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Proficiency Testing Portal Training

We have taken your feedback shared with us over the years and used this to help improve our service to you. With this new portal, you will find new features including your methods now saved as default, graphical reports, the option to trend your data, as well as the ability to expand and collapse your items on the data entry screen which will allow for quicker loading times. This presentation will go through each feature step by step. If you could like to skip straight to how to enter data, please go to slide 34.
Recorded Jul 12 2018 17 mins
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Presented by
Jennifer Duhon
Presentation preview: Proficiency Testing Portal Training

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  • Next Generation IHC Recorded: Dec 5 2018 57 mins
    Jeff Gordon
    Immunohistochemistry has now been a staple in diagnostic pathology for decades. This is partially due to pathologist utilization of antibodies in the realm of specialty panels. As the science evolves, the panels evolve, creating demand for the next generation of antibodies to improve diagnostic capabilities. This talk will give an overview of some of these novel diagnostic markers and how they fit into the specialty panels with the traditional antibodies to provide the best diagnostic capabilities to the pathologist, therefore giving the patient the best care available.
  • New Preparation Approach for Improved Pesticide Analysis of Challenging Samples Recorded: Dec 4 2018 58 mins
    Dr. Frank Michel, Analytical & Chromatography Scientific Advisor, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
    For Pesticide Analysis in food and feed QuEChERS is an established Sample Preparation technique. Nonetheless there are some challenging sample matrices that require variations of the classical QuEChERS methodology. These are fat-rich matrices, intensively coloured matrices and dry, complex matrices such as teas, spices or herbs.

    As even the variations in the official methods AOAC 2007.01 and EN 15662:2008 cannot fully remove all matrix interferences, this talk will introduce new sample preparation approaches leading to improved clean-up and recovery of pesticides in these challenging matrices.
  • More Success in LC-MS: Tips and Tricks for Sample & Mobile Phase Preparation Recorded: Nov 15 2018 46 mins
    Vivek Joshi, PhD
    LC-MS is one of the most commonly used analytical techniques in various sectors for quantitation and identification of unknown from variety of complex samples. Use of LC-MS has expanded over the years as it offers both selectivity and specificity in analysis. With advances in both chromatography and mass spectrometry, sensitivity and accuracy of this technique has further increased, allowing for detection and identification of low-level analytes in complex sample matrices.

    The LC-MS workflow has three main components, which determine successful analyses: sample preparation, choice of mobile phase components and column selection. Not paying enough attention to one of these components can complicate data analysis, quantitation and identification.

    In this seminar, you will learn critical factors to consider when selecting the sample preparation methods, mobile phase components and HPLC columns.
  • Cell Culture in 3D Systems; Moving from a 2D to 3D Environment Recorded: Nov 9 2018 64 mins
    Seth Hanson, Academic Research Technology Specialist - Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
    Cell culture in 3D systems: moving from 2D to 3D cell culture?
    It’s now well accepted by the scientific community that the 3D cell culture condition better recapitulate the in vivo environment and behaviours of cells. But it’s not a trivial change to move from 2D cell culture conditions to 3D, and not always easy to choose the right system to use.

    An understanding of the key parameters for 2D and 3D cell culture will be reviewed, followed by an overview of the technologies available at Merck with features, benefits, and application data.
  • Protein Sample Prep Tips & Tricks Recorded: Nov 7 2018 35 mins
    Natasha L. Pirman, Ph.D.
    E. coli is the most widely used recombinant expression system to overexpress protein given that it is inexpensive, easy to scale up, and relatively fast. Due to its wide-spread use, there are numerous molecular tools, products, and expression/purification protocols available. Determining which tools and products to use, such as plasmid, strain-type, affinity tag and resin system, or buffer exchange device can be daunting. Here, we present a workflow overview of the recombinant protein expression from E. coli and provide insight and various tips and tricks about how to optimize and improve protein yield and purity enabling you to make the best decisions for your protein of interest.
  • High Precision PCR utilizing ThermaGenix Reagents Recorded: Oct 30 2018 47 mins
    Professor Lawrence Wangh, Founder and CSO of ThermaGenix, Inc.
    The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a mainstay of molecular biology and genomics that provides an efficient and rapid in vitro method for enzymatic amplification of DNA or RNA sequences from various sources. There are three unique, easy-to-use PCR additives that act at different temperatures to improve sensitivity and product yield by preventing mis-priming:

    1. ThermaStop™: a novel reagent that acts like a universal hot-start for Type A and Type B DNA polymerases
    2. ThermaGo™: a unique reagent that enhances the specificity of these same enzymes during the course of amplification
    3. ThermaStop™-RT: a first-in-class reagent that acts like a hot-start for many reverse transcriptases.

