In this issue, we interviewed Professor Watanabe who is researching the screening of plant-derived natural compounds for complex cancer immunotherapy by normalizing cancer stroma.
Dr. Takashi Watanabe, Professor, Department of Medicinal Botany, Kumamoto University Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
┃Dr. Watanabe's research content
We are elucidating the mechanism of immunosuppressive tumor environment induced by cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), screening CAFs-derived chemokine suppression by using plant-derived components, and searching for natural compounds that lead the stroma to be normal.
Also at the same time, we are screening plant-derived natural compounds for the purpose of searching for plant resources that show suppression effects on the metastasis of various cancer cells, and for plant resources that show behavior in the activity evaluation system of materials to address lifestyle-related disease and cosmetic materials.
Smart Evaporator is used for the removal of water and organic solvents.
The complete removal of water is very important for the long term storage of plant extracts at low temperature, and the
complete removal of organic solvents is very important to prevent the solvent from affecting the normal cells and cancer cells in the activity screening test.
┃How Smart Evaporator was introduced
Looking at the pamphlet brought by the distributor, I was interested very much in the article "Zero bumping risk! Four samples of high boiling point solvents can be concentrated at the same time".
┃Impressions using Smart Evaporator
If the solvent is completely evaporated on concentration by a rotary evaporator, it will be difficult to process the sample when we try to transfer sample to a screw tube for concentration, drying, and storage, and the amount of recovery is further reduced. For this reason, a cooled decompression centrifugal evaporator might be used to process the samples that require low temperature processing for drying. However, when the solution is transferred to a screw tube after concentration by a rotary evaporator immediately, Smart Evaporator is utilized to finish the concentration process because the subsequent sample concentration and drying operations are easier.
As well as other labs, we really appreciate being able to remove water directly from aqueous samples at atmospheric pressure rather than having to azeotrope with organic solvents and risk solvent bumping when we evaporate the solvent.
For example, when filling a 20 mL capacity screw tube (or vial) with plant extract, it is not possible to scale-up to the very end of the tube, but when filled to 15 mL or less, it took less than an hour (by adjusting the temperature setting) to concentrate and dry solidify.
In my laboratory, the number of samples to be concentrated and dried tends to increase depend on the seasons, so we installed a Smart Evaporator K4 a few years ago so that we can process many plant samples at once. Also, we have been able to drastically save the time we used to spend on this process, which is leading to faster screening research.
┃Impressions using Smart Evaporator
I once asked for an overflow cleaning service; I would be happy if I could see a tutorial of regular maintenance examples on your website that can cleanly and simply remove the substances that accumulate a little inside of Smart Evaporator each time of concentration process.
Of course, there would be such kind of explanations, but I believe that to learn how other laboratories work will give us hints.
Dr. Watanabe, thank you very much for your time. It was a pity that we could not visit him in person, but I could feel his warm personality from the polite communication and the photos he forwarded to us. On his research work pursuing the power of plants, he processes a large number of plant extract samples for screening of plant-derived natural compounds, sometimes processing as many as 20 samples in a day.
It is a great honor for us to know that with the introduction of the Smart Evaporator, the time required for the concentration, drying, and storage of plant extracts has been reduced, speeding up the screening process and helping to improve the efficiency of the research.
For the request to post the information of maintenance of Smart Evaporator in other laboratories as examples on our website, we will work to consolidate the information so that you can get a foothold immediately in case of equipment trouble.
We will continue to do our best to meet your expectations and look forward to working with you in the future.
■Interested in what Smart Evaporator is? You can learn from here!
■Product details of Smart Evaporator K4 (Four channel evaporator)