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Posts Tagged ‘Hypoxystation’

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Why Choose a Whitley Workstation?

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.

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HypOxygen at Tumour Microenvironment Workshop in Miami

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.

 

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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:

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

Ji Zhang presenting his poster at the Keystone Symposia

Hypoxia and Tumour Metabolism in Whistler with HypOxygen

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.

 

Sarah Timpano presenting her poster at the Keystone Symposia

Sarah Timpano presenting her poster at the Keystone Symposia

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.

 

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Workstation Installation at Trinity College Dublin

Don Whitley Scientific and our distributor in Ireland, Davidson and Hardy, recently installed equipment at Trinity College Dublin to help with research into cell metabolism.

Stephen Maher, Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin first experienced using a Whitley Workstation when working with a group at The University of Hull.  In his Trinity College Dublin lab, Don Whitley Scientific recently installed a Whitley H35 Hypoxystation, to be used connected to a Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation. The combination of these two units should help Stephen Maher greatly in his research.

The Whitley H35 Hypoxystation is ideal for cell and tissue culture researchers who want to accurately control oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity. A removable front allows large quantities of samples or pieces of equipment to be placed inside the unit for use within these specific, physiologically relevant conditions. The i2 Workstation was developed in response to a rising number of enquiries from scientists wanting to use Seahorse Extracellular Flux (XF) Analyzers in hypoxic conditions and were dissatisfied with the solutions available. This workstation can be used as a stand-alone unit or connected to a Whitley Hypoxystation via the new Whitley Transfer Tunnel, enabling preparation of cell lines under hypoxic conditions and their transfer directly into the i2 without exposure to air.

 

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Explore the Whitley Hypoxystation Range

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Molecular Targeting of Hypoxia in Radiotherapy

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.

 

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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.

 

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By Burga Kalz Fuller, HypOxygen

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Hypoxia and Tumor Metabolism in Whistler

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!

 

Hallmarks of Cancer

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Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer

Therapeutic Targeting of Hypoxia and HIFs in Cancer. Dr Burga Kalz Fuller from US distributor HypOxygen has summarised this study that outlines the Hallmarks of Cancer.

“Tumour hypoxia and HIFs affect most of the cancer hallmarks… and contribute to chemo- and radiotherapy resistance.” In their review from 2016, Wigerup, Pahlman and Bexell of Lund University in Sweden discuss how hypoxia inducible factors HIFs regulate the hypoxic microenvironment in cancer, and the therapeutic strategies that are being developed to improve patients’ prognosis. Dr. Sven Pahlman’s lab has been using the H35 Hypoxystation for more than 5 years, to research SCLC and neuroblastoma, and their data is contributing to the understanding of the role of oxygen levels in the progression of cancer.

Hypoxia and HIF-1α and 2α expression in cancer usually signify a worse prognosis, but most hypoxia-induced transcriptional, translational, and epigenetic changes are cell-type specific. Many effects engendered by hypoxia are mediated directly or indirectly via HIF pathways, and most are causative of the iconic “Hallmarks of Cancer” that Hanahan and Weinberg introduced in 2000 and expanded in 2011. Hypoxia induces increased autophagy, apoptosis, and aberrant cell proliferation; neoangiogenesis mediated by VEGF and PDGF-β; proliferation of cancer stem cells; metabolic reprogramming to satisfy energy and synthetic requirements in proliferating cells; modulation of inflammation and immune responses; genomic instability through increased mutagenesis and diminished DNA repair; and metastasis as hypoxia induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and degradation of the extracellular matrix. Assaying the relationship between hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer benefits significantly from the physiological atmosphere mimicked in the Hypoxystation, a closed-culture hypoxia workstation controlling gasses, temperature and humidity.


Visit Don Whitley Scientific and HypOxygen at

Keystone Adaptations to Hypoxia and Tumour Metabolism

Location: Whistler, BC  Date: 5th – 9th March

Sven Pahlman


In their review, Wigerup and Pahlman describe the role tumour hypoxia plays for cancer therapy and treatment resistance, as oxygen levels, production of reactive oxygen species ROS, and HIF activity are intertwined actors in the cancer battle. Any and all effects of hypoxia are cell-type specific; however, numerous studies indicate that HIF’s mediate chemoresistance, suggesting that HIF-1 and 2 inhibitors can effectively support cancer therapy. The authors state that “since hypoxia is a hallmark of solid tumours and mediates aggressive, metastatic, and resistant disease, it is arguably one of the most attractive therapeutic targets in cancer.” Strategies selectively targeting hypoxia for cancer therapy include hypoxia-activated prodrugs; inhibitors of HIF mRNA and protein expression; and inhibitors of downstream HIF signalling pathways such as VEGF. Effective drug research relies on authentic replication of the hypoxic environment for cell culture: the Hypoxystation used in the Pahlman lab is able to accommodate long-term assays with sterile steam humidification and HEPA clean air. The Hypoxystation concept “Choose your Atmosphere – Define your Environment” is the best way to ensure cell culture reflects physiology in cancer research and therapy.