    Each reagent is a chemically modified oligonucleotide produced under GMP conditions and sold as a dry powder. Stable at room temperature, each reagent can simply be added to the enzyme of your choice prior to adding that enzyme/reagent complex to the master mix. These improvements are observed for both inexpensive Type A Taq polymerases and very expensive HiFi Type B DNA polymerases in applications such as qPCR, multiplexing, and preparation of DNA amplicons prior to next-generation sequencing (NGS).
  • Safety First Throughout the Histology Workflow Recorded: Oct 25 2018 49 mins
    Shalmica Jackson, PhD
    From tissue processing to slide coverslipping, the histology workflow is laden with hazardous steps. Chemical sensitizers, strong acids, alkaline substances, and oxidizing agents are routinely used during histological workflows. These classes of chemicals are known to damage and even destroy living tissues. Ensuring the safety of laboratory workers is of the utmost importance. This workshop will present new approaches to help make the histopathology laboratory a safer environment with the use of formalin-free fixatives, phenol-free stains, DBP-free mounting media, IVD-certified ready-to-use reagents, and more.
  • Emerging Quantum Dot Materials: Synthesis and Application Recorded: Oct 25 2018 40 mins
    Osman M. Bakr, PhD
    Quantum Dots (QDs) undoubtedly attracted lots of interest with their superior luminescent properties. What is distinct about their luminescent properties is that the wavelengths of emitted light can be precisely tuned by changing of nanoparticle size or composition. Quantum dots possess narrow full width at half maximum (FWHM), high photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY), emission wavelength tunability through the entire visible and near IR range. In this webinar, we talk about synthesis and application of emerging quantum dots materials: Perovskite and PbS QDs. Perovskite QDs emit light within the visible range, have high PLQY (up to 100 %), narrow FWHM (below 20-25 nm), and are considered as the best alternatives for CdSe and InP QDs for display application. PbS QDs emit light in near IR region with narrow FWHM of absorption and emission, making them ideal in NIR photodetectors and solar cells.
  • Making new connections – An overview of new TLC-MS Applications Session 2 Recorded: Oct 23 2018 48 mins
    Michaela Oberle
    In the last decade the trend for hyphenating different analytical techniques became an more and more important role in analytical labs. Combinations like LC-LC-MS or LC-MS-MS help to solve the analysis of complex samples in a proper way. The Analytical data which could be received are more sensitive focused on special analytes or give a better overview of the whole sample composition.

    This webinar should give the attendances an overview of the advantage and strength of (HP)TLC- MS coupling technique along various Applications from different analytical fields using different MS techniques. Tips and tricks for the right handling are be presented, to avoid main basic defaults.
  • Making new connections – An overview of new TLC-MS Applications Session 1 Recorded: Oct 23 2018 51 mins
    Michaela Oberle
    In the last decade the trend for hyphenating different analytical techniques became an more and more important role in analytical labs. Combinations like LC-LC-MS or LC-MS-MS help to solve the analysis of complex samples in a proper way. The Analytical data which could be received are more sensitive focused on special analytes or give a better overview of the whole sample composition.

