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PNNL recognized for technology transfer
Date:1/19/2011

ubator to a light-based spectrometer. The instrument can detect important biological and chemical changes in living cells that are invisible to the naked eye. The technology could speed up scientific discovery, reduce costs and curtail the need for live animal testing.

PNNL physical scientist S.K. Sundaram and his colleagues worked with Simplex Scientific LLC of Middleton, Wis., to develop IncubATRTMthe Live-Cell Monitor. With it, scientists can take advantage of an analytical tool called ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. The tool uses infrared light to examine internal changes to molecules clues to the effect that drugs, chemicals or other experimental treatments are having on cells. Before the IncubATRTM, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy wasn't used on live cells because they need to be kept under life-sustaining conditions for hours or even days at a time. Transferring cells from an incubator to a separate ATR-FTIR spectrometer could also change the cells' environment and lead to undesirable results.

The IncubATRTM provides the right atmosphere for cells to thrive while a user's FTIR spectrometer takes measurements periodically and rapidly, nearly tracking changes in real time. For example, toxicologists could tell within a few minutes how live cells respond to nanomaterials. And researchers could learn how hormones affect cancer cells almost as it happens. In addition, the instrument keeps the cells in the same position for the whole experiment, which is key to acquiring reliable and reproducible data.


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Contact: Franny White
frances.white@pnl.gov
509-375-6904
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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