Friday, 26 November 2010

Microscope for laboratory or table-top analyses

Nikon Metrology recently introduced the new ShuttlePix P-400R digital microscope, made for observation, inspection, basic measurement and recording of high-resolution images. For on-site analysis of samples, it serves as a handheld microscope that shoots high resolution images as easy and quick as taking pictures with a digital camera. For laboratory or table-top analyses, the ShuttlePix microscope interfaces seamlessly with a motorized stand.

The versatility of the battery-powered ShuttlePix system means the user can bring the microscope to on-site objects, such as an aircraft airframe, turbine casting or pipe work that often cannot be reached with a standard microscope. This unique ShuttlePix technology supports a wide range of inspection tasks in automotive, electronics, aerospace and other industries. The combination of superb imaging capabilities and digital camera style operation makes this an easy-to-use, versatile and extremely useful piece of equipment.

For tabletop usage, ShuttlePix interfaces with a hand-controlled motorized Z-axis stand. The operation of the stand is simple, allowing Extended Depth of Focus (EDF) image capture with the touch of a button. With the 17-inch touch screen monitor, the user can easily control the microscope, analyze, measure or print images. The microscope also connects to a standard PC or laptop that runs image analysis and 3D image reconstruction software.
Innovative optics for superb images

The ShuttlePix blends Nikon’s technological excellence in the domains of microscopes, photo cameras and digital image processing. ShuttlePix offers a unique 20x optical zoom with a magnification range of 20x–400x on a 17-inch monitor, which doubles the capability of today’s common models. To acquire crystal-clear images in any indoors or outdoors light circumstances, the zoom head is equipped with a built-in 4 section LED ring illumination.

Nikon Metrology

New strategies for cancer drug development urgently needed

Millions of cancer patients worldwide may soon be able to receive more effective, personalized treatments for their disease thanks to developments in the understanding of cancer biology, experts will say at the Cancer Biology for Clinicians Symposium organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Nice on 26-27 November.

However, to make the most of this coming transformation, governments, pharmaceutical companies and doctors urgently need to adapt the way drugs are developed, the experts say.

"Cancer therapy is arguably at the most exciting time in its history," said José Baselga, from MGH Cancer Center in Boston, USA, co-chair of the symposium and ESMO Past-President. "It is at the confluence of two new movements, one toward personalized medicine and the other toward the use of new molecularly targeted cancer therapeutics that exploit the tumor's genetic and molecular signature. These movements provide many challenges, but also the opportunity for making paradigm shifts in the way we think of and treat cancer."

Thursday, 25 November 2010

AFSSAPS and GIPC renew GLP certification of CIT

CIT, a European non-clinical CRO announced today that it has had its GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) certification renewed by France’s relevant authorities: AFSSAPS (the French Health Products Safety Agency) and the GIPC (the Inter-Ministerial Chemicals Group).

As part of its periodic program for inspecting testing facilities, AFSSAPS carried out a four-day inspection of CIT’s site in Evreux. AFSSAPS is the recognized authority in the field of non-clinical safety tests on medicines for human use and on cosmetics. After completing its inspection, AFSSAPS confirmed and renewed its accreditation for CIT’s GLP in the conduct of non-clinical safety trials (statute A; certification of 26 October 2010).

Stroke trial chief gives Edinburgh stem cell presentation

The man behind the trial of stem cells in stroke treatments at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital is the guest speaker at an event in Edinburgh on Monday, December 6.

Consultant neurologist Professor Keith Muir will give an address at the first Stem Cell Roadshow in the Symposium Hall at the Royal College of Surgeons.

The UK National Stem Cell Network, in collaboration with the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), is going around the country giving people the chance to find out more about issues surrounding stem cell treatments. The focus of ‘Stem cell treatments, where are we? – co-organised by the Scottish Stem Cell Network – is on treating stroke patients and those with MS. This event starts with a series of short presentations and will be followed by a question and answer session.

Earlier this month Professor Muir and his team injected stem cells into the brain of an elderly male stroke patient, the first in the world to receive this treatment. He was given low doses and is said to be doing well after being discharged from hospital.

