O’Hara Behavioral Testing Equipment

O’Hara Behavioral Testing Equipment

Built out of a desire to help standardize behavioral neuroscience research

One of our brands O’Hara, a manufacturing company based out of Japan, has been developing and manufacturing equipment for behavioral experiments for over 40 years. O’Hara got its start by designing and manufacturing equipment for pharmaceutical companies that were doing efficacy testing on various therapeutic drugs. They quickly realized that there was no method of standardization across behavioral studies from different labs, research institutes, and pharmaceutical companies, which they felt would have detrimental consequences on data integrity. With this issue at the forefront of their minds, O’Hara began developing automated behavior tests to improve the reliability of behavioral data. This newfound focus was born out of a desire to help improve the reproducibility crisis that has been plaguing Neuroscience research for several years now – That is the inability to replicate scientific studies across experiments and research institutions.

What is the reproducibility crisis?

Reproducibility or replicability from a research standpoint is the idea that a given set of experimental findings should be able to be replicated following the same procedures. The inability to replicate basic scientific findings across research institutions and even across experiments is a major issue plaguing Neuroscience research today and is particularly prevalent in animal studies. This is not hard to believe given that the use of animals themselves provides inherent variability, even when all other factors are controlled for. To read more about this issue and what we are doing to try and alleviate the problem click here.

Ohara offers a variety of automated systems to help you standardize the data collection process

Don’t see what you are looking for?

O’Hara is committed to making customizable solutions to fit the researcher’s specific needs, and therefore our products can be tailored to better fit your needs. In fact, two of our products, the Free Maze and the Self head-Restraining Platform were created out of collaborations between research labs and O’Hara.

Learn more about the background behind the making of the Free Maze here.

Learn more about the motivation behind the Self Head-Restraining Platform here.

For more detailed information about our automated behavioral solutions connect with us today.

Simultaneous Analysis of Glutamate and GABA for Neuroscience Applications

Simultaneous Analysis of Glutamate and GABA for Neuroscience Applications

In this video, we’ll show you how to detect and analyze Glutamate and GABA in brain tissue or microdialysis samples in just 12 minutes. For this analysis, we’ll be derivatizing our analytes with OPA and beta-mercaptoethanol and analyze with high-performance liquid chromatography or HPLC, coupled with an electrochemical detector. But don’t let any of that scare you. We’ve simplified and automated the process to make it easier than ever.

The generation of good data and consistent results can take time and resources. That’s why many labs require highly-trained specialists in HPLC. However, we’ve created an application, which includes everything you need to run analyses right away. Everything from the mobile phase, reagent, and column selection, we have everything spelled out for you so all you have to do is take your sample and start running analysis. We test everything in house to make sure it works, ensuring there are no surprises.

For this application, we recommend use with our autosampler, called the AS-700. This enables proper mixing and incubation times, which provide consistent results sample after sample. Even with the precolumn derivatization process, It’s fast and highly sensitive, down to 1 picomole for glutamate, and 100 femtomoles for GABA.

At Amuza, we always have the end-user in mind. That’s why when you purchase one of our machines, you also have access to our self-help support center as well as our support specialists that can assist you with troubleshooting or replacement of parts as needed.

For more information on glutamate and GABA analysis, contact us today!


Fast analysis of acetylcholine for neuroscience applications

Fast analysis of acetylcholine for neuroscience applications

We show you how to detect and analyze acetylcholine in brain microdialysis samples in 18 minutes, with minimal or no need to add an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor or AEI.

For this analysis, we use high-performance liquid chromatography or HPLC, coupled with an immobilized enzymatic reactor column and an electrochemical detector. It’s fast and highly sensitive, down to the femtomole range.

Acetylcholine is separated by a polymer-based reverse phase column, which has been selected specifically for this application. Not only is the column we’ve selected great at separating acetylcholine, but it can also handle the higher pH required for optimal enzyme activity. After exiting the separation column, acetylcholine and other compounds enter an immobilized-enzyme reactor column. Inside the reactor column, compounds are broken down to produce hydrogen peroxide, which is then selectively oxidized by an applied voltage across the flow path and changes to current are detected with a platinum electrode.

Optimizing the right conditions can take time and resources. That’s why many labs require highly-trained specialists in HPLC. However, we’ve created an application, which includes everything you need to run the acetylcholine analysis right away.

For this application, we’re going to use the HTEC, which includes everything you need integrated into one single unit. Let’s take a look inside:

-Dual-piston pump with a unique algorithm to reduce noise without any pulse damper.
-Degasser to remove small air bubbles for better pump performance
-Temperature control for consistent results
-Separation column uniquely selected for acetylcholine
-Enzymatic reactor column
-Electrochemical detector cell with a platinum working electrode for selective detection of the enzymatic reaction products.

