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Robotic Health Care
Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels By David Suzuki
Neither source of energy is perfect, but renewable energy has a lesser impact on the environment in the short term.
By Melissa Wallace
Bionik Laboratories is at the forefront of advancements in rehabilitative and assistive medical robotic devices.
standards guest editorial 4 Canadian news 5 worldwide news 6 Lab ware 14 moments in time 15
Smart Labs By Dan Diehl
This design concept could reduce the energy consumption of university labs by up to 50 per cent.
Do the flip!
Take a good look at the science of skin care and cosmetics.
on twitter at @biolabmag
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Robert Price is the former Managing Editor of this publication. Follow him @pricerobertg. November/December 2017 Lab Business
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VP of Roberta Dick Production firstname.lastname@example.org Production crystal himes Coordinator email@example.com LAB Business is published 6 times per year by Jesmar Communications Inc., 30 East Beaver Creek Rd., Suite 202, Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1J2. 905.886.5040. Fax: 905.886.6615 www.labbusinessmag.com One year subscription: Canada $35.00, US $35.00 and foreign $95. Single copies $9.00. Please add GST/ HST where applicable. LAB Business subscription and circulation enquiries: Garth Atkinson, firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 905.509.0735 Subscriptions to business address only. On occasion, our list is made available to organizations whose products or services may be of interest to you. If you’d rather not receive information, write to us at the address above or call 905.509.3511. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in part or in whole without the written consent of the publisher. GST Registration #R124380270. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40063567 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO CIRCULATION DEPT. 202-30 EAST BEAVER CREEK RD RICHMOND HILL, ON L4B 1J2 email: email@example.com
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he other day I read competing accounts of the future. In one account, Artificial Intelligence – the superior, self-actualized intelligence dreamed about by technologists – would prove a technical impossibility, meaning robots could never amount to anything more than mere tools. In the other account, AI and machine learning would develop exponentially and eventually surpass its human creators. Both accounts hedge. Those who see a limited future for AI admit that, yes, AI could still absorb the livelihoods of people working dozens of careers before the machine finally hits a developmental wall. And those who see a limitless horizon for computers admit that, perhaps, a computer-generated mind with limitless potential might not be good for humanity. Regardless, in any account (even this one, I suppose), the stakes of the debate are always existential, always in the high orbit we usually reserve for conversations about ourselves. That’s because the prospect of AI makes us ponder our nature, to consider the big What if ? What if we create an intelligent life? What does that mean for us and our existence? Can life be manufactured, and if it can be, can we really call it life? I don’t think I’m naïve enough to think AI could ever push these questions out of our consciousness. They are essential questions we each need to ask. And I do think these questions deserve serious consideration by those striving to create life through AI. And contrary to some who will object by saying that such considerations are already taken seriously, I present the less-than-serious considerations made in the development of mobile phones as an example of how not to talk about the future of a technology. When mobile phones and social media arrived, technologists and their cheerleaders told us that we had just entered a new epoch in human history. We had entered the Information Age and nothing would ever be the same. We lived in a Global Village where ordinary people could become citizen journalists and broadcast to the entire world. We would be connected. Finally, we could “democratize” the world. And if we did not believe them, chances are good we still bought the phones and merged onto the Information Superhighway. That vision turned out to be more sales pitch than the reality we live today. Over the last several months, those involved in developing social media and smartphones have conceded that they had overestimated the benefits of their work. Chamath Palihapitiy, a former executive at Facebook, said in December that Facebook “destroys how society works” by creating illusions of friendships that fracture human bonds and turn people into dopamine hounds jonesing for another “like.” At the same time, new research into social media’s effects found that youth who spend more time in front of a screen are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. It wasn’t surprising, then, when Ipsos released a survey that found half of Ontario high school students suffered anxiety so debilitating they had missed school. Not all is wrong with social media and the smartphones we use to shovel it into our brains. But these technologies are an unregulated social experiment conducted on a vast scale with enormous impact. So too is the development of AI and machine learning technologies. Granted, every new technological development is an experiment, but AI, machine learning and related technologies have the potential to deliver something bigger – and much worse, especially if, as Vladimir Putin has said, the country that creates AI will “rule the world.” The stakes are great. Let’s say they’re “nuclear.” The conversation about these stakes and the impending change is, by comparison, not nearly as great as it needs to be.
