The photo shows the very first production model of our new product - TECalert - which is designed to network temperature, LN2 level, usage and alarm status and should be of interest to customers who have Chart MVE storage vessels and controllers who up to now users have had to look at controllers on actual vessels rather than monitor them from a PC. The unit is designed to make TEC 3000 controllers, used on all high end Chart MVE vessels, visible over an existing network via Planer’s Data-Later monitoring and alarm software
Cryo Solutions of Holland http://www.cryosolutions.nl/en/home/ took the wraps off the TECalert at the latest Laborama exhibition which was held in the Kart Expo building in Brussels March 2012. Laborama is a widely attended specialist laboratory show which is held every year and attended by scientists and managers across Europe. This year the exhibition featured the Special MVE 816 AI vessel linked to TEC alert and the wireless Temperature probe of the DATA-later system. These were combined with the Planer 360 and 560 controlled rate freezers and a CS160SK liquid nitrogen tank. So visitors could see a complete nitrogen lab set up - including safety features. Richard van Woerden, chief executive of Cryo Solutions, explained that the new product was "a great addition to other alarm and monitoring systems. Our end users were really missing the availability of a product that read data, such as alarm settings and liquid levels, from their controllers. Now we have the piece of the jigsaw which links the TEC 3000 with a customers PC for hassle free use."
The photo shows some of the first of our bench top incubators in China. Six units were recently installed by our distributor Origio in a clinic - which also has our Assure liquid nitrogen and temperature monitoring system. These sorts of bench top incubators are increasingly seen as providing a more precise environment than the conventional larger ones in assisted reproduction laboratories. Our smaller, specialist incubators keep the cells at optimal temperature, humidity and gas content and give pH stability and regulated humidity.
With some forty million people in China affected by fertility problems, couples there are increasingly turning to IVF and more than ten million people are classified officially as in need of fertilisation assistance - the Xinhua news agency.
The technology of Assisted Reproduction started in earnest in China some two decades ago and patient numbers have soared. Figures reported from Peking University No 3 Hospital, the location of China's first test tube birth, show 3,500 patients were treated in 2008 and 5,000 in 2009. Patient numbers allegedly have been growing by around 50% pa in some other hospitals. The Chinese authorities have licensed IVF practice at over 200 clinics and the statistics from the Ministry of Health show more than 3,000 ART babies conceived through in vitro fertilisation have been born in China since that first successful case in 1988.
Located in Amsterdam, the Sanquin Foundation is responsible for blood supplies throughout The Netherlands. Operating on a not for profit basis, Sanquin delivers products and services, conducts scientific investigation and provides education and in-service training. The organisation also carries out research and develops new products for therapeutic, diagnostic and research use. Our Benelux distributor, Cryo Solutions, have just received an order to equip the new freezing room for the Sanquin Stem Cell laboratory.
The installation comprises a direct liquid nitrogen supply, vacuum insulated piping from a bulk tank, pressure vessel and two Planer 560 controlled rate computer freezers. Cryo Solutions developed a system to includes a ‘dead man’s switch’ for filling open dewars where the liquid nitrogen supply only remains open whilst the switch a pressed down - making it an extremely safe system.
The controlled rate freezers will be used for stem cell transplantation in the new GMP laboratory, within the Research division of Sanquin. All the research within this division is related to aspects of blood and blood transfusion and the division employs around 300 scientists. The stem cell laboratory serves both academic and non-academic hospitals and is actively involved in the development of new (stem) cell products for clinical trials in the areas of translational research and cellular therapies. Sanquin have extensive experience with the processing, cryopreservation and storage of hematopoietic stem cell products and offer tailored solutions for the generation of cellular products for clinical trials.
We were pleased to support the UK Stem Cell User Group when they had their latest meeting at the Nottingham Conference Centre. The event was hosted by the Anthony Nolan Trust - http://www.anthonynolan.org - at the end of last November. The Stem Cell User Group was set up over 7 years ago to create a forum for those involved in the field of stem cell and bone marrow transplantation. The particular focus at the time was compliance with regulation of the sector - in addition to more emerging technologies, novel cell therapies and treatments. The group grew from a core of scientists and Quality Managers to the 40 - 50 strong regular meeting attendees who participate today.
Stem Cell User Group (SCUG) Meetings have been held at various centres throughout the UK over the last few years. When staff from the Irish Stem Cell laboratories joined the group, the 11th SCUG meeting was held in Dublin in June 2010 and some 40 delegates from the UK and Ireland came. Our picture, taken then, shows Tammy Elston (Guy's), Mike Watts (UCLH), Ravi Dattani (Planer) John Fitzgerald (OLCHC). Tammy - now at King's College Hospital - has organised the last 7 meetings and does all the hard work of setting the agenda and communicating with everyone in the group - as well as raising awareness and of course sponsorship!
Other recent meetings have been hosted by the Hammersmith Hospital (London), Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and Southampton University Hospital. The biannual meeting is held in a different host centre on each occasion with IMBS and RCPath creditation for members. The 15th Stem Cell User Group, or SCUG, will be held at Leicester Royal Infirmary on the 6th July 2012.