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SAW Instruments make a noise in biological detection

SAW Instruments launch novel sam5 biosensor for addressing membranes, vesicles and cells SAW Instruments GmbH has launched its unique sam5 biosensor instrument for advanced real-time biomolecular interaction and kinetic studies, at Biotechnica, Hannover, 5-7 October. The sam5 is a peerless biosensor utilising Surface Acoustic Wave technology for the label-free detection of real-time binding and structural events.  

Using a proprietary bimodal measurement technique, this platform is uniquely able to measure conformational changes in membranes and vesicles, as well as more traditional cellular samples. Furthermore, the sensor chips integrate five independent sensor elements for simultaneous analysis of different species or parameters and parallel references. As a result, the sam5 matches the biosensor needs of a much broader range of researchers than existing systems, whilst also providing the precision required to drive conventional studies forward. 

As part of the European launch, Dr Thomas Gronewold from SAW Instruments presented a snapshot of the sam5 instrument with applications data, at the Innovation Forum.

Surface Acoustic Wave technology is based on a specific acoustic wave mode and its particularity to propagate confined to the surface of a material. Each surface has typical inherent properties affecting the wave as it travels across the surface of the material being analysed. Thus, the nature of the surface in question, and therefore any changes to it, can be assessed by sensors monitoring the behaviour of the wave as it propagates across the surface. In particular, changes in mass result in alterations to the propagation velocity of the wave, whilst viscoelastic and conformational characteristics additionally influence wave amplitude. The technology developed and employed by SAW instruments is capable of accurately interpreting this information in order to provide real-time readouts, measuring binding and conformational changes in the samples through which the wave passes.

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