    This webinar should give the attendances an overview of the advantage and strength of (HP)TLC- MS coupling technique along various Applications from different analytical fields using different MS techniques. Tips and tricks for the right handling are be presented, to avoid main basic defaults.
  • 3D Organ-on-a-chip Applications Using the AIM Biotech Chip Recorded: Oct 22 2018 31 mins
    Kuan Chee Mun and Mahama Aziz Traore
    In vitro 3D cell culture models have emerged as a bridge between conventional 2D cell culture models and the complex & expensive in vivo animal models. By analyzing and comparing the biological behavior of tissues embedded in 3 dimensional hydrogels, results are significantly different from classic 2D cell culture in terms of proliferation, morphology, drug response and gene expression. These differences have been attributed to the topographically complex 3D environment surrounding the cells, where cell adhesion, structure, effector transport and mechanotransduction are substantially altered. A carefully designed 3D model can provide more physiologically relevant information using experimental designs unachievable by conventional 2D assays at a fraction of the cost of in vivo models.
    Current 3D cell culture assays like hanging drop culture often lack the capability to organize different co-cultured cell types in a meaningful way. The application of chemical gradients or flow is usually not possible.
    We are now able to address this issue with a modular microfluidic platform that can co-culture multiple cell types in discrete 3D and 2D channels. Organotypic assays with animal model-like complexities using human cells have been developed for research, drug discovery & diagnostics. These include models for immune checkpoint, T-cell killing efficiency, angiogenesis, metastasis, cell migration, microvascular networks and the blood-brain barrier. Additional applications that focus on a liver model will also be discussed. Drug Induced Liver Injuries (DILI) contributes to drug failures, drug withdrawals and acute liver failures. The liver strongly interacts with other organ systems and in some instances the metabolites secreted by the liver are responsible for other organs' injury. Engineered 3D liver models may increase the physiological relevance of drug toxicity by maintaining the expression levels of key cytochrome P450 enzymes and metabolic activity in liver cells.
  • Lighten Up! Long-term imaging with ultra-bright, organic AIE cell trackers Recorded: Oct 10 2018 33 mins
    Liu Bin, PhD,Department Head - Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore
    With the recent discovery of a special class of organic compounds with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics, new opportunities have opened for in vitro and in vivo imaging. In combination with advanced polymer encapsulation technologies, AIE compounds are now available as LuminiCell ultra-bright, organic nanoparticles that enable long-term cell tracking and imaging for applications such as cancer research and stem cell biology.
  • A full overview of different technologies to increase HPLC efficiency & speed Recorded: Oct 4 2018 64 mins
    Dr. Frank Michel, Analytical & Chromatography Scientific Advisor, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
    In the recent decades the demand for higher separation efficiency or higher speed in HPLC has increased strongly. The response to this demand was answered by modern HPLC technologies such as UHPLC with sub-2 µm particles, monolithic silica or Fused-Core™ particles. This webinar provides an overview on the factors that influence the speed of the HPLC method. It introduces the different approaches of small HPLC particles, Fused-Core (also known as core-shell) particle technology and monolithic silica rods and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. The presentation covers the theoretical background of these technologies and multiple examples of applications.
  • Multiplex immunoassay detection of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers Recorded: Sep 26 2018 41 mins
    Anthony Saporita, PhD
    Monitoring protein biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has been highly beneficial to understanding disease progression. While several CSF biomarkers can reproducibly distinguish normal and diseased samples, CSF is a difficult biological fluid to obtain in research studies. The need for blood-based biomarkers of AD has driven a continuous search for novel candidates. Here we report the development of a multiplex immunoassay to quantitatively measure seven proteins present in both CSF and blood that are involved in neurological disease: Neurogranin, TREM2, ApoE4, FABP3, Ferritin, angiogenin, and prion protein. Notably, presence of the APOE4 allele is prominently associated with an increased risk for AD, in comparison to the APOE2 and APOE3 alleles. Although these ApoE isoforms differ at only one or two amino acids, our assay distinguished ApoE4 with minimal cross-reactivity. Using this novel immunoassay, we measured these 7 biomarkers in CSF, plasma, and serum from AD patients and healthy controls. Additionally, we developed an ultrasensitive Single Molecule Counting (SMCTM) assay for amyloid beta 1-42 (Aβ42). This kit could detect the Aβ42 peptide in CSF and plasma at sub-pg/mL concentrations. This study demonstrates the value of evaluating both novel and established biomarkers of neurodegeneration across distinct sample types.
  • Understanding and Optimizing Headspace SPME Recorded: Sep 26 2018 59 mins
    Robert E. Shirey, Principal R&D Scientist, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany
    Solid phase microextraction (SPME) is a fast, economical, solvent-free, quantitative method for extraction of analytes out of a sample. When analysing volatile and semi-volatile analytes, extraction may be performed in the headspace, or space surrounding the sample, avoiding direct immersion of the fiber. This presentation will provide method development guidance for the extraction and quantification of analytes using headspace SPME. The mechanism of headspace SPME will be explained in detail. Methods for enhancing extraction efficiency will be described. Advantages of headspace SPME over other common extraction methods will be highlighted.
  • Multiplex immunoassay detection of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers: Session 1 Recorded: Sep 26 2018 41 mins
    Anthony Saporita, PhD
    Monitoring protein biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has been highly beneficial to understanding disease progression.  While several CSF biomarkers can reproducibly distinguish normal and diseased samples, CSF is a difficult biological fluid to obtain in research studies.  The need for blood-based biomarkers of AD has driven a continuous search for novel candidates.  Here we report the development of a multiplex immunoassay to quantitatively measure seven proteins present in both CSF and blood that are involved in neurological disease:  Neurogranin, TREM2, ApoE4, FABP3, Ferritin, angiogenin, and prion protein.  Notably, presence of the APOE4 allele is prominently associated with an increased risk for AD, in comparison to the APOE2 and APOE3 alleles.  Although these ApoE isoforms differ at only one or two amino acids, our assay distinguished ApoE4 with minimal cross-reactivity. Using this novel immunoassay, we measured these 7 biomarkers in CSF, plasma, and serum from AD patients and healthy controls.  Additionally, we developed an ultrasensitive Single Molecule Counting (SMCTM) assay for amyloid beta 1-42 (Aβ42).  This kit could detect the Aβ42 peptide in CSF and plasma at sub-pg/mL concentrations.  This study demonstrates the value of evaluating both novel and established biomarkers of neurodegeneration across distinct sample types.
  • Duolink PLA Technology: How to detect and quantify protein interactions Recorded: Sep 20 2018 68 mins
    Cláudia Emanuele, Ph.D. and Paola Braga
    Duolink® proximity ligation assay (PLA) technology allows you to visualize protein interactions with cellular localization and quantities by amplifying signals corresponding to single and post-translational protein events. With 1000x sensitivity and high specificity, this protein detection technology allows to visualize protein functions, all within a native cell. The PLA method provides:
    •Visual protein interactions
    −Both stable and transient
    •Endogenous protein detection
    −No overexpression or genetic manipulation
    •High specificity
    −Use of two antibodies/probes eliminates false positives
    −Single molecule sensitivity
    •Rolling circle amplification makes proteins visible
    •No special equipment needed
    −Standard immunofluorescence methods