The stem cells used were provided by Angel BioTechnology, which is based at the Pentlands Science Park in Midlothian.

Edinburgh Science Triangle

Interactive animation reveals protective powers

DuPont Personal Protection is introducing Professor Victor Tytonius, the cyber scientist who specialises in worker protection and chemical protective clothing and materials. In a series of videos he carries out scientific experiments to reveal the performance of three non-woven structures – Tyvek, MP (Microporous Film) and SMS (Spunbond-Meltblown-Spunbond). In this digital animation that takes science and turns it into a fun, interesting yet educational topic, Professor Tytonius helps wearers select the appropriate protective clothing.

Split into several chapters and designed to be told over a period of time, the story develops to explain and enhance the major differences between Tyvek, MP and SMS.

Graded density filter for high flow production of Cryptosporidium-free water

Available from Porvair Filtration Group - Cryptofil filter cartridges are proven to provide absolute control of Cryptosporidium oocysts in water used in ultrapure water industries.

The Cryptofil cartridge was developed by Porvair after extensive research and has resulted in filter media with continuously graded fibre density which enables progressively finer oocyst retention through the depth of the media. This graded density depth filtration mechanism, combined with optimized pleated pack configuration and resultant high surface area, affords high flow capability and exceptional oocyst retention capacity.

Cryptosporidium oocysts removed from the water flow are captured within the media and are not subject to release by system fluctuations. The voids volume of Cryptofil combined with advanced cartridge construction that can be steam, hot water or chemically sterilised results in a filter capable of retaining high concentrations of oocysts ensuring extended service life and reduced filtration costs.

Porvair Filtration Group

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Transforming electronics for cancer detection

A new UK company, set to transform the use of terahertz electronics* for applications which include cancer detection, has today won a prize in Research Councils UK (RCUK) Business Plan Competition 2010. Teratech Components Ltd, a recent spinout from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), will use the £10,000 prize towards kick-starting the company’s business to exploit the commercial applications of terahertz electronics - engaging with industry and new markets outside of the traditional space sector.

Terahertz (THz) applications span the physical (security imaging), biological (cell formation) and medical (cancerous tumour detection) sciences with a growing interest in the application of THz frequencies to security imaging through clothing in airport scanners and to non-destructive pharmaceutical and manufacturing inspection through multilayered or opaque surfaces.

Selvita appoints Piotr Prelich as a Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Polish biotechnology company Selvita, announced today the appointment of Mr Piotr Prelich to the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Mr Prelich will be responsible for the further establishment of Selvita’s brand in the pharmaceutical preclinical outsourcing market, both in Poland and abroad, as well as for the sales of services offered by Selvita and its subsidiary BioCentrum.

Rapid isolation of bacteria or specific target cells

ProKyma Technologies Ltd, specialists in automated sample processing techniques, won the ‘Innovation in Diagnostics Project of the Year’ at the Northwest Biomedical Awards on 12th November. Presented by ThermoFisher, the award recognises the potential of the company’s technology for the rapid isolation of bacteria or specific target cells in situations where there are high levels of debris such as sputum and blood.

Ongoing developments for the technology include the rapid detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) in sputum samples and the capture of Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) in blood – applications that could have an enormous impact in the diagnosis and management of these global killers.

Study reveals factors behind age of girls’ first period

Lifestyle and health factors starting from before birth may affect the age at which a girl begins her periods, a major new study published today in the British Journal of Cancer shows.

Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) found that mothers who smoke or suffer pre-eclampsia during pregnancy were more likely to have daughters who menstruated early. Other factors linked to early menstruation included having a low birth weight, being a singleton (not a twin), not being breastfed, having fewer siblings, having an early birth order (being an older sibling) and being non-white.

The study also confirmed that girls who were heavier or taller than other children at age seven and exercised little as children were more likely to start their first period at a young age.

Promising data on novel approach in multiple sclerosis

Trophos SA a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapeutics from discovery to clinical validation for indications with under-served needs in neurology and cardiology, announced today that Trophos and partners in the MS-Repair consortium delivered an oral presentation detailing Trophos’ novel approach in multiple sclerosis (MS) at the recent Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Meeting.

