Isothermal microcalorimeters are used in thermodynamic work, but can also be designed for use as general monitors of e.g. the “activity” of biological systems. It has for many years been predicted that such techniques will become of practical importance in different areas of applied biology. However, due to their low sample throughput those prospects have not been realized. Our calorimetric development work is focused on that problem, using “multi-channel” techniques, i.e. instruments where many samples can be measured simultaneously and thus increasing the sample throughput.
Several years ago we finished the development of a 48-channel instrument, which primarily was designed for measurements of the activity of microorganisms, mammalian cells and biopsies in the pharmaceutical industry and in clinical laboratories. A commercial version of the instrument has now been developed by SymCel, Stockholm. It is expected that their regular marketing of the instrument will start in early 2016.
A first version of a 9-channel instrument has been built. It is primarily intended for measurements of activities of living cells, tissues and small animals. The measurement principle is the same as for the 48-channel instrument, but the sample vessels are larger. The new instrument design will allow the use of a flow-through technique for the sample assemblies, which will facilitate automatization of the measurements