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Lab receives $3 million for BioAMS instrument
Date:10/6/2011

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently received $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to acquire a new biomedical accelerator mass spectrometry (bioAMS) instrument.

The instrument will provide faster analysis for medical and other biological research.

Historically, no matter what form a biological sample started out in, it had to be converted to graphite before being analyzed in an accelerator. The traditional AMS technology required operation by experts in disciplines far removed from medical fields, unforgiving special chemistries to prepare samples for analysis and extensive time required for that sample preparation -- all factors that have impacted its utility for clinical researchers.

However, in recent years, Lab investments have allowed researchers to develop an interface that would handle liquid samples and bypass the graphitization process. The new bioAMS instrument will couple with this transformational technological development to rapidly and cheaply perform biomedical human subject tracer studies and body burden assessment addressing important questions in nutrition, toxicology, pharmacology, drug development and comparative medicine.

The instrument also will support LLNL's biological detection and medical countermeasures programs. Examples of applications include dating of cancer stem cells, developing individualized patient therapies and rapid testing of new therapeutics against infectious agents.

"AMS fills a special niche in the biomedical field because it can measure very low concentrations of drugs with extreme accuracy, and that's important for helping to understand how biology works. However, its real utility hasn't been fully utilized because of a variety of difficulties," said Ken Turteltaub, principal investigator (PI) of the NIH award and leader of the Lab's bioAMS efforts. "This new technology really moves AMS to the next level."'/>"/>

Contact: Breanna Bishop
bishop33@llnl.gov
925-423-9802
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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