On the 4-6 September, our Japanese distributor ASAHI Life Science exhibited at the JASIS Conference. Taking place in the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo, Japan, the conference is Asia’s largest exhibition in the science, analytical instruments and scientific equipment field.
This year, the exhibition attracted approximately 29,000 visitors with 500 of those dropping by the ASAHI Life Science booth. The event proved to be a great opportunity for the team to meet a broad range of delegates, with the Planer CT37stax™ benchtop incubator generating plenty of interest.
Advances in the science of ‘cryobanking’ animal gametes are helping restore endangered populations and preserve biodiversity, writes Professor William V Holt in a recent edition of The Biologist, the Royal Society of Biology’s Magazine.
In the late 1940s a young postdoc called Chris Polge, working at the MRC laboratories in north London, made the fortuitous but accidental discovery that mammalian and fowl sperm could be frozen and thawed successfully in the presence of glycerol.
This breakthrough led to the large-scale application of semen cryopreservation in cattle breeding and the complete transformation of the global dairy industry, which nowadays relies almost entirely on the use of frozen semen and artificial insemination for cattle breeding.
Semen freezing has also been used successfully to preserve fertile sperm from numerous wild mammals, fishes, amphibians and birds. The realisation that, in principle, it is feasible to collect sperm from diverse species and keep them in liquid nitrogen (-196ºC) has led several research groups to envisage the systematic collection and storage of semen from many of the species heading towards extinction.
Whilst relatively straightforward, the success of freezing fish and amphibian sperm has permitted the serious development of sperm-based genome resource banks for these species, the same cannot be said for their oocytes. However, by refocusing their approach, some research groups have been remarkably successful in exploring the possibility that various types of germ cells could be extracted from either ovaries or testes, frozen and stored, and then used to repopulate the ovaries and testes of recipient animals.
Looking to the future, researchers are now searching for new, innovative ways to preserve viable genomes for animal breeding.
To read article in full
“Frozen Assets” – The Biologist, the magazine of the Royal Society of Biology
About the author
William V Holt FRSB is a professor of reproductive science at the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine at the University of Sheffield and honorary research associate at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Species Survival.
We, at Planer, were much saddened to hear of the passing of Professor David Pegg on the 3rd August 2019.
David qualified with Bachelor of Medicine (MB), BSc in 1956 and Medical Doctorate (MD) in 1963 and was awarded the William Julius Mickle Fellowship of the University of London in 1968. He passed his Membership to the Royal College of Pathology (MRCPath) in 1967 and his Fellowship (FRCPath) in 1998 for research in experimental pathology.
David was one of the founding fathers of the science of modern cryobiology and he worked with Planer on some of the very first controlled rate freezers in the early 1970s. He is fondly remembered by some members of staff, still at Planer, who worked alongside him during that time. Geoffrey Planer said “Apart from owing a deep gratitude to David, I will greatly miss the interaction with him which was always stimulating – scientifically, and indeed, generally. Like many brilliant people, he could engage in fascinating conversations on subjects well outside his academic field as easily as he could within his technical specialities”.
David, pictured here with an early Planer freezer, published over 200 peer reviewed papers and numerous books focusing primarily on tissue preservation and cryobiology. His contributions to the field are numerous, notably in the development of effective cooling techniques and cryoprotectant use to avoid ice formation.
The memorial service for David was held on Thursday 29th August in The Hospitium in the Museum Gardens in York, followed by a gathering when people met and shared their memories of working and socialising with David over the years.
Hamilton Thorne Ltd, a leading provider of precision instruments, consumables, software and services to the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and developmental biology research markets, acquired Planer Ltd on Tuesday 13th August 2019.
This deal brings together two of the world’s leading companies within the ART marketplace, enhancing the product offerings of both companies globally. Both Hamilton Thorne and Planer are well-established and respected providers of premium equipment that share a commitment to provide the highest standards in customer service and quality.
Adrian Fuller, Managing Director of Planer commented, "The entire Planer team is extremely pleased to be joining Hamilton Thorne who share our belief in quality and service. We believe that the combination of the businesses can significantly accelerate the growth of both the Hamilton Thorne and Planer operations around the world."
Geoffrey Planer, the principal shareholder of Planer added, "Since starting out 45 years ago we have progressed to becoming a worldwide name in our field. It is fitting that after a record year, we can now take the next significant step forward by joining the Hamilton Thorne group. We are delighted to ally with such an excellent team and one we have known for many years."
"We are excited to welcome our new partners from Planer to the Hamilton Thorne family. This acquisition enhances our product offerings in incubation, cryopreservation and lab monitoring solutions, and provides a direct sales and support platform for our entire Hamilton Thorne portfolio of products in the UK," said David Wolf, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton Thorne.
For further information
Hamilton Thorne announce the acquisition of Planer Ltd
About Hamilton Thorne
Hamilton Thorne is a leading global provider of precision instruments, consumables, software and services that reduce cost, increase productivity, improve results and enable breakthroughs in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and developmental biology research markets. Hamilton Thorne markets its products and services under the Hamilton Thorne, Gynemed and Embryotech Laboratories brands, through its growing sales force and distributors worldwide. Hamilton Thorne’s customer base consists of fertility clinics, university research centres, animal breeding facilities, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and other commercial and academic research establishments.