Social Experimentation by
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Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals
anada’s leading research hospitals, hospital networks and health authorities spent a total of nearly $2.53 billion on research in Fiscal 2016. The total spending represents a gain of 4.1 per cent over the prior year, on the heels of a -0.3 per cent decline during Fiscal 2015, according to Research Infosource Inc., which released its Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals 2017 list. The total number of health researchers rose to 8,511 nationwide. Toronto’s University Health Network topped the list with $332 million in research spending, followed by Hospital for Sick Children ($201.5 million), McGill University Health Centre ($178.8 million), and Hamilton Health Sciences ($171.5 million). In total, eight organizations reported more than $100 million in research spending in Fiscal 2016. Twenty of the Top 40 hospitals are located in Ontario, attracting 56.4 per cent of the national total, followed by 12 Quebec organizations (24.9 per cent) and two from BC (12.3 per cent). Research spending growth was strongest at CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale – site IUSMQ (23.5 per cent), Provincial Health Services Authority (20.9 per cent) and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (19.1 per cent). “The Fiscal 2016 expenditure increase is a welcome turnaround from last year’s retrenchment” says Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource Inc. “Overall, research spending increased at 24 hospitals and declined at 15 others (comparable data was not available for one institution). Nine out of the leading 10 organizations reported increased spending, which is positive.” London Health Sciences Centre/St. Joseph’s Health Care London posted the highest research intensity (spending per researcher) among large institutions ($562,500 per researcher). Sinai Health System ($716,600 per researcher) led the medium institution group, while Institut de Cardiologie de Montreal ($601,600 per researcher) headed the small institution group. “Fiscal 2016 marks something of a turnaround year for the country’s hospitals, hospital networks and health authorities” says Freedman. “Expenditure growth of 4.1 per cent is very robust. The trick now is to sustain the growth.” For the full list, visit https://researchinfosource.com/top40_hosp.php.
St. Joseph’s Lab Professionals Win “a Voice and a Choice” with OPSEU
Medical laboratory professionals at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto have voted 100 per cent in favour of joining the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). “By choosing OPSEU, the lab professionals at St. Joseph’s have given themselves two things: first, a strong voice defending their interests in the workplace, and second, a choice in the upcoming merger vote,” says Sara Labelle, Chair of the Hospital Professionals Division of OPSEU.
Canada Invests in Science to Protect Its Waters from Oil Spills
The federal government says it’s committed to keeping Canadian marine and coastal areas clean and safe for the benefit of current and future generations. The Honourable Scott Brison announced more than $80 million in new science funding for new partnerships, improved knowledge and new technologies that will help mitigate and prevent marine incidents such as oil spills.
Scientists from Top International Universities Recruited as Canada 150 Research Chairs
The federal government invested $117.6 million in Budget 2017 through the new Canada 150 Research Chairs Program, a one-time funding program designed to attract the world’s most talented researchers and scholars, including Canadian expatriates, to Canada. More than 25 winning researchers have been selected to build new research initiatives at Canadian universities. Visit canada150.chairs-chaires.gc.ca to learn more. www.labbusinessmag.com
World NEWS Leica to Advance AI in Pathology as Part of UK Life Sciences Deal
A transformative sector deal was announced between companies of the UK life sciences sector and the UK government in December. This agreement draws substantial investment into the sector including the development of a trailblazing digital pathology program leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI). Leica Biosystems will work with the UK Office of Life Sciences to advance their mission through expanded use of Leica Biosystems’ Aperio Digital Pathology Solutions.
