Five minutes at Sepawa with …
H&PC: How is your business going and how important is the HPC market for it?
Eva Ekerot: Our business is doing good! The HPC industry is where we offer tailored applications, so growing in this industry is an important goal for us.
H&PC: Can you explain us something about the QSense technology?
EE: QSense measures the entire chemical cleaning process – in real time and on a nanoscale – revealing how efficiently a detergent or formulation cleans. The instrument can be pre-programmed to run up to 8 samples in parallel within less than an hour, which makes it a powerful tool to screen and rank detergent and formulation candidates in varying conditions. Compare this to traditional methods, where you can look only at the result after cleaning and only using visual inspection. With our technology you get more information much faster, revealing the entire cleaning process.
H&PC: How does it work, in practice?
EE: In the instrument you have one or more sample units, and in each sample unit you place a sensor. The sensor has a surface of a relevant material like glass, plastic etc, which represents the surface that you would like to clean. The sensor can also be coated with different soiling substances. With the instrument you then control the detergent flow over the soiled sensor, and you can follow, in real-time, the changes in mass on the sensors as the soil is dissolved and leave the surface.
Malin Edvardsson: The method is acoustic.
EE: Yes, it is acoustic, and we detect the shift in resonance frequency of the oscillating piezoelectric sensor. We also measure the decay time of the oscillation which gives you a measure of the softness of the soil on the sensor. So, this means that we measure both the soil mass and softness in real-time.
H&PC: Impressive. Do you have any other technologies targeted at the HPC R&D?
EE: We are also offering precision tensiometers such as Attension. They offer contact angle and surface tension solutions for industrial quality control and R&D as well as for academic research. They are easy to use and offered with broad surface science capabilities. It can measure wettability, for example, or critical micelle concentration, which is a crucial parameter for surfactants. Surfactants, polymers, lipids, proteins or particles can influence the flow and stability properties of liquid interfaces in a formulation – and thus we offer the measurement of tension and rheology at interface. It is a complete solution to characterize your surfactants or other components.
H&PC: You are selling in Asia. Does it mean the HPC R&D is growing there?
EE: Yes, we have a sales division in China. In general, Asia is a growing market for us. However, one has to note that we sell our instrument to different industries but, to a high extent, also to the academia. So, the expansion of our market does not exactly reflect the development of R&D in Asia in the HPC sector. For sure, the detergent part of our business is growing faster than the academic one.
ME: We also sell to for example the pharma industry, to the chemical industry, and to the oil industry. There are several industries where our instruments can be applied.
H&PC: What future technologies can we expect from Biolin Scientific?
EE: We cannot share anything in detail yet, but for sure we are going into industry application-specific solutions. We are also working a lot in the analysis and software side.
ME: The pace in society is running faster and faster and we all want to optimize our time. To get researchers to spend less of their valuable time on for example manually running experiments and executing data analysis is one of our focus areas.
H&PC: How do you feel at Sepawa 2017?
ME: It is the first time we participate but it is positive, we have already interacted with a lot of other exhibitors.
EE: We had a lot of good discussions!