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Collaboration between National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Vironova to empower the UK life science industry


April 28, 2021
NPL’s Biometrology laboratory will further increase their electron microscopy capabilities by hosting
Vironova’s MiniTEM system through a new partnership between the organizations. 

The UK’s long standing National Metrology Institute, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), is expanding the capability of its biometrology laboratory. The installation, part of a new collaboration with Vironova, will see the MiniTEM system hosted at the laboratory, providing a valuable extension to NPL’s electron microscopy capabilities and increasing NPL’s imaging offering.   

Of the collaboration, Dr Emiliana De Santis, Senior Scientist at NPL, said,We are delighted to have entered into the collaboration with Vironova. The combination of NPL’s expertise in Biometrology and Vironova’s MiniTEM electron microscopy imaging and analysis technology, will help to promote the development of standardised methods and materials for advanced therapeutics, such as viral and non-viral vectors, with significant impact on the gene therapy and vaccine industries.

Bringing metrology principles to further the understanding of biological systems is at the heart of our research programmes, to provide greater reproducibility in life science research. The continued development of the UK as a world leader in life science research is a key goal for NPL and providing confidence in the data that supports the development of new therapeutics is a key element of delivering that goal.

Transmission electron microscopy is a robust and secure method that can be used in gene therapy and vaccine process development. The MiniTEM system is easy-to-use and can automate, simplify and speed-up some of today’s time-consuming and manual processes. 

The MiniTEM system is operated by our versatile Vironova Imaging and Analysis Software (VIAS), with its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities designed for gene therapy and vaccine analysis. We hope these features will be put into great use at NPL when addressing some of the challenges in the UK life science and health industry around valuable sample characterisation in process development.

Dr Saba Hussein Gore, Applications Manager and Senior Scientist at Vironova, said, “The Vironova-NPL collaboration is a perfect match for expanding analysis methodologies in nanoparticle characterisation. By positioning the MiniTEM system at NPL, we can bring together an extensive biometrology expertise with our state-of-the art system and software, amplified with AI algorithms based on years of electron microscopy knowledge, aiming to replace manual decisions and shortening the analysis time. We believe this partnership will contribute to the advanced therapeutics field at a time when the UK is putting substantial emphasis on gene therapy and vaccine innovation.

We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration to address the challenges and needs we see and hear from life science industries concerning reliable and reproducible analyses and standardisation in this rapidly evolving field.”