USGS and NASA Select New Landsat Science Team
Artist concept of Landsat 8. (Photo Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)
Siemens Healthineers Acquires Fast Track Diagnostics
Siemens Healthineers has signed an agreement to acquire Luxembourg-based Fast Track Diagnostics (FTD), a global supplier of diagnostics tests that, unlike a clinical examination alone, can distinguish between viral, bacterial, or other infections in one test. By introducing FTD products to its molecular diagnostics portfolio, Siemens Healthineers says it is further investing in precision medicine and better patient experience through solutions that eliminate the need for repeat diagnostic testing, reducing time and improving patient outcomes.
MilliporeSigma, bluebird bio sign deal
MilliporeSigma has signed a commercial supply agreement to manufacture viral vectors for bluebird bio, Inc., of Cambridge, MA, for its use in potentially transformative gene therapies. Under the multi-year agreement, MilliporeSigma will manufacture lentiviral vectors for bluebird bio's drug products developed to treat a variety of rare genetic diseases. Bluebird bio is a clinical-stage company that develops potentially transformative gene and cell therapies for severe genetic diseases and T cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.
November/December 2017 Lab Business
he team’s primary responsibility is to conduct Landsat-based scientific research and engineering studies, develop useful data products and applications and share the results of its work with the USGS, NASA and others. Members will serve a five-year term from 2018 to 2023. The new team will conduct scientific research on technical issues critical to the success of the overall Landsat mission, including topics related to data acquisition, product access and formats, new science datasets, practical data applications to be derived from an operational system and other science opportunities for new and past-generation Landsat data. Members will evaluate the quality of data when Landsat 9 is launched, which is estimated for December 2020, and help ensure that Landsat 9 data can be successfully integrated into the overall Landsat record. They will also be on the ground floor of discussions for future Landsat missions. In addition, the new team may be called on to assess the viability of Landsat 7 data for scientific or operational purposes as the satellite nears its 19th year in orbit. It will also be responsible for looking at opportunities to develop new and advanced applications of Landsat data. “This oncoming team is really in a pivot-to-the-future mode, as previous team contributions led to significant advancements that give the Landsat program a stronger long-term foundation,” says Thomas Loveland, Chief Scientist at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center and Co-chair for the Landsat Science Team. Previous Landsat Science Teams helped increase the ease of use and expand the utility of Landsat data; greatly increased the size of the Landsat archive by transferring historical data held by international cooperators; and advanced the breadth and accuracy of applications of the 45-year Landsat record. “After four decades, Landsat remains a core resource for land science, and now we have a chance to think strategically about how the program should evolve over the next decades,” says Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 project scientist with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. For a list of the 2018-2023 USGS-NASA Landsat Science Team members and their areas of study, visit www.usgs.gov/news/usgs-and-nasa-select-new-landsatscience-team.
By David Suzuki with contributions from Ian Hanington
Renewable energy isn’t perfect,
but it’s far better than fossil fuels
Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Ian Hanington is Senior Editor, David Suzuki Foundation. Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.
