Significant Sensitivity and Productivity Gains Aid Important Research
PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct 16, 2003
Varian, Inc. (Nasdaq: VARI) announced today that scientists in the United States, Europe and Japan are using a critical new Cold Probe (-250 degrees C) for proteomics and pharmaceutical research. This Cold Probe, geared for 600 MHz NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) systems, provides 3 - 4 times higher sensitivity than the equivalent room temperature probe, allowing scientists to achieve results more than 10 times faster.
The higher sensitivity will benefit all NMR users. However, at 600 MHz, primary users of Cold Probes are biomolecular and pharmaceutical scientists. Biomolecular researchers study the structure and interactions of large biomolecules including proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates. Many of these studies focus on proteomics, the understanding of structural and functional relationships of proteins, very relevant to studying diseases, including AIDS and cancer. Pharmaceutical scientists focused on small molecules are likely to use Cold Probes with Varian, Inc.'s proprietary IFC (Interchangeable Flow Cell) accessory that enables the user to change from using samples contained in discrete tubes to samples flowing within LC-NMR/MS systems. Either mode can be useful for metabolites and natural product studies and the unparalleled capability of the IFC allows both applications to be done with the same probe with conversion taking less than 10 minutes.
An NMR spectrometer is based on sophisticated RF electronics, a computer workstation, and a superconducting magnet. The new Cold Probe is a critical device that holds the sample within the bore of the magnet, at the center of the magnetic field. It contains the antennae that both irradiate the sample with radio frequency energy and receive very weak returning signals that are then analyzed with complex software to produce structural information. Internally cooling the probe to approximately -250 degrees C with liquid helium provides 3 to 4 times more sensitivity by increasing the available signal and decreasing the noise arising from electronic components.
"Our Cold Probes offer customers a cost-effective alternative for enhancing sensitivity without the time and expense of purchasing an entirely new NMR system," said Janice Tschida, vice president and general manager, NMR Systems, Varian, Inc. "For example, adding a cold probe to a customer's existing 600 MHz system will provide two times more sensitivity than an 800 MHz system with a room temperature probe at only one-sixth of the cost to the customer."
NMR is a non-destructive, information-rich analytical technique used in the fields of proteomics and genomics to identify the 3-dimensional structure, function and dynamics of proteins, nucleic acids, and other biological macromolecules. Such structural information is critical in proteomics/genomics and drug discovery applications where scientists desire a deeper understanding of the actual structure of target molecules and their spatial relationships with candidate pharmaceutical compounds.
Today, Varian, Inc. is a global leader in NMR spectrometers with an installed base of more than 3,000 systems worldwide. Varian, Inc.'s 600 MHz Cold Probes and compatible cryogenic systems are currently available. For additional information, please visit http://www.varianinc.com/products/nmr/probes/liquids/cold_probes/index.html
About Varian, Inc.
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Lauren Lum of Varian, Inc.