We’ve optimized conditions to make it as easy as possible. Simply inject the sample using a manual injector or autosampler if you’re using laboratory automation. You can monitor signal response in real-time using the dedicated chromatography software. In 18 minutes you will have your results and you’re ready for the next sample. It’s highly sensitive down to the femtomole range. Here’s an example of a chromatogram showing acetylcholine.

For more information on acetylcholine analysis, contact us today!


Precise Touch Operant Training

Precise Touch Operant Training

Today I’m going to demonstrate the unique features of our touch panel operant chamber system.

What is unique about our chambers is that they contain infrared sensors located at the top of the touchscreen itself that improve the accuracy of touch responses from small rodents.

Unlike the touch screen technology that most of our smartphones and computer screens use, called projective capacitance, the infrared sensors inside the touch screen improve accuracy by eliminating the need for a minimum force required to generate a response. This means that even nose poke’s from mice will register a response.

In addition to improved sensitivity, our touch panel was designed in a trapezoidal shape instead of a square, making it easier for the animal to focus on the screen ahead.

Our touch panel chambers are compatible with in vivo electrophysiology and optogenetics techniques, as well as with miniature head-mounted microscopes.

Chambers can be purchased singly or in a package of four for a more cost-effective option. In addition, the chambers come with our Operant TaskStudio software package, an extremely user-friendly software platform that enables customers to design and execute their own tasks or choose from a variety of pre-programmed tasks.

Check out more about our software in our next video. To learn more about our Touch Panel operant system please check out our product website or connect with an expert.


Benefits of using HPLC-ECD for Neurotransmitter Detection

Benefits of using HPLC-ECD for Neurotransmitter Detection

Here’s why we recommend HPLC-ECD for neurotransmitter detection.

While there are a few ways to analyze neurotransmitters, like liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, or LC-MS, ELISA or Radioimmunoassays. However, for qualitative and quantitative analysis of neurotransmitters, we recommend high-performance liquid chromatography detected with an electrochemical detector, known as HPLC-ECD.

The first reason is sensitivity. HPLC-ECD is highly sensitive, down to the femtomolar range. This is suitable for most neuroscience applications, including quantitative analysis of in-vivo microdialysis samples.

The second reason is time. Applications using HPLC-ECD can run anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, where you can detect multiple analytes from a single injection. For example, we have an application for the simultaneous detection of dopamine and serotonin in just 5 minutes. That means you can run over a hundred samples overnight for high throughput using laboratory automation like an autosampler. We’ve also developed applications, saving you the economy of time by already optimizing conditions. All the applications on our site we know work, because we have tested them in-house.

The third reason is price. HPLC-ECD is priced with intended use in your own lab, thus, no need to outsource analysis in another lab or core facility. This gives you, the user, more confidence in your data with the knowledge that you are in control. Pricing for the equipment typically ranges from $20,000 to $60,000. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a new machine, ask us about our leasing options.

Finally, usability. While HPLC can seem overwhelming and complicated, we’ve simplified it with the HTEC. The HTEC system is an all-in-one device that integrates everything you need into one instrument. It’s straightforward and easy to use. Should you decide to acquire one of our instruments, on-site installation and training at your lab will be provided. Once installed, you can immediately start running samples. If you have questions or need assistance, there’s no need to worry. Our self-help support site and knowledgeable support staff are available to guide you through the process, including how to use as well as help with troubleshooting. At Amuza, it’s important for us that our instruments work just as well for you in your hands as they do for us.

Therefore, we recommend HPLC-ECD for the detection of neurotransmitters. For more information contact us today.


How the ENO-30 Detects Nitrate and Nitrite

How the ENO-30 Detects Nitrate and Nitrite

An overview of the ENO-30, which can simultaneously detect nitrate and nitrite in biological and other samples.

The ENO-30 is a uniquely designed system that combines HPLC with a colorimetric assay optimized for fast and highly sensitive quantitative analysis of nitrate and nitrite. By utilizing the ENO-30, you can get accurate data in 10 minutes from a single injection. Combined with laboratory automation using an autosampler, you can run hundreds of samples overnight.

Let’s take a look inside to see how it works: The ENO-30 has an upper and lower unit. The lower unit contains the HPLC pumps optimized at just the right pumping speeds for the proper mixing of reagents.

Samples are injected with either a manual injector as shown or with an autosampler. Both nitrate and nitrite are first separated by retention time with an HPLC column. After separation, nitrate is reduced to nitrite. The system utilizes the Griess reaction, in which each nitrite forms an azo dye and is detected as the pink color develops and is measured by absorbance detection at 540 nm.

The design of the entire system has been optimized for highly reproducible results. It’s simple and easy to use. Here at Amuza, it’s important that instruments we provide work just as well for any given end-user as they do for us here at our own facility. That’s why we offer installation and training, as well as product support for all our products.

Thank you for watching. Feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more about running nitrate and nitrite samples.