New and Updated Laboratory Equipment Optimize Efficiency

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Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology-06-02-2017, Volume 41, Issue 6
Pages: 46-47

The past several months have seen new product releases and updates made to already available laboratory equipment.

Over the past several months, manufacturers have released a variety of new laboratory equipment and operations to optimize efficiency. Some manufacturers have made updates to products already on the market, as is the case with Novartis’ Breezehaler and Copley Scientific’s Sample Preparation Unit. New technologies, such as the Nexis GC-2030 gas chromatograph from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments and MilliporeSigma’s Poloxamer 188 Emprove Expert polymer, have also been announced. The following is a sample of some of the new laboratory equipment that has been released over the past several months.

Updates to inhalation drug delivery technology

Copley Scientific’s Sample Preparation Unit (SPU) Model 2000 for inhaler testing has been updated to include a modified induction port fixture with a view (1). The upgraded SPU 2000 now accommodates a fluticasone propionate/salmeterol xinafoate (FP/SX) induction port, in addition to the standard Andersen cascade impactor (ACI) and next-generation impactor (NGI) induction ports.

Conducting well-controlled, highly reproducible cascade impaction tests is crucial for obtaining reliable data, for product development, and quality control. Cascade impaction is used to measure the aerodynamic particle size distribution of inhaler generated aerosols and is a critically important procedure. Although not a technically complex task, recovering the active drug sample from the ACI and NGI induction ports, and NGI pre-separator (for which another fixture is available), is repetitive and susceptible to human error. Copley’s modified induction port fixture accommodates the new FP/SX induction port, semi-automating the process and reducing the potential for error associated with manual drug recovery.

Novartis recently entered a collaboration with Propeller Health to connect its Breezehaler device to Propeller’s digital health platform (2). Novartis’ Breezhaler inhaler is a patented capsule-based dry powder inhaler for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The company entered into a collaboration with Propeller Health to develop a custom add-on sensor for the Breezehaler device that will passively record and transmit compliance data, better informing patients and their physicians of adherence and other treatment factors through the Propeller platform. The Novartis-Propeller partnership is focused on COPD in Europe.

Gas chromatograph incorporates remote connectivity

The Nexis GC-2030 gas chromatograph from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments includes an interface with graphic icons (3). The Ethernet-based communication allows the user to remotely connect to the gas chromatograph via computer or mobile device. This allows the operator to monitor run status or launch a new batch of analyses from a remote location. The chromatograph also includes tool-free column installation and inlet maintenance, and a built-in oven light.


The GC-2030 allows for up to three analytical lines for greater productivity or for the versatility of more analyses to be packaged into one gas chromatograph. A choice of four inlets, six detectors, and specialized valve accessories enables configurations tailored to fit the needs of laboratories. The chromatograph has an eco mode to optimize the use of carrier gas such as helium and reduce electricity use when idle. The Nexis GC-2030 also includes day and time programming, a system self-check feature, and automatic notification of when to replace consumables. The GC-2030 has an optional, built-in sensor to monitor real-time levels of hydrogen in the oven. The chromatograph will respond to elevated levels by shutting down the hydrogen flow maintaining a safe working environment.


Polymer improves cell viability

The Poloxamer 188 Emprove Expert polymer from MilliporeSigma is a surface-active nonionic polymer used in cell-culture media as a shear protectant and has become a standard component to cell-culture media for production processes (4). The new polymer increases viability of cells in the bioreactor. The Emprove Expert polymer aims to provide lot-to-lot consistency and reliable performance. The product has been cell culture tested and comes with Emprove Expert polymer dossiers to help manufacturers meet regulatory requirements for risk assessment.

Modular standalone vision systems

The In-Sight 7000 series, from Cognex Corporation, is a suite of highly modular standalone vision systems (5). This new system performs inspections and keeps pace with increasing line speeds. The In-Sight 7000 series is compact and fits into space-constrained production lines. The suite’s modular design offers more than 400 different field configurations, increasing flexibility.

The In-Sight 7000 is IP67-rated and includes Flexible Image Technology. This vision system features a patent-pending LED ring light that produces even, diffused illumination across the entire image, eliminating the need for external lighting. A variety of light colors, optical filters, and polarizers can be swapped in to meet specific application requirements. The In-Sight 7000 uses In-Sight Explorer to set up and monitor machine vision inspections. This software includes the EasyBuilder interface for step-by-step application setup and the In-Sight spreadsheet view for greater control. The system also includes a full set of powerful In-Sight vision tools, including PatMax RedLine pattern matching technology, OCRMax optical character recognition, and SurfaceFX feature extraction technology.

Mass detector for flash purification

The Isolera Dalton 2000 mass detector for flash purification from Biotage (6) expands functionality through a wider detection range of ion masses, up to m/z 2000, and new analysis features. Isolera Dalton 2000 is integrated with Isolera Spektra flash purification system via the Isolera Dalton Nanolink unit, a sampling device that handles all fluids and synchronization between the two instruments. Compounds are identified in real time during purification and this informs the flash fractionation process, enabling the correct product to be collected. Isolera Dalton 2000 fits inside a standard fume hood and is capable of both normal and reverse-phase separations, so it is compatible with the diverse purification needs.


The editors of Pharmaceutical Technology are looking for newly released laboratory equipment and operations to include in upcoming issues of the magazine. If you have a new product you would like to share, please submit it for consideration to


1. Copley Scientific, “Copley Scientific Releases Upgraded SPU 2000 for Reduced Inhaler Testing Variability,” Press Release, March 2, 2017. 
2. Propeller Health, “Propeller Health Enters into Collaboration to Connect Breezhaler™ Devices to the Propeller Platform,” Press Release, Feb. 8, 2017. 
3. Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, “Shimadzu’s New Nexis GC-2030 Gas Chromatograph Offers a Modern Approach to a Classic Chromatographic Technique,” Press Release, May 10, 2017.
4. MilliporeSigma, “MilliporeSigma’s Poloxamer 188 EMPROVE® EXPERT Polymer Provides Consistent Protection and Performance,”, accessed May 18, 2017.
5. Cognex, “Cognex Introduces its Newest Vision System, Delivering Unprecedented Modularity and Integration,” Press Release, April 24, 2017. 
6. Biotage, “New Mass Detector for Flash Chromatography from Biotage,” May 18, 2017, Press Release, May 18, 2017.

Article Details

Pharmaceutical Technology
Vol. 41, No. 6
Pages: 46–47


When referring to this article, please cite it as The Editors of Pharmaceutical Technology, “New and Updated Laboratory Equipment Optimize Efficiency,” Pharmaceutical Technology 41 (6) 2017.