Sunrise™ in Mongolia
25 Nov 2011A collaboration between staff from Tecan, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has resulted in the donation of a Tecan Sunrise™ microplate reader to Mongolian medical researchers, assisting their studies of vitamin D levels in the general population.
Dr Janet Rich Edwards, Associate Professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, US, explained: “The Health Sciences University of Mongolia has been investigating vitamin D deficiency in Mongolian people and, with no readily available vitamin D assay, were forced to transport frozen samples to the US for testing, which was a logistical nightmare and a huge barrier to research. Gary Bradwin, Manager at the Clinical and Epidemiologic Laboratory (CERLab), Children’s Hospital Boston, became involved, volunteering his time to help Mongolian scientists set up and perform vitamin D assays themselves.”
Gary added: “I visited Mongolia, where we looked at all the different methods available, eventually opting for an ELISA. However, the laboratory was very short of equipment and consumables; the plate reader was ancient and could only handle one eight-well strip at a time, and data handling was problematic, relying on a small printer that simply recorded raw absorbance numbers. We had a spare Sunrise reader, so I decided to make sure it was operational and then donate it to the Mongolian laboratory. Initially, I had difficulty getting the Sunrise to communicate with the Magellan™ software and so I contacted Tecan.”
On learning that Gary wanted to donate his Sunrise to a laboratory in Mongolia that was trying to measure vitamin D in the country’s children, Tecan did a free of charge repair in support of this worthy cause, even sending the system to Tecan Austria for a firmware upgrade. Gary concluded: “I was really impressed that Tecan took so much interest and went as far as they did. Almost everything seemed to have been replaced, even the case, and the Sunrise is working beautifully.”