February in Sweden – outside it’s cold and dark, but the lab is lit up with the warm, beaming smiles of the SOLVE team of protein, polymer and nanoparticle characterization experts. We can only surmise that their Wyatt instruments are humming along, helping meet and solve the team’s latest analytical challenges.
SOLVE Research and Consultancy is a contract analytical lab, located in Lund, Sweden, dedicated to providing clients with comprehensive knowledge about their materials through multiple characterization techniques. The analytical services are mainly built around Wyatt instrumentation, especially Eclipse® asymmetric-flow field-flow fractionation (AF4), used on a daily basis.
The company was spun off from Lund University in 2012, where Professor Karl-Gustav Wahlund was a pioneer in the research and development of AF4 methodology. The three founders—Lars Nilsson, J. Ray Runyon and Matilda Ulmius Storm—all used AF4 in their academic research. “We were approached by different companies who wanted help with their material analyses. One thing led to another and we decided to start a business to be able to offer analyses for customers,” said Matilda Ulmius Storm, now CEO.
While it has a wide international customer base ranging from life science and nanotech to the food and cosmetics industries, recently SOLVE has experienced increasing demand for pre-clinical and clinical pharmaceutical characterization. “During early 2018 we were approached by two pharma companies, wondering if we could analyze biopharmaceuticals in blood” explained Sebastian Hansson, Business Development Manager. In short order, a paper on the topic was published, demonstrating that AF4 can be used to probe protein therapeutic characteristics and behavior in plasma, serum and even whole blood. This method provides a route to investigating the behavior and physiological interactions of a parenteral drug, ex vivo, before it enters a patient. This type of cutting-edge characterization is now run regularly for customers at SOLVE.
In 2014 SOLVE relocated from the Lund University campus to Lund’s Medicon Village – Ideon Science Park, a center of innovation for life science and new materials, where it could set up a proper quality-controlled lab for its analytical equipment. In the lab SOLVE has, among other instruments, three Wyatt-based set-ups: standard AF4 for use with light scattering (FFF-MALS) and other detection modes, electrical AF4 (EAF4), and a Dynapro Plate Reader® for high-throughput dynamic light scattering. The SOLVE team totals 7 scientists with extensive experience in analytical techniques, formulation, nanoparticles and foods.
For us, SOLVE is not just a customer, it is also a partner. SOLVE and Wyatt collaborate closely to meet the needs of their mutual clients, and also co-organize seminars and conferences. In 2016, Lars Nilsson recorded a webinar on FFF-MALS analysis “AF4-MALS: A Powerful Tool for the Characterization of Biomacromolecules and Colloidal Particles” which is posted in our Library. A Wyatt Users Meeting is planned for Lund, Sweden in May 2019 where SOLVE will play a central role. Hope you can make it!
“The SOLVE lab is mainly built on Wyatt instrumentation.”