n their efforts to discredit renewable energy and support continued fossil fuel burning, many anti-environmentalists have circulated a dual image purporting to compare a lithium mine with an oilsands operation. It illustrates the level of dishonesty to which some will stoop to keep us on our current polluting, climate-disrupting path (although in some cases it could be ignorance). The image is a poor attempt to prove that lithium batteries and renewable energy are worse for the environment than energy from oilsands bitumen. The first problem is that the “lithium mine” is actually BHP Billiton’s Escondida copper mine in Chile (the world’s largest). The bottom image is of an Alberta oilsands operation, but it’s an in situ underground facility and doesn’t represent the enormous open-pit mining operations used to extract most bitumen. Lithium is used in batteries for electric cars, cellphones, computers and other electric devices, as well as power-grid storage systems, because it’s light and highly conductive. Most lithium isn’t mined. More than 95 per cent comes from pumping underground brine into pans, allowing the liquid to evaporate and separating out the lithium using electrolysis. Any real comparison between oilsands and lithium batteries shows that oilsands products, from extracting and processing to transporting and burning, are by far the most destructive. Extraction and production destroy habitat, pollute air, land and water and produce greenhouse gas emissions. Burning the fuels causes toxic pollution and wreaks havoc with Earth’s climate. Does that mean batteries are environmentally benign? No. All energy sources and technologies have some environmental impact — one reason energy conservation is crucial. A 2010 study comparing the environmental impacts of electric cars to internal combustion vehicles found the latter are far more damaging, taking into account global warming potential, cumulative energy
demand and resource depletion. Battery components, including lithium, can also be recycled, and used electric car batteries can be repurposed to store energy for homes, buildings and power grids. Lithium wasn’t found to be a major environmental factor for electric car batteries, but copper, aluminum, cobalt and nickel used in the batteries have high impacts. Materials used to make other car components, for electric and internal combustion vehicles, also come with environmental impacts. The energy sources used to charge car batteries also determine the degree of environmental impact. If coal is the main source, negative effects are much higher than if the power comes from hydroelectric or renewables such as wind and solar. But the impacts are still lower than fuelling cars with gas. One study found using lithium for a rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, as well as numerous other products and devices, could cause supplies to become scarce. As with fossil fuels, this means more destructive methods, such as mining, would be required. But these arguments are more against private automobiles than batteries. Electric vehicles are part of the short-term solution, but reducing environmental damage from transportation, including climate disruption, will require shifting as much as possible to better alternatives such as public transit, cycling and walking. We still need batteries, though. Storage systems are essential to making the best of renewable energy. They make power available when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Finding ways to make them — and other renewable energy components such as solar panels and wind turbines — with minimal environmental impact is a challenge. Some components in electric vehicles and solar panels use “rare metals”, which are often mined in ways that damage the environment and endanger miners. But these materials are frequently used in newer internal combustion vehicles, too. Part of the solution is to improve labour and environmental standards in mining operations — a challenge considering many materials are mined in Africa by Chinese companies that put profit above human health and the environment. The good news is that renewable energy and storage technologies are advancing rapidly, with attention paid to the environmental impacts of materials used to make them. The ability to recycle batteries and their components is also improving but needs to get better. Renewable energy is already far better environmentally than fossil fuel energy. It’s time to shift from current massive fossil fuel support and subsidies to making renewable energy as clean and available as possible. LB
obots are revolutionizing healthcare in unprecedented and remarkable ways. Today, they’re assisting surgeries in operating rooms, caring for elderly patients in their homes and delivering specimens throughout hospitals, among other tasks. The market for health care robots, including surgical robots, hospital robots, and rehabilitation robots, is expected to grow in revenue from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $2.8 billion by 2021, according to a Research and Markets report. For those involved in the technology development space, being futureminded is part of the job. Michal Prywata is Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Bionik Laboratories, a medical device and robotics company that provides rehabilitation and assistive technology solutions to people with neurological and mobility challenges. While