The data presented demonstrate that olesoxime, Trophos’ lead compound, is a promising candidate for neuroaxonal repair and remyelination in white matter diseases, notably multiple sclerosis. The MS-Repair project is supported by the French Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR).

Device for presenting and storing SBS-format labware

The Agilent Labware MiniHub from Agilent Automation Solutions is a rotating random-access device for presenting and storing SBS-format labware in laboratory automation systems.

An efficient modular unit, the Labware MiniHub features user-configurable shelf spacing that easily accommodates a mix of microplates, tube racks, deep-well microplates, and pipette tip boxes while maintaining a compact footprint. The Agilent Labware MiniHub is designed with your applications in mind. Small but flexible, and safer than other alternatives, the Labware MiniHub solves all your room-temperature storage needs.

Automated filling of two-compartment Petri dishes

Using a MEDIAJET vario Automatic Media Preparation System from INTEGRA - leading Danish healthcare provider - Herlev Hospital has drastically increased the efficiency and reliability of preparing its two-compartment agar plates.

For many applications, the amount of required agar can be reduced by using two-compartment Petri dishes. However, pouring biplates by hand is time-consuming and inefficient. The MEDIAJET fitted with biplate filling option is proven to offer an efficient and reliable solution for preparing 2-compartment Petri dishes automatically.

Located in Herlev, close to Copenhagen - Herlev Hospital is engaged in providing a range of health care and hospital services to diverse patients. It is principally focused on providing emergency treatment services for acute diseases. The hospital caters to more than 700,000 people across the Ballerup, Gladsaxe, Herlev, Egedal, Lyngby, Rudersdal and capital region areas of Denmark.

Anette Banke, Senior Pharmaconomist at Herlev Hospital commented "We have had our MEDIAJET vario with biplate option up and running for two years filling over 70,000 biplates annually. We also use the MEDIAJET to fill standard 90mm Petri dishes. Our system is running from morning until evening almost every day. We have never experienced any problems with the MEDIAJET and it is by far the most reliable instrument we have ever had for Petri dish filling. You could almost say: it takes care of itself! This of course gives us the chance to fulfil other tasks in the laboratory while it's running increasing our laboratory productivity". We only have one wish: We would like to have an additional MEDIAJET system such that we can expand our service to supply other hospitals with top quality agar plates".

The MEDIAJET vario with biplate option offers the unique flexibility of high throughput filling of Petri dishes of various sizes, Petri dishes with 2 compartments and test tubes of various diameters and length.

Using a proven mechanical dish guidance system, monitored by a set of sensors throughout the filling process, the compact MEDIAJET vario provides truly reliable, walk-away operation. Operational downtime and media loss due to 'dish jams' resulting from variations in the diameter, shape and rim profile of the disposable plastic Petri dishes are completely eliminated.

INTEGRA Biosciences AG

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Taking the strain out of pipetting

Seward Limited, manufacturer and developer of the Stomacher Paddle Blender range, has developed Strainer bags for processing samples that produce large amounts of debris that can block pipettes.

Irradiated sterile and available in 80 and 400ml sizes the Strainer bags are fully compatible with all laboratory blenders. Ideal for a variety of applications they deliver fully homogenous, virtually debris-free sample every time to ensure trouble-free pipetting and quality results.

Since the pore size on the integrated, robust strainer element within the Seward Strainer bag is 0.5mm, this also minimises the risk of pore blockage that can result in non-homogenous prepared sample.

If pores become blocked then, instead of straining, a filtering effect can occur, meaning microbes may be eliminated from the final filtrate and produce an inaccurate final result. Seward Strainer bags overcome the risk of such sample filtering across a broad range of sample types. 

“Our Strainer bags have been developed following initial work that we undertook with industry experts into combining the ‘stomaching’ and filtration element of sample preparation into a single process,” explained Dan Crothers, Marketing Manager, Seward. “After assessing several different options our research emphatically proved this process is not feasible, since filtering out all debris can result in non-homogenous sample which can skew final results. We found that straining to minimise debris is perfectly adequate to prevent pipette blocking issues, whilst ensuring that results give a true reflection of microbial loading.”


