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New Products: Jan 16, 2009

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Millipore this week announced the availability of Hanging Millicell cell culture inserts, pre-loaded into 24-well receiver trays.

Millicell inserts are plastic cell culture wells with membrane bottoms designed to promote more natural cell behavior than plastic plates, the company said. The porous membrane allows nutrients to be added to the medium from both the apical and basolateral sides.

The hanging, pre-loaded inserts are available with a polyethylene terephthalate membrane in two common pore sizes (0.4 and 8.0 micron). The units are sterile and tissue-culture treated.

Hanging Millicell inserts are recommended for co-culture and permeability assays including angiogenesis, chemotaxis, invasion, feeder layers, immunohistochemistry, tumor-cell metastasis, and invasion assays.


Scienion and Matrical Bioscience recently announced the launch of the sciSWIFTER, a dispensing device developed for high-precision dispensing in 96-, 384-, and 1536-well microplates. The sciSWIFTER will be jointly commercialized by Scienion and Matrical Bioscience.

The sciSWIFTER can dispense up to 16 different substances in parallel. Dispense range is 100 picoliters to 100 microliters with dead volumes close to zero. Each nozzle has online-drop-control and optical volume determination.

The sciSWIFTER can operate as a stand-alone device and includes integrated touch-screen controls, robotics shuttle, and external software API for integration into automated robotics platforms, including AutoMAP, recently launched by Matrical. The requirement for intermediate dilution plates is eliminated by the range of volumes dispensed (six orders of magnitude), the companies said.

SciSWIFT disposable pen technology enables preparation, storage, sonication, and dispensing of reagents in one integrated device. Substances can be stored directly in the sciSWIFT dispensing pen which serves as a closed container, eliminating heat seals and ensuring sample integrity.

Recommended applications include dispensing of assay reagents, miniaturization of assays, and the dispensing of initial screening as well as of dose/response experiments from an identical container. RFID tags for each dispensing pen facilitate traceability of reagents during storage, retrieval, and dispensing. With sciSWIFT, primary and secondary assays and dose response tests are made from the identical sample/dilution with CV's of 2 percent.


Platypus Technologies this week announced the launch of the Oris Migration Assay – TriCoated kit, 96-well plate format. This product allows the researcher to compare three surfaces for optimal cell migration on the same plate. The three surfaces are: tissue-culture treated; collagen I coated; and fibronectin coated.

The TriCoated Assay complements the Oris line of cell migration assay products that use patent-pending cell seeding stoppers to create a 2-mm detection zone in the center of each well. The Oris cell migration assays allow the researcher to compare and visualize cell migration in real time by using live cell stains either with a microscope, digital imaging system, or microplate reader.


Invitrogen, a division of Life Technologies, announced this week that it has launched KNOCKOUT SR XenoFree media for use in the culture of human embryonic stem cells.

KNOCKOUT SR XenoFree media is based on KNOCKOUT SR, a reagent for the maintaining undifferentiated hESCs while maintaining pluripotency. All components of KNOCKOUT SR XenoFree are either human-derived or synthetic.


Thermo Fisher Scientific this week introduced the Thermo Scientific MaxQ 8000 series of stackable shakers.

The MaxQ 8000 stackable shakers offer features such as run points and set points for temperature, speed, and time, displayed simultaneously for run cycle monitoring. The shakers also have a built-in HEPA filter. The fold-down door with ergonomically designed handle allows the shaker platform to slide out. A flip-down handle/latch on the quick-release base prevents the shaker from running if the platform is not secure. In addition, all stacking hardware is included.

The chamber of the shaker is made of crevice-free type 304 stainless steel with coved corners and contains a built-in drain that keeps spills within the work area. Electronic components and the HEPA filter are accessible from the front of the unit.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

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Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.