studying biomedical engineering at Toronto’s Ryerson University, he co-invented the world’s first robotic, prosthetic arm that is controlled by brain signals. “I originally wanted to be a doctor, but became very interested in the robotics space and decided not to pursue medicine,” he says. “I thought, ‘I have all this knowledge in biomedical engineering, I’d love to apply it to real-world applications in health care, work with patients and create technologies that have a global human impact.’” In 2010, he started Bionik Laboratories in Toronto, and in 2016, opened a second headquarters in Boston. The benefits of being in both locations include harnessing top talent and working in prime healthcare and technology hubs. Approximately 50 people work for Bionik Laboratories, and 70 per cent of the team is on the engineering side. The lab in Toronto is approximately 6,000 square-feet and is used for prototyping, software development, electrical systems development and also includes a general engineering space for industrial design. The Boston lab is approximately 12,000 square-feet and includes production and prototyping space, a shipping and receiving area with a dock, a con-
A robotics company founded in Toronto is restoring mobility among stroke patients and paving the way for a future of affordable, assistive technologies story by
trolled storage area, and an engineering area with space for testing. Both labs are equipped with various software and hardware tools from oscilloscopes, load cells, cameras, simulation software and measurement devices. “One of the earlier designs of one of our products had some heating issues, so we brought in thermal cameras and had patients walk in the devices. We were then able to find out where the heat was forming and how it was dissipating through the structure,” Prywata says. “We also use 3D printers and machines for prototyping textiles.” The robots require a precise fit to conform to a human user so Bionik prototypes the materials in-house and once perfected, sends them on to a manufacturer. The company has three products on the market: the InMotion ARM, InMotion HAND and InMotion WRIST, which have been sold in more than 20 countries and have been especially beneficial for people who have suffered a stroke or those with cerebral palsy. In 2017, the company celebrated the deployment of its 250th robot. These products respond well to the patient’s movements, effectively guiding them through exercise treatments and providing quantifiable feedback on progress and performance. “These are intelligent robots with computers built in that use a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensors,” says Prywata. “So every – Michal Prywata, Chief Technology Officer and single fraction of a movement is tracked and reported back to Co-founder, Bionik Laboratories us for review.” The products are also the result of medical engineering research and development at the Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We have two main technology platforms, the first being on the recovery side,” says Prywata. “So through a series of movements that are calculated by the algorithms within the machines themselves, our technology can trigger neuropathways to form in the brain.” A large portion of the thousands of patients have been able to recover use in their arm, hand or wrist – fairly common parts of the body that lose functionality after a stroke – proving the technology’s effectiveness. The company is also developing technologies to recover functionality of other parts of the body post-stroke.
Through a series of movements that are calculated by the algorithms within the machines themselves, our technology can trigger neuropathways to form in the brain.
Lab PROFILE Bionik’s second platform is focused on the assistive side, where the goal is mobility rather than recovery. The company’s main product in that area is the ARKE lower body exoskeleton, which is currently in clinical development for use within rehabilitation environments. The ARKE allows people who are paralyzed to walk. “While they would normally be using a wheelchair, when they put on the exoskeleton, they can actually stand up and walk,” says Prywata. “It’s not for walking around your home or anything like that, it’s still a technology that’s a bit expensive, but it will get there eventually. In a clinical setting, these people are able to get up, walk around and feel a little better. We’re expanding that technology platform to work with a broader population to not only include people who are paralyzed, but the aging population; perhaps people who have a general weakness in their body, for example, or someone who has had a hip replacement.” In June, Bionik announced a joint development project with Wistron Corporation, an original design manufacturer with headquarters in Taiwan. The two companies will design, engineer and manufacture less expensive, lower-body assistive robotic technologies for mass commercial sale within the consumer home products market, based primarily on Bionik’s ARKE exoskeleton. They also plan to incorporate other intellectual property relating to Bionik’s acquired or licensed assistive robotic technologies. The companies plan to target the Asian market initially, where the Asian Development Bank projects the aging/elderly population will hit 983 million by 2050, increasing the need for affordable assistive technologies over the next half-century.