Online video stars laboratory label printer

Brady’s IP Series Printer is the first industrial thermal transfer label printer to use Smart Cell technology for automatic calibration. The technology detects the loaded label and ribbon material and sets up the printer for optimal printing conditions. This capability is especially valuable in laboratories where clear and accurate sample identification is vital. A new video - - available on the Brady UK website shows how creating high quality laboratory labels is really as simple as Load, Click, Print.

Handwritten labels which become smudged and unreadable lead inevitably to lost or misinterpreted samples. The Brady IP Label Printer, available in 300 and 600 dpi versions, offers a complete, innovative solution: fast, durable sample identification for any laboratory.

Twenty-one group leaders join network of EMBO Young Investigators

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) today announced the selection of 21 of Europe’s most talented young researchers as 2010 beneficiaries of the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.

Now in its eleventh year, the programme annually identifies some of the most promising European young researchers at a critical stage of their scientific careers. Young group leaders receive a range of benefits designed to smooth the transition during the start up of their first independent research laboratories. EMBO Members – themselves recognised for their excellence in research – select the group leaders to join the programme each year.

Mixing: vertical multi-function rotator

Grant Instruments, a supplier of scientific, life sciences and data acquisition products, has introduced a variable speed, variable angle 360º vertical rotator combining three mixing functions – vertical rotation, reciprocation and vibration - into one easy-to-use and highly versatile compact unit.

The PTR-35 - the latest addition to the Grant-bio product range - is designed for vertical mixing applications including hybridization reactions, cell growing, homogenization of biological solutions, prevention of blood coagulation and latex diagnostics.

The PTR-35 is supplied with a standard platform which has capacity for up to 26 x 15mm diameter tubes or 26 x 1.5ml - 2ml microtubes. It can also accommodate longer tubes due to its high platform position. An additional four optional platforms provide the flexibility to mix and match different tubes sizes (15mm and 30mm diameter) and tube capacities (1.5ml to 50ml).

Monday, 22 November 2010

Compact re-circulating chillers

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc today introduced the new Thermo Scientific ThermoChill I and ThermoChill II re-circulating chillers. These compact, floor-standing re-circulating chillers provide a temperature range of 5 to 30°C and have a cooling capacity from 700 to 2000W. With 24 configurations available, each customer can select their required cooling capacity, voltage and pump type, enabling them to tailor a temperature control system to meet their specific application requirements. The new ThermoChill series provides a compact, economical and easy-to-use solution that is suitable for a wide range of routine applications where high-quality liquid cooling is required.

With easy-to-use interfaces, ThermoChill chillers facilitate quick and simple operation, including high and low temperature alarms to alert users to a temperature deviation. Each unit is designed for “plug and play” operation, and the compact design enables convenient in-lab location. In addition, the fill port was designed with a large opening, and it is located at the top of the unit for easy access and filling.

Thermo Scientific

PRECOS secures multi-year global service agreement with pharmaceutical company

Preclinical Oncology Services Limited (PRECOS), a pre-clinical research and development service provider with a specific focus on oncology, has signed a significant service agreement with pharmaceutical company Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Janssen). The global contract will see PRECOS provide clinical tumour material, tumour model development, target validation and drug efficacy work to support Janssen's oncology drug discovery, development and biomarker programmes.

Low cost gantry suits biomedical pick and place automation

Heason Technology has developed a new range of low-cost Cartesian style gantry positioning systems for pick and place applications in the growing biomedical and laboratory automation market and other industries where medium precision and medium duty robotic handing for assembly or parts sorting is required.

The design is based on Heason's PLA leadscrew actuators which feature an extruded aluminium housing and a robust linear motion guide support bearing system in a compact modular package that allows XY and XYZ positioning systems to be designed and built quickly and effectively. The standard range will accommodate X and Y travel to 300 mm with a 75 mm travel Z axis.

Agilent expands bioinformatics system into integrated biology suite

Agilent Technologies Inc today introduced GeneSpring GX 11.5, an expansion of its popular bioinformatics software into visualizing and analyzing multiple types of biological data. GeneSpring GX 11.5 now interprets exon microarray, proteomics and metabolomics experiments together for the first time, using a familiar interface.