    This webinar will review how to work with PLA technology and provide an overview of their potential along with example applications.
  • SMC Technology: Detect biomarkers at levels previously undetectable Recorded: Sep 5 2018 48 mins
    Anitaben Tailor Ph.D
    Single molecule counting (SMC™) technology enables accurate measurement of molecules at levels previously undetectable allowing researchers to identify new biomarkers, or assist in therapeutic development with an improved view of efficacy, safety & time course studies. Combining a traditional immunoassay workflow with patented SMC™ technology enables the detection of low-abundance biomarkers, such as proteins and nucleic acids, with unparalleled sensitivity and accuracy, capturing concentrations down to the femtogram/mL level. You will learn how to detect, and monitor changes in, extremely low levels of established disease biomarkers such as cardiac troponin I and cytokines.
  • High-Throughput Microfluidic Platform for Culture of 3D-Kidney Tissue Models Recorded: Jul 24 2018 38 mins
    Henriëtte Lanz, Ph.D.
    Drug toxicity remains a major issue in drug discovery and stresses the need for better predictive models. Here, we describe the development of a perfused renal proximal tubule cell (RPTC) model in Mimetas’ OrganoPlates® to predict kidney toxicity. The OrganoPlate® is a microfluidic platform, which enables high-throughput culture of boundary tissues in miniaturized organ models. In OrganoPlates®, ECM gels can be freely patterned in microchambers through the use of PhaseGuide technology. PhaseGuides define channels within microchambers that can be used for ECM deposition or medium perfusion. The microfluidic channel dimensions not only allow solid tissue and barrier formation, but also perfused tubular epithelial vessel structures can be grown. The goal of developing a perfused RPTC model is to reconstruct viable and leak-tight boundaries for performing cytotoxicity, as well as transport and efficacy studies. Human RPTC (SA7K clone, Sigma) were grown against an ECM in a 3channel OrganoPlate®, yielding access to both the apical and basal side. Confocal imaging revealed that the cells formed a tubular structure. Staining showed tight junction formations (ZO-1), cilia pointing into the lumen (acetylated tubulin) and correct polarization with microvilli on the apical side of the tubule (ezrin). Tightness of the boundary over several days was shown by diffusion of a dextran dye added to the lumen of the tubule. Addition of toxic compounds resulted in disruption of the barrier which could be monitored in time. The time point of loss of integrity corresponds with the concentration and the toxic effect of the compound. Furthermore, fluorescent transport assays showed functional transport activity of in- and efflux transporters. The 3D proximal tubules cultured in the OrganoPlate® are suitable for high-throughput toxicity screening, trans-epithelial transport studies, and complex co-culture models to recreate an in vivo-like microenvironment.
  • HPLC Method Development in One and a Half Days Using the Selectivity Concept Recorded: Jul 24 2018 63 mins
    Dr. Frank Michel, Analytical & Chromatography Scientific Advisor, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
    Modern HPLC technologies such as UHPLC, monolithic silica or Fused-Core™ particles provide superior separation efficiency and resolution of peaks. But in general resolution is more strongly impacted by selectivity which in turn can be affected by different stationary bonded phases. This presentation will discuss the choice of RP HPLC column chemistries such as RP-Amide, Phenyl, Pentafluorophenyl (F5) or Cyano which can provide alternative selectivities to traditional C18. It will compare their different retention mechanisms and highlight an approach to develop HPLC method within one and a half days.
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The Life Science Business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Webinar Channel features scientific presentations from key specialists in analytical chemistry, biology, chemistry and life sciences on the practical and technical aspects of new developments and innovations, to help advance your research.

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  • Title: Proficiency Testing Portal Training
  • Live at: Jul 12 2018 5:00 pm
  • Presented by: Jennifer Duhon
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