Spectronic Analytical Instruments has supplied the Department of Pharmacology, Oncology and Radiology at Cardiff University with the latest Rudolph Research J57-SV (small-volume) refractometer.
The department, within the School of Medicine at the university, consists predominantly of full-time researchers in the area of cancer immunology.
Mark Brereton of Spectronic said: 'The Rudolph Research J57-SV refractometer features a fully automatic measuring system with a single, easy-to-clean flat measurement surface and electronic temperature control capable of reading small-volume samples.
'With a large LCD touch screen, which enables users wearing gloves to activate the instrument with an elbow or side of the hand, password protection, ports for printers and computer connections, this was just the instrument that Dr Aled Clayton was sourcing,' he added.
Clayton's research involves the study of small vesicles that are produced by cancer cells and that may assist cancers to grow and spread.
He said: 'A classically useful method of purifying vesicles is by high-speed centrifugation on a gradient of sucrose.
'The vesicles will "float" somewhere along this sucrose gradient.
'We collect and measure small samples from the top of the tube down using the Rudolph refractometer and, from this measurement, we can calculate the all-important density of the sample,' added Clayton.
Using the refractometer has allowed him to better define the vesicles that he is studying as exosomal.
Clayton said: 'We could work through the method I've outlined in the past, but we were unable to quantify the density.
'We can now confidently compare our data with other competitor groups,' he added.