These new capabilities join existing GeneSpring GX applications for gene expression analysis, genomic copy number analysis, genome-wide association analysis and transcriptomics data analysis.

Open source innovation increasingly being used in drug discovery

The completion of the human genome project generated a plethora of complex information that launched the medical community into the next era of therapeutic intervention. New discoveries have led to the need for new ways to tap the vast amounts of information, so as to optimise its potential use. Coupled with this, the challenges faced by the pharmaceutical industry of coping with rising drug development costs and higher late-stage failure rates of drugs, have given rise to an urgent need for cheaper methods to improve drug pipeline productivity.

In this context, open source innovation, a concept that has been used in the information technology space for over three decades, is now successfully being applied in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to promote innovation in the drug discovery process and boost bottom lines.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan Open Source Innovation in the Context of Pharma and Biotech, finds that while pharmaceutical companies have started to recognise the power of open source innovation, the industry has to push harder in order for this concept to be optimally leveraged.

Electronic Lab Notebook for biology research

Agilent Technologies Inc today announced that Merck-Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has selected the Agilent OpenLAB Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) to enhance scientific collaboration for finding new small molecules and biopharmaceuticals.

While financial details were not disclosed, approximately 600 Merck-Serono biology researchers at facilities in Geneva, Darmstadt and Boston will be using the Agilent OpenLAB ELN to collaborate on research projects.

“The Agilent partnership with Merck-Serono illustrates the strength of OpenLAB ELN as a collaboration platform protecting research IP,” said Bruce von Herrmann, vice president and general manager, Agilent Software and Informatics. “It is gratifying to work with their researchers -- across multiple scientific disciplines -- with tools to build a knowledge base integrated into their overall discovery system landscape.”

OpenLAB ELN features the ability to design and customize experiment templates that enable scientists to create, share and reuse these templates. Additionally, scientists can create an experimental desktop according to their preferences and work practices.

Other benefits of OpenLAB ELN include delegation workflows and audit trails. Delegation workflows facilitate enterprise-wide collaboration, as multiple scientists can collaborate on a single experiment, entering data and results from multiple techniques on a single sample or multiple samples. The audit trails maintain an environment that delivers the highest level of intellectual property protection.

Agilent Technologies

Mirrorball screening system facilitates both cell- or bead-based homogeneous, mix-and-read assays

TTP LabTech will be showcasing its high sensitivity microplate cytometer - Mirrorball - during 2011 with attendance at PepTalk, LabAutomation, SBS and the Protein Engineering Summit (PEGS). The system, launched earlier this year, provides an effective and efficient process for automating ELISAs into robust mix-and-read assays for high throughput antibody screening.

Mirrorball is a versatile screening system that facilitates both cell- or bead-based homogeneous, mix-and-read assays. Cell-based assays may be conducted on live or fixed cells with both adherent and suspension cell lines.

Project pools expertise to develop and market an in vitro diagnostic kit for chronic, viral hepatitis

Ariana Pharma, a leader in decision support tools and services to accelerate the development and optimal use of drugs and biomarker discovery, announces today that it has entered into a partnership to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of chronic hepatitis.

Ariana is collaborating with AP-HP (Beaujon Hospital) and INSERM joined centre of excellence for viral hepatitis and Bio-Rad France to apply its novel technology to the discovery of new biomarkers. The Hepachronix project pools their collective expertise to identify, develop and market new tools for the early diagnosis of fibrosis and for the prognosis of resistance to treatment. Diagnostics specialist Bio-Rad leads this three-year-project.

OGT grants DNA sequence variation licence to Biotype Diagnostics GmbH

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), provider of innovative clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions to advance molecular medicine, and Biotype Diagnostics GmbH are pleased to announce the completion of a licence agreement granting Biotype access to OGT patents for the detection of DNA sequence variations. The licence, which will remain valid for the lifetime of the patents, provides Biotype with certain rights with respect to SNP genotyping.

Sue Sutton, VP Business Development at OGT, said: “OGT continues to develop its licensing programme and is pleased to license our sequence variation patents to Biotype. These patents are an important part of OGT’s broad patent portfolio and, together with Biotype’s microarray platform, gives customers access to a new, comprehensive way of detecting commercially important wood-rotting fungi.”

