Implen Journal Club

Implen Journal Club

Welcome to the Implen NanoPhotometer® Journal Club. Here we will highlight relevant publications where the Implen NanoPhotometer® helped researchers to unravel the mysteries of modern molecular biology.


COVID-19 continues to spread quickly globally, with more than 180 million confirmed cases to date and a mortality rate of about 2% with serious impacts on global public health and economy. Although some drugs and vaccines have been approved for the treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the development of effective drugs is still urgently required. Zhao et al. recently reported in Nature communication the identification of two potent neutralizing antibodies (nmabs), nCoVmab1 and nCoVmab2, from a large naïve human phage-displayed Fab library. Both of these antibodies could efficiently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2 and have the potential to be powerful weapons to fight against this infectious disease as potential therapeutics and prophylactics for fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection. The NanoPhotometer® N60 was used in this study to measure the purified protein concentrations with the corresponding extinction coefficient.

Currently, there are limited therapeutic options against SARS-CoV-2 and testing of a number of drug regimens has led to conflicting results. Complete inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 replication will likely require combinations of antivirals, as combinations are needed to minimize drug-resistance mutations and stably suppress replication of RNA viruses. Shytaj et al. introduced cobicistat as a new candidate for inhibiting SARS-Cov-2 replication and for designing combination therapies aimed at blocking or reversing the onset of COVID-19. Cobicistat was shown to have a dual activity both as an antiviral drug and as a pharmacoenhancer, thus potentially constituting a basis for combined therapies aimed at complete suppression SARS-CoV-2 replication. The NanoPhotometerⓇ P-Class P300 was used to measure the concentration of RNA extracted from cell lysates.
The primary mode of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent for COVID-19, is through respiratory droplet, with the contamination of contact surfaces with SARS-CoV-2 reported as a potential route for the transmission of COVID-19. The contamination of key contact surfaces with SARS-CoV-2 in shared toilets was found to be widespread based on detection and quantification of the nucleic acid on contact surfaces, with 54–69% of the contact surfaces studied being contaminated; the highest prevalence of contamination being on the floor, tap and handles indicating areas of high hand contact had the highest possibility of being contaminated, with the highest likelihood of infection with COVID-19 on the toilet seat. The NanophotometerⓇ NP80 was used to quantify and determine the quality of the RNA extracted prior to amplification.
With this final article of this month’s COVID-19 issue, we are covering how wastewater-based epidemiology has been used as a tool for surveillance of COVID-19 infections and is currently being proposed as a cost-effective complimentary approach for COVID-19 surveillance at the community-level. The clinical-based surveillance and screening has been limited by cost, turnaround time and possible underestimation of the severity of the infection spread occasioned by asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. This method captures the totality of symptomatic, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers within a specific community, which is usually not the case with clinical surveillance. The incorporation of population normalization to the wastewater-based epidemiology data provides the additional opportunity for determination of patterns, trends and possible comparison across catchments with different population sizes, ultimately helping in infection hotspot