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Mystic Aquarium uses Sample Concentrator in Hormone Analysis

April 04, 2022 / Connor McLeod

Research made simpler with Organomation Benchtop Evaporators

We had the opportunity to talk with Maureen Driscoll of Mystic Aquarium and get her thoughts on the Organomation benchtop evaporators used in her lab. It was clear in talking with Maureen that the N-EVAP has greatly simplified her work within the lab. We were so happy to hear how much of a difference the N-EVAP has made to her research.

Customer: Mystic Aquarium - UCONN Avery Point Campus
Mystic Aquarium partnered with The University of Connecticut to work at their Avery Point Campus. While at Avery Point Campus, the Mystic Aquarium team of researchers works hard to better understand marine life. The partnership also allows a chance for faculty and students at UCONN to work side by side with the marine scientists from Mystic Aquarium.
Applications:

The main goal is to develop non-invasive ways to assess and monitor health in marine animals. Traditionally labs do this through blood samples, but that is not always possible. Mystic Aquarium wants to develop a new process for obtaining health information. They use bio markers and tissue matrices to identify that information. Some examples include feces, saliva/respiratory blow, and hormones. Hormones are of a main interest to the lab; stress hormones are one type. These are caused by climate and anthropogenic changes. Examples of animals that they are working with include; Beluga Whales, Walruses, Pinnipeds and African Penguins.

The lab extracts hormones from the tissue samples using an organic solvent (methanol, ethanol, ethyl acetate). The solvents are not compatible with the assays, which is why the N-EVAP is used to dry samples down to evaporate and re-suspend them in a buffer (which gets rid of the solvent). The lab uses their instruments weekly, sometimes multiple times per week, across a number of different projects.

Equipment Benefits:

The lab can work faster and process more samples at a quicker pace while using the 12 position N-EVAP and 24 position N-EVAP. Maureen noted that there is less possibility of contamination while using Organomation’s instrument. She also noted that having multiple units (12 and 24 position N-EVAPs) has helped the lab’s output significantly. The instruments are easy to use, which allow for more work in less time.

Maureen explained how a lot of scientists normally go towards rotary evaporators which limits them to one sample volume. The N-EVAP offers flexibility to accommodate multiple volumes, allowing Maureen’s lab to use the evaporator in a variety of projects.

Conclusion:

Maureen says that she would recommend the N-EVAP to their colleague’s, as the instrument provides obvious benefits to her and Mystic Aquarium’s work. They have two Organomation instruments, one 12 position N-EVAP from the 1950s and another 24 position N-EVAP benchtop evaporators they purchased in 2021. Both instruments are still used today and provide benefits to the laboratory’s efforts. The 12 position N-EVAP test tube evaporator was meeting their needs until they began to handle and conduct more difficult processes. This requires more solvents and more material to dry down, which led to their purchase of a second evaporator. One example she noted that required the new evaporator is their work with low concentration whale blow. We are happy to work with and provide our instruments to Maureen and Mystic Aquarium!

Maureen and the Machine 4931                       Test Vials 4932                 

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