Imperial College gets the latest for liquid scintillation counting

16 January 2009

When staff at Imperial College London needed to replace an aging liquid scintillation counter, they found that the new Hidex 300SL from LabLogic Systems gave them the latest technology at a competitive price.

The machine, which is being used primarily for counting tritiated samples and occasionally for 14C, 32P and 35S, has already made a favourable impression with senior post-doctoral researcher Dr Percy Sumariwalla.

"Every laboratory worker knows that bench space is always at a premium, so one feature that we particularly like about the 300SL is its compact footprint - just 50 cm by 60," he says. "We have also found both the software and the machine itself to be very user friendly; our staff needed minimum training from LabLogic in how to use it."

"With regard to performance, the greatest improvement is that for the first time we can export data files via our network. Previously we had access to printed data only, and if we needed to analyze it further using other software packages we had to input the data manually. A further advantage is that the 300SL's output is in Excel format, which most people are already familiar with."

Imperial College has already benefited from another feature of the 300SL; it is the first commercially available instrument of its kind to use the absolute activity measurement method known as Triple to Double Coincidence Ratio (TDCR), which eliminates the labor associated with setting up a standard radioactivity source. In the long term this also avoids the safety issues and expense associated with disposal at the end of the counter's useful life.

Even with its 60 mm detector shield, the 300SL weighs less than 100 kg. For added convenience, it uses unique trays that can accommodate the 7 ml and 20 ml vials used in the latest sample preparation instruments, such as liquid handling stations and cell harvesters.