Instead of someone clicking all sorts of buttons, they can change parameters or settings with their voice. It makes their lives a little easier. – Michal Prywata, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder, Bionik Laboratories
November/December 2017 Lab Business
“Right now, a lot of my focus is the technology direction of our new product lines, supporting development activities to improve existing products and handling all our major partnerships which happen to be focused in Asia,” says Prywata. “Partnering with Wistron is something we’re excited about. We’re also developing our expansion into China and are making sure we get all the approvals. We’re in the process of setting up an office in Beijing.” One of the features that have garnered much interest in the ARKE exoskeleton is the integration of Amazon Echo and Alexa technologies. After successfully launching a prototype, the company is encouraged by the freedom that voice-controlled technology can provide to patients. “People who are paralyzed may have trouble balancing; they may be holding crutches and need their hands free to protect themselves and help themselves up,” says Prywata. “Instead of someone clicking all sorts of buttons, they can change parameters or settings with their voice. It makes their lives a little easier. If we can find a way to implement voice-activated or gesture-controlled [technologies] into the future of health care, it will be beneficial in many areas.” Bionik’s innovations can be attributed to having “the right kind of minds in the room,” says Prywata. “We have a strong team that understands the industry really well, specifically with the types of patients that we’re working with.” He explains that the process begins with a brainstorming session to talk about the targeted patient. By applying developed principles from previous products, Prywata’s team will see how it can improve on those principles to understand the problem and treat that specific type of patient population. “Then we jump into the concept phase of engineering, come up with some conflicts and test them out with some of our advisors of key clinics,” he says. Once a decision is made on the concept, it goes into development. “It’s a lengthy process of back and forth, designing concepts, testing them and once you have a functional prototype, you’re taking that prototype and testing it in a clinic on a number of patients. We see what the outcomes are
and then go back to design and improve it based on the feedback of the testing that you just conducted. Then when you eventually get to a product, you have to get it FDA approved and certified and you have to go through that process in every country that you sell it in as well.” Abiding by restrictive rules and constantly changing legislation can be expensive and a challenge for smaller companies in the health care robotics industry, Prywata adds. “There’s a lot of red tape in the health care industry and in many cases, it becomes prohibitive to enter a market somewhere.” Depending on the product, he estimates that from start to finish, Bionik can get a product out that will benefit the patient in a matter of 18 months to two years, since much of the infrastructure already exists. “If we’re building a new product in neurological recovery, we know how to do that. We’re the experts in that area, so we know how to build without problem. If we’re talking about assistive technologies, that’s also an area we’re familiar with and we know how to go about building a new derivative of that product. If it’s something
The ARKE exoskeleton integrates Amazon Echo and Alexa technologies. completely new that we haven’t worked on, it will take a little longer, but we still have the right infrastructure to be able to efficiently develop the product.” Bionik Laboratories is primarily investor-backed and continuously expanding new product line development to stay competitive in the health care robotics industry, which Prywata says can also be collaborative. “A lot of CEOs of competing companies talk and exchange ideas. In many cases, you’re creating the market, so it helps to have competitors in some ways because you’re paving the way for a new market together. “Our ultimate goal is that the people who are using our devices will recover and we hope that everyone who works with our products will experience an improvement in their quality of life through technology.” LB
Intelligent Ventilation System Enables Creation of Energy-Efficient “Smart Labs”
UC Irvine developed “Smart Labs” approach in partnership with Aircuity’s Demand Control Ventilation systems story by
November/December 2017 Lab Business