In the modern workplace, it can be unusual to have the opportunity to present long service awards! So we were immensely proud to recognise Lisa, Simon and Cathy for their long service at Planer of respectively 10, 20 and and an impressive 40 years!
Lisa Loveridge Receives 10 Year Long Service Award
In March 2019 Lisa Loveridge, Service Administrator at Planer, completed 10 years of service.
Lisa joined us in 2009, originally in a joint sales and service administrative role, before moving into the role of full time service administrator in 2015. She is a key member of the Service team, ensuring the guys in the department complete all their paperwork. Lisa is also the friendly and reassuring voice at the end of the telephone when anybody rings in looking for assistance from the team. Her award was presented by Les Dodsworth, Technical Service Manager.
Congratulations to Lisa on reaching this milestone, and we look forward to the next 10 years. All the staff and management at Planer would like to thank Lisa for her dedication and hard work over the last ten years.
Simon Delicata Receives 20 Year Long Service Award
In June 2019 Simon Delicata, Head of IT, achieved 20 years of service.
During the past two decades, the IT field has moved along at a rapid pace. As mobile technologies have become mainstream, the task of managing IT has become far more complex. The number of staff has also grown during the last 20 years - meaning more people to support. Without Simon's help, at times the wheels at Planer would literally have stopped turning.
Everybody at Planer would like to thank Simon for all his efforts and patience over the past two decades - we know that we can be demanding and hope that he can keep smiling for the next 20 years!
Cathy Rudderham Receives 40 Year Long Service Award
At the beginning of June 2019, Catherine ‘Cathy’ Rudderham achieved the huge milestone of 40 years’ service with Planer.
Cathy joined Planer in the production department at the age of 15; she remembers that whilst she was being interviewed for her job, her mum stood outside the factory talking to a charming old man - the founder of the company, George Planer.
Over the 40 years, Cathy has seen many changes in the company as it has grown. Throughout, Cathy has remained a mainstay in production department, ensuring that our legendary high quality and reliability of our equipment is maintained. Her award was presented by Dave Barber, Director of Operations.
We would all like to congratulation Cathy on her achieving this amazing milestone and thank her for all the dedication and loyal service over the 40 years.
Come and see the Planer team at this year’s Nordic Fertility Society’s Annual Congress (NFS 2019). NFS 2019 will take place from Thursday 22nd August to Saturday 24th August in the Quality Hotel 11 Göteborg, Sweden.
Established in 1999, the Nordic Fertility Society’s membership includes, doctors, embryologists, biologists and laboratory technicians from five countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland Norway and Sweden.
Product demo on Thursday 22nd August at 09.00
Planer is delighted to be exhibiting at NFS for the first time. If you are going to Goteborg, why not drop by the Planer stand on Thursday at 09.00 to watch Kalend from the Planer team demo our CT37stax™ benchtop incubator and DATAssure™, our independent monitoring and alarm system for laboratories.
The Society for Low Temperature Biology (SLTB) will, this year, be holding their annual conference in the beautiful city of Seville from the 3rd to 4th October 2019.
Founded in 1964, the aim of the SLTB is to promote research into the effects of low temperatures on all types of organisms and their constituent cells, tissues and organs. These types of studies have applications in a diverse range of scientific fields; from biology and medicine to engineering, conservation and environmental science.
Planer is delighted to be supporting the 2019 Annual Conference, where specialists from around the world will be speaking on a range of cutting edge topics.
Before the meeting itself starts, there will be a cell therapy workshop on Wednesday 2nd October. Held in conjunction with the UK Stem Cell Users Group, the workshop will give attendees the opportunity to hear industry experts such as Alison Hubel, from the University of Minnesota, speak.
The team from Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Brussels, Belgium recently held a course on cryopreservation and transplantation of human ovarian tissue. The course, which was held on the 27th and 28th June 2019, was led by Christiani Amorim and the team from the university who have worked for many years on researching and developing the techniques required for successful cryopreservation and transplantation of ovarian tissue.
The course was attended by participants from clinical centres from all around the world proving this technique, despite still being considered experimental in some countries, is growing in popularity. The number of successful live births being recorded around the world continues to grow year on year as the technique has become more widely available.
The team at the University uses a Planer Kryo 360 -1.7 to perform the cryopreservation of the ovarian tissue as this has proven to provide consistent successful results. There are now many centres around the world that have reported the benefits of slow freezing when cryopreserving ovarian tissue and Planer are proud to be associated with this important technique that can result in many women going on to have children, sometimes naturally, even after cancer treatment.
Christiani and the team are already planning further courses including a one day workshop on Tuesday 24th September 2019 at the 12th Congress of the Pacific Society for Reproductive Medicine (PSRM) which is being held in Pattaya, Thailand this year.
For further information
UCL Course on Cryopreservation and Transplantation of Human Ovarian Tissue (27th - 28th June 2019)
The 12th Congress of the Pacific Society for Reproductive Medicine (PSRM)
Planer Kryo 360 controlled rate freezer