Wilhelm Zorgiebel, Executive Director at Biotype, commented: "We are pleased to enter into this licensing arrangement with OGT, a company that is recognised as being at the forefront of molecular technology. This agreement helps us to develop our own microarray technology platform for various applications in medicine and analytics. Our first product, which is completely unique in the market, is the Mycotype BasidioQS Microarray Detection Kit, which allows the fast and sensitive, simultaneous analysis of the 27 most important wood-rotting basidiomycetes in Europe.”

Oxford Gene Technology

Initiative hopes to expedite cell-based treatments for Parkinson’s

An initiative which brings together some of the world’s leading Parkinson’s researchers aims to reduce further delays in using cells to treat Parkinson’s disease. The initiative will focus on refining cell-based therapy, which replaces the diseased cells with healthy cells.

Although the technique for using cell-based therapy to treat Parkinson’s has been around for over two decades, it has had dramatically varying outcomes. After treatment, some patients have been able to go drug-free with markedly improved symptoms and signs for many years. Other patients develop side effects from the treatment which can cause further distress and problems.

Researchers in this field recognised that there was a lack of consistency in previous trials as to when the treatment was administered (patients were of varying ages, different stages of the disease, etc). This prompted these experts to launch an initiative to examine why some procedures are successful and others are not. By reassessing the earlier trials, they intend to put together a protocol to increase the likelihood of success.

Reinnervate launches3D cell culture technology alvetex

Reinnervate today announced the first commercial launch of alvetex, its 3D cell culture technology.

Alvetex is a material that provides a robust and inert scaffold for cells to grow and form complex 3D cell structures in the laboratory, mimicking the normal growth and formation of tissues in the body.

Reinnervate has extensively tested and validated alvetex with a large number of cell types, including liver, skin, cancer and stem cells, all of which have important applications in basic research into cell development, disease modelling and drug safety screening.

Sigma Life Science collection of Prestige Antibodies exceeds 10,000

Sigma Life Science, the biological products and services business of Sigma-Aldrich, today announced the introduction of 1,700 new products to its collection of highly characterized Prestige Antibodies. The entire portfolio – now standing at over 10,000 antibodies and covering 8,400 protein targets – is available at as part of an exclusive partnership with Atlas Antibodies AB.

As the industry’s most highly validated antibodies, each Prestige Antibody is supported by over 700 immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and Western blot images, with complete data for each product publicly available through the Human Protein Atlas. The continued expansion of this collection is part of the Swedish Human Proteome Resource (HPR) program to develop at least one antibody to all non-redundant human proteins by 2015.

Dubai hosts ARABLAB 2011

Dubai will again host ARABLAB, the laboratory and instrumentation industry’s only major international show in 2011.

ARABLAB focuses on laboratory technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, environmental sciences, robotics and automation, analytical instrumentation, and measurement and testing. The show attracts some 10,000 visitors from more than 75 countries, and is the industry’s only event that covers all of the important growth markets of the Middle East, China, the Indian sub-continent, south-east Asia and Africa.

Complementing the exhibition itself is ARABLAB’s packed seminar programme – MediLab, BioLab, EnviroLab, and PetroLab – which offers unrivalled opportunities to gain information about all the very latest developments.

ARABLAB will be held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre from 7 to 10 March 2011. More information can be obtained the show at

GE Healthcare extends HiScreen prepacked column range

GE Healthcare has extended its range of HiScreen prepacked chromatography columns, taking the total number of media now available in this format to 23. The four new columns are packed with a range of BioProcess chromatography media.

HiScreen columns provide a solution for fast, easy separations in a convenient format. The columns are packed with robust media, allowing repeated use with reproducible results. The 10 cm bed height is suitable for method optimization and parameter screening (e.g. for selectivity and capacity), and the columns are easily connected in series to give a 20 cm bed height.

HiScreen columns have a small bed volume (4.7 ml), reducing the cost of sample and buffer consumption. In addition, the columns are made of biocompatible polypropylene that does not interact with biomolecules.