cientific research labs represent a huge portion of the energy demand of a university campus: in many cases, as much as two-thirds of a campus’ energy use can be attributed to research labs. While it may seem clear that labs would be a great place to start when looking to go greener and reduce energy demand, the difficulty of doing so without sacrificing safety can often pose a roadblock. Faced with this challenge, and looking to support their mission to be the world-class leader in research and to attract and retain the best talent, a group of engineers at UC Irvine (UCI) came up with the concept of Smart Labs: a design that can reduce energy consumption by up to 50 per cent in research labs. Smart Labs is an efficient recipe implemented by UCI to reduce energy use and provide better Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) in labs. This recipe can be easily implemented in other universities and research lab settings, and can dramatically reduce energy consumption by up to 50 per cent or more. All the while, intelligent ventilation platforms keep lab personnel safe by ensuring that air quality adheres to strict safety standards. Smart Labs Basics Smart Labs was initially implemented by UCI and is an energy conservation and technology-enabled approach, consisting of seven Smart Lab Essentials. The seven essentials are: • Lower system pressure drop • Demand-based ventilation • Dynamic, digital control systems • Fumehood airf low optimization • Exhaust fan discharge velocity optimization • Continuous commissioning with automatic cross functional platform fault detection • Demand based, LED lighting with controls The implementation of these essentials is at the heart of how the Smart Labs approach reduces energy use so drastically while maintaining strict adherence to safety regulations. The Smart Lab approach can be implemented both in new buildings and by retrofitting existing buildings. UCI has
applied the design to 13 buildings across campus reducing energy use by an average 61 per cent while providing a better environment for lab occupants. Intelligent Ventilation Platform at the Heart of it All Given that six of the seven Smart Lab Essentials pertain to the ventilation system and its controls, it is no surprise that Demand Control Ventilation is at the heart of Smart Labs success. Labs require 100 per cent outside air, with a full changeover of internal air volume required six to 10 times per hour during normal operation. As such, a huge amount of energy is expended by lab buildings’ ventilation systems: heating, cooling, humidifying, dehumidifying, filtering, distributing, supplying, and expelling air. It can be difficult to determine the proper air exchange rates in labs, especially given the need to balance costly air exchange with the need for a safe working environment for researchers. The reality is that setting a single air change rate to balance safety and energy consumption will not achieve either objective. Instead, ventilation should be matched to current needs through Demand Control Ventilation (DCV). For this reason, the UCI engineers tasked with designing the Smart Labs approach focused on how to most efficiently and effectively control building ventilation. The resulting design utilizes DCV technology from Aircuity, not just to generate energy savings, but also to supply key safety information about the building in the form of air quality data. Aircuity’s solution supports the six essential items that deal with ventilation and its control, and contributes over half of the energy savings of smart labs in addition to being “the brain of the system” by delivering intelligent data about the lab operation. Aircuity’s laboratoryfocused DCV solution provides continuous monitoring of critical environments and automatically adjusts ventilation rates for safety and energy efficiency. Continuous monitoring of the lab environment gives safety personnel insight to what is happening on a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week basis.
Regardless of when an event occurs, ventilation rates will automatically increase until the air is clean again, and run at higher rates. Additionally, safety personnel may review IEQ data so that incidents can be identified, and persistent issues can be evaluated to improve lab practices. Smart Labs Beyond UCI’s Campus UCI went on to win the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Building’s Challenge with its Smart Labs project, with experts expecting the school to achieve 40 per cent energy savings on the main campus by 2020 – twice the DOE program’s objective. In September of 2016, the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and the Better Buildings Challenge teamed up to launch the Smart Labs Accelerator. Through this program, labs in universities and other research settings across the country can become Smart Labs Accelerator Partners and commit to reducing energy use in labs by at least 20 per cent over the next 10 years. Following UCI’s 7 Smart Lab Essentials recipe is the best way for partners participating in this program to replicate and even exceed this goal. LB Daniel E. Diehl, CEO, brings more than 25 years of industry expertise across a wide variety of vertical markets and disciplines in commercial and light industrial building markets. Diehl has been an integral part of the growth and success of Aircuity, leading global sales for his first four years with the company before being appointed CEO. Diehl earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and has an MBA from Villanova University.
