kasumi-1 (b), or NB4 (c) cells were incubated in atmosphere at 0.1% O2 and lysed at the indicated times, and total cell lysates were subjected to immunoblotting with the indicated antibodies. GAPDH, H4, or ARD1 were detected to verify loading equalization. Migration of molecular weight markers is indicated on the left (kDa). For each cell population, one out of three independent experiments with similar outcome is shown.

In this paper, Cheloni et al. primarily focused on chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

The authors hypothesized that suppression of the BCR-Abl oncogene is likely a key positive regulator of LSC survival within “hypoxic” SCNs. To analyse the various mechanisms and responses that CML cells demonstrate within SCNs, the authors studied correlations between varied oxygen and glucose concentrations with the amount of BCR-Abl produced. All tests were performed using two human CML cell lines, K562 and KCL22. Testing conditions were precisely controlled to mimic the SCN environment as close as possible. Using a Hypoxystation supplied by Don Whitely Scientific, a water-saturated atmosphere comprising of 0.1% O2, 94.9% N2 and 5% CO2 was generated and maintained.

The research conducted and documented by Cheloni et al. has provided great insight into several key regulatory mechanisms associated with leukemic stem cells as well as an explanation for their notorious reputation for having high relapse rates. Additionally, they established that the triggering of oncogene suppression associated with CML is due to severe energy restriction rather than simply the “adaptation to hypoxia.”

The Don Whitley Scientific Hypoxystation provides the user incredible flexibility as it can control oxygen down to 0.1% while providing a temperature and humidity controlled environment with ample working space. The extreme precision provided by the Hypoxystation was critical to the collection of accurate and reliable data when recreating the demanding environment that comprises SCNs. The atmosphere is constantly monitored and adjusted by the real-time feedback system to ensure accuracy and ISO class 3 clean room HEPA filtration is also available for long term cell culture applications.

Choose your atmosphere with the Hypoxystation hypoxia chamber. Accurately control O2, CO2, Temperature and Humidity.   

Hypoxystation is the only hypoxic chamber purpose built for physiological cell culture research. Specifically designed to create normoxic, hypoxic and anoxic conditions within a controlled and sustained workstation environment, this hypoxic incubator is ideal for research requiring the ability to accurately control O2, CO2, temperature and humidity. The Whitley Internal HEPA Filtration System provides a particle-free internal environment that exceeds ISO 14644 class 3 clean atmosphere.  With such accurate control and the ability to manipulate cells in situ without altering the incubation environment, research into cell biology can be performed over a comprehensive range of oxygen tensions with precision. Don Whitley Scientific offer the following range of Hypoxystations:

                                                                                   

Hypoxystation H35

Hypoxystation H45

Hypoxystation H85

Hypoxystation H135

i2 Instrument Workstation

Application possibilities for Hypoxystation are endless; it is being used for research into tumour microenvironment, hypoxia pathways and HIF signalling, in vitro modelling of in situ environments, cancer cell metastasis, angiogenesis, and many other fields where cells may benefit from a more physiological atmosphere.

 

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Supporting the Scientific Community

As well as manufacturing and supplying equipment for microbiology and cell culture applications worldwide, Don Whitley Scientific also makes an extensive effort to support the scientific community. For several years we have supported science through various means, these are listed below.

 

 

 

Workstation Poster Grant

If you have used a Whitley Workstation or Hypoxystation in your work and have mentioned it in your poster or published paper, let us know and you could be entitled to a grant of £250. All we ask in return is a copy of your poster/paper so we can use it on our website to help promote the range to others. Payment will be made in good faith after receipt and approval of the draft poster/paper to enable you to travel to the event to present it.

To apply for this grant, please send a copy of your draft poster or paper along with your contact details to steve_robertson@dwscientific.co.uk. If you are presenting a poster at an event, don’t forget to let us know the title of the event and the date you will be making your presentation.

 

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More Milestones Reached at Victoria Works

Don Whitley Scientific recently moved into new premises in Bingley, West Yorkshire. As expected, the move was completed in an efficient manner that has enabled the majority of our work to continue without interruption.

 

 

 

 

First workstations to leave VW

The first example of this is our first set of Whitley Workstations have been manufactured, tested and dispatched from our new workplace. On Monday, 2nd July, these first cabinets manufactured at our new premises went on final test. Only two weeks after moving to Bingley, these three DG250s are almost ready to be shipped to customers: two to Hua Yue in China and one to The University of Leeds. As mentioned this required a great deal of hard work from all involved to make sure Victoria Works was ready in time to get products out the door so quickly.

 

 

 

 

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A short while after most people started working at Victoria Works, it was time to get the specialist hauliers in to move the CNC machine shop department to Bingley. This was a large scale operation given the size and scale of the machines used by the department. However the move was managed well and they are now up and running in their new area, which offers a lot more space compared to what was available in Shipley.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Whitley Scientific has already welcomed various visitors to the new premises, where a new showroom is used to provide visitors with the experience of using DWS products first-hand. Tours of the premises are provided to give visitors a chance to see how the different departments work together to design, manufacture and service a comprehensive product range.

 

 

 

 

hepa filter

HEPA Filtration from Don Whitley Scientific

For over forty years, Don Whitley Scientific have utilised experience and expertise to ensure products make working methods more straight forward for our laboratory customers. With more and more importance placed on clean air, HEPA filtration can provide an extra measure to ensure research carried out within Whitley Workstations is done so in an environment that achieves particulate concentrations exceeding the levels detailed in ISO 14644-1 Part 1, Table 1, (Class 3) Classification of Air Cleanliness.

 

Tests have been carried out by Don Whitley Scientific that show just how much of a difference a HEPA filtration system makes to the atmosphere of a Whitley Workstation. Don Whitley Scientific have been manufacturing products for over 40 years and the introduction of HEPA filtration was a logical step to make sure our customers have an option that falls in line with the latest laboratory trends and requirements.

The benefits of the Whitley HEPA filtration system are:

  • The Whitley system utilises an internal HEPA filter. The atmosphere is cleaned quickly and continuously because the entire internal atmospheric volume of every Whitley Workstation passes through the filter hundreds of times an hour.
  • The atmosphere passing through the filter creates a laminar flow-like effect covering around 94% of the width of the chamber.
  • The location of the Whitley HEPA filter inside the workstation ensures it cannot get wet. Therefore it cannot become saturated with moisture and rendered ineffective.

Don Whitley Scientific has worked with one of the world’s leading filter manufacturers to develop a filter specifically tailored to suit the requirements of anaerobic workstations. Adding HEPA filter technology to the workstation means creating an environment where microbiology samples and cellular cultures can grow free from the risk of contamination.

HEPA filtration was introduced as an option after decades of experience in microbiology. We are confident that our thorough approach to product development and product testing has resulted in a HEPA filtration system superior to any other systems fitted to positive pressure modified atmosphere workstations. The video below explains Whitley HEPA filtration in further detail.

 

 


Explore the Whitley HEPA Workstation range


 

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How to choose an Anaerobic Workstation

In this exclusive interview with rapidmicrobiology.com, Dr. Andrew Pridmore, Head of Microbiology at Don Whitley Scientific, discusses the benefits of using an anaerobic workstation over traditional gas jars. Andrew explains what to look for when choosing a system and how the new Whitley A135 HEPA can deliver efficient, cost effective anaerobic incubation conditions for routine and research laboratories.

What are the benefits of using a modified atmosphere workstation over gas jars?
Anaerobic jars can be prone to leaks and, therefore, may not always provide strictly anaerobic conditions. They also require a large volume of incubator space and become expensive to operate in laboratories with a high anaerobic workload. Most importantly, culture plates in anaerobic jars cannot be inspected during incubation; anaerobic conditions must be interrupted to read the plates. This results in a loss of bacterial viability if plates need to be reincubated or when subcultures need to be made for further investigation.

In comparison with jars, anaerobic workstations offer more precise and reliable atmospheric control, more stringent anaerobic conditions and consistent low running costs. Perhaps their greatest advantage is that culture plates can be inspected at any time without disturbing the incubation conditions. In clinical laboratories, this facility has been proven to increase the isolation rate of anaerobic pathogens and also provides the earliest possible indication of their presence in a patient’s sample.

What key factors should a lab consider when choosing the right workstation for their lab?

One of the first considerations is usually what size of workstation is appropriate for a laboratory’s requirements. In the case of Whitley Workstations, a range of capacities is available from 250 to 1400 petri dishes. However, it is not just size but also layout and useable space that makes a controlled atmosphere workstation truly efficient. At DWS, we believe that combining the working and incubation area (so that the whole interior is at incubation temperature) is the best way to maximize useful capacity.

Also high on the list of desirable features is rapid entry to and egress from the interior – both for operators and for samples or culture plates. A workstation with convenient rapid access encourages the transfer of plates to anaerobic conditions immediately after inoculation; this reduces the degree of oxygen exposure experienced by plates and this maximizes recovery of fastidious anaerobes. Better still, samples can be transferred into the workstation and plates inoculated within the anaerobic environment.

To ensure optimal results and aid compliance with laboratory quality standards such as ISO 17025, it is essential that anaerobic incubation conditions can be verified, for example by use of appropriate biological or chemical indicators. Modern anaerobic workstations can automate this process by continuously recording critical environmental parameters such as oxygen concentration, temperature and humidity in real time. In Whitley Workstations, the activity of the palladium catalyst responsible for removing trace levels of oxygen can also be regularly checked and recorded.

 

A135 Anaerobic Workstation

The Whitley A135 Anaerobic Workstation is the tallest, deepest and widest anaerobic workstation available

 

In the DWS range, what functions can be accessed remotely?
The latest Whitley workstations are controlled via a touch screen interface. This provides various “intelligent” functions and includes a network connection as standard. Any parameter that is controlled by the touchscreen can also be accessed remotely. These include graphical records of oxygen concentration, temperature, humidity, gas pressures and catalyst activity, each of which can be monitored remotely via a networked computing device.

DWS have recently introduced a new model – the Whitley A135 HEPA, what new features does this model offer?

The Whitley A135 HEPA is a tall, wide, deep anaerobic workstation fitted with the unique Whitley Internal HEPA Filtration System. It provides excellent conditions for the processing, incubation and examination of samples without exposure to atmospheric oxygen. With a usable internal volume of 560 litres, a variety of equipment can be accommodated within the chamber. As well as providing ideal conditions for anaerobic studies, this workstation operates from two gas supplies for the most cost-effective running conditions.

• The built-in rapid airlock ensures samples can be transferred into the workstation atmosphere as soon as possible (takes only 60 seconds)

• Fitted with the unique Whitley Internal HEPA Filtration System. All the atmosphere passes through the filter hundreds of times an hour, which ensures the chamber environment is cleaned quickly.

 DWS filters are located inside the workstation, which prevents the filter becoming saturated with moisture and rendered ineffective.

 Levels of atmospheric cleanliness inside the workstation exceed the requirements of ISO 14644 Class 3. Proof of atmospheric cleanliness can be provided on request.

 Fitted with a removable front to facilitate thorough cleaning, easy replacement of the HEPA filter, and the transfer of bulk samples and larger pieces of equipment for use in the workstation.

 The internal atmosphere is circulated continuously – contributing to even temperature distribution and ensuring internal particulate will be in motion before capture by the filter.

 Fully integrated gas control avoids bulky add-on systems – reduces the need for additional bench space.

 A colour, touch-screen control panel for ease of use and for visual display of parameters such as temperature, humidity, and airlock cycle status.

 Includes an automatic commissioning cycle to save you time and resources.

 Options include an integrated Anaerobic Conditions Monitor with data download facility.

DWS have many years’ experience with anaerobic workstations – what are the most common applications?
The main application for anaerobic workstations is routine clinical microbiology (hospital labs) but we have customers using them in a wide variety of work conducted by universities, including dental, veterinary, gut modelling research, preparation of faecal transplant material and the determination of the efficiency of cleaning agents. We even have a customer who uses an anaerobic workstation for soil research and a commercial enterprise in the oil industry researching bacteria that damage pipelines.


 Click here for more information on the Whitley A135 HEPA Workstation


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Dr Andrew Pridmore is Head of Microbiology at Don Whitley Scientific.

Dr Pridmore has many years’ experience of running the GLP-compliant, contract microbiology laboratories at DWS where Whitley Workstations are routinely used.