The key to the cell

20 Oct 2008
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ELGA water purification systems help stem cell research at Durham University.

Water purification systems have a key role to play in the North East England Stem Cell Institute’s new £3m laboratory facility located at Durham University’s Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. The Institute is a unique collaboration between the universities of Durham and Newcastle, together with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to develop new stem cell treatments and provide research tools for drug discovery. The new three-laboratory complex has Category 2 containment and provides facilities like flow cytometry and live cell imaging.

Each laboratory has its own water purification system. Mains water is treated in an ELGA LabWater PURELAB Option S7 which uses reverse osmosis and ion exchange to produce Type II water suitable for general laboratory use. The purified water is then polished in a PURELAB Ultra Genetic to produce up to 2 litres per minute of ultrapure water for preparative and analytical work.

Laboratory Manager, Dr Charlie Shaw, explains: “For stem cell work we need water of the highest possible purity, not only chemically but also biologically.” The PURELAB Ultra Genetic produces water of 18.2MΩ.cm resistivity, less than 3ppb TOC and a bacteria count below 0.1cfu/ml. Equally importantly endotoxin levels are less than 0.001EU/ml and both RNase and DNase are reduced to below detectable limits.

“Durham University’s had a long relationship with ELGA and we know that LabWater equipment is high quality,” says Charlie. “More important, we are familiar with the service team and we have full confidence in their ability to keep the equipment performing to specification.”

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