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Lab WARE Pen-sized Electronic Pipette
Hoefer Inc. has released what it says is the smallest and lightest electric pipettor in the world, Pipetty. The ultralight design ensures user comfort and precision. In addition to normal single dispensing and mixing, multiple continuous dispensing is available. The user can operate Pipetty either using conventional or open type controls. Pipetty uses the highest precision with continuous temperature correction and has an error-free PCR setup with multiple dispense capability and has unlimited aspiration/dispense cycles with battery swapping. Pipetty is available in three volume ranges: 2-20 µL, 25-250 µL and 100-1,000 µL. Pipetty also has a unique ability to automatically compensate for dispensing volume variability caused by temperature fluctuations, ensuring dispensing accuracy. www.hoeferinc.com
Software Leads New Era of State Notation Control Platforms
Coulbourn Instruments has developed a GS4 at the core of the Habitest Modular Behavioral System, designed to implement a wide range of behavioral protocols, such as operant conditioning, active and passive avoidance, fear conditioning, place preference, feeding and drinking and much more. Test environments are built from a variety of arena types: chambers, shuttle cages, mazes, runways, or even custom boxes. Each arena can be fitted with a selection of modular stimulus and response devices. Environments can be effortlessly redefined through the addition, removal and rearrangement of modules, for an endless variety of experimental tasks. GS4 allows for the creation of interactive experiment-control protocols for behavioural studies using a user-friendly “point and click” graphical interface while also supporting more complex studies through incorporation of real-time mathematical functions. www.coulbourn.com
New Direct-Drive Linear Motor Stages Deliver Subnm Resolution
New Programmable Pump Fluid Metering Inc. has developed the new Intelligent Programmable Pump. The pump combines FMI’s precision valveless STH Stepper Pump with integral programmable driver in a compact design ideal for integration with OEM instrumentation. The driver provides precision servo control of the STH pumps stepper motor for resonance-free, quiet operation. Having five programmable inputs and two outputs, the Intelligent Pump is compatible with multiple programming platforms. The rotating and reciprocating piston accomplishes both the pumping and valving functions effectively eliminating check valves present in conventional reciprocating piston and diaphragm pump designs. www.FluidMetering.com
Genedata Screener Raises the Bar on Automation
New from PI, ultra-precise stages are now available with 0.2 nanometer resolution linear encoders, ideal for high-end alignment, scanning and automation applications, in fields such as photonics, biotechnology and laser optics. PI now has two types of position feedback systems that are available: absolute-measuring encoders providing 2 nanometers resolution and incremental encoders providing 0.2 nanometers resolution with effective 0.5nm minimum incremental motion at the stage platform. PI has in-house engineered solutions with more than four decades of experience working with customers to provide products that meet application demands, and can quickly modify existing product designs or provide a fully customized OEM part to fit the exact requirements of the application. www.pi-usa.us
Genedata, a leading provider of advanced software solutions for R&D, recently announced Genedata Screener has been enhanced toward full automation of the planning, execution, and data analysis of screening experiments. The Screener platform is relied on by leading pharmaceutical companies, CROs, and academic research institutions around the world for processing, standardizing and integrating their data from all types of screens - including complex and ultra-high throughput experiments – and funneling results into their data warehouse. This process is now fully automated by Genedata Screener to significantly streamline screening data analysis and increase lab productivity, also through the integration of HighRes Biosolutions Cellario with Screener. www.genedata.com
November/December 2017 Lab Business
Moments in time
Opening Doors in
In 2001, the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) was established at the University of Alberta. It was the result of a collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to develop one of the worldâ€™s greatest nanotechnology facilities. The NRC and the University of Alberta have since renewed their collaborative research partnership through a new bilateral Nanotechnology Initiative. Nanotechnology has possible applications in a number of industries including cosmeceuticals where it can improve the longevity of ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants which help protect the skin from the sunâ€™s harmful rays. LB
BDH® HIPERSOLV CHROMANORM SOLVENTS FOR HPLC The Range Keeps GROWING & GROWING! VWR is proud to announce the continued expansion of our HPLC solvent range, plus the addition of high purity modifiers to meet the exacting requirements of all HPLC users. Manufactured to the most stringent requirements both in Europe and the USA, these solvents and modifiers provide outstanding value for the money. These solvents: • Meet demanding HPLC and UV/Vis analytical and quality control requirements • Are filtered down to 0.2μm level and bottled under nitrogen • Feature tamper-evident caps for added peace of mind • Carry Globally Harmonized System (GHS) labeling to help with compliance • Feature QR codes on labels for quick access to SDS and C of A • Feature environmentally-friendly corrugated/pulp case inserts that are fully recyclable Visit vwr.com/bdh for complete specifications, Certificates of Analysis, Safety Data Sheets, and current pricing.