Hypoxia is at the heart of the Hallmarks of Cancer, and results such as these from the Pahlman lab make the cancer research community hopeful that “HIF inhibition is likely to be a powerful therapeutic approach” to eradicate cancer.

 

Hallmarks of Cancer

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Don Whitley Visits The Francis Crick Institute

Dr Don Whitley, chairman and founder of DWS, recently visited The Francis Crick Institute in London to see the recently installed Whitley H45 Hypoxystation at the site. 

The Crick has moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building in the centre of London. Situated next to Kings Cross and St Pancras stations, The Crick brings together 1500 scientists and staff working collaboratively in the biggest biomedical research facility under one roof in Europe. The work at The Crick covers many disciplines and applications in biomedical research, all with the aim of improving understanding of human health and disease.

 

Don Whitley established Don Whitley Scientific in 1976 and today Don Whitley Scientific Limited is a leading international supplier of innovative equipment and services to the microbiology and tissue culture industries. Recently DWS installed a H45 Hypoxystation into the institute, and Don Whitley went to visit the new customer with a member of the sales team.

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Don Whitley (far right) with one of the groups that will be using the Whitley H45 Hypoxystation

The Whitley H45 Hypoxystation has sufficient space to accommodate a variety of equipment whilst still providing generous working and incubation areas. Whitley Hypoxystations can be equipped with a range of unique options and features, including CO2 monitoring and automatic dehumidification fitted as standard, features that will make working with the H45 easy and efficient for the team at The Crick.

With his name featured on products in hundreds of clinical and research laboratories worldwide, it can be said that the staff at The Crick were excited to meet Don Whitley himself. The excitement was shared by Don, who enjoyed looking around one of the most exciting centres for biomedical research in the UK and taking a few pictures along the way.

 

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Don takes a photo looking out over the atrium of The Francis Crick Institute

 

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The Hallmarks of Cancer

The Hallmarks of Cancer are a specific set of characteristics that are inherent to cancer. The Hallmarks were published by Hanahan and Weinberg in 2000 (updated in 2011) and have become extremely recognisable in the cancer research community both as a scientific concept and as a strong, visual image.

The Hallmarks of Cancer have been an area of study for several years and a key focus of research into causes and progression of cancer. One such study by a lab in Sweden using the H35 Hypoxystation, entitled “Therapeutic targeting of hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factors in cancer” by Wigerup, Pahlman and Bexell links cancer characteristics with hypoxia as an underlying cause.  This review of hypoxia-driven cancer characteristics and tumour progression makes a crucial connection between hypoxia and the “Hallmarks of Cancer”, a set of specific characteristics that are inherent to cancer. There are many more publications showing that hypoxia is intimately involved in every aspect of the disease complex cancer.

The image below summarises the 9 Hallmarks of Cancer. The Hypoxystation in the middle of the graphic symbolises how the low oxygen environment re-creates the atmosphere where cancer cells are required to act in a physiological manner. The dial around the Hypoxystation indicates the different levels of oxygen required for specific types of cancer work. Ultimately, the graphic shows how the Hypoxystation facilitates a level of oxygen that cannot be achieved reliably in an incubator, and which is necessary to effectively research cancer therapies.

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Graphic provided by HypOxygen

 

 

 

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Hypoxystation In The Lab – Sequestration In Speckles

The HIF (hypoxia-inducible factor) family of oxygen-sensing proteins are a crucial element of cells’ responses to alterations in their immediate environment, kicking off a signaling cascade involving more than 1000 genes. Hypoxystation users Taylor and See at the University of Liverpool describe novel insights into the subcellular localization of some of the HIF proteins and why the “where” determines the “how”.

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HIF-2α and HIF-1α both form heterodimers with HIF-1β, and while similarities abound between the isoforms, the two subunits are differentially expressed and regulated and have distinctly separate target genes. Taylor and See triggered HIF activation using microscope stage incubators and the Hypoxystation by Don Whitley Scientific to incubate HeLa cells in hypoxia (1%). They found that while HIF-1α distributes homogenously in the nucleus, HIF-2α diffuses freely through the nucleus but is concentrated in speckles that are tethered to nuclear structures close to active RNA polymerases. This distribution is not significantly altered by low oxygen levels.

The Hypoxystation provides physiologically relevant, in vivo conditions for cell culture and manipulation to ensure authentic behavior 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, minimize the extra-physiologic shock that is known to negatively impact metabolism and growth. As the degree and duration of hypoxia are among the factors controlling HIF activity, the customizable oxygen atmosphere inside the Hypoxystation can contribute to deciphering the functionality of oxygen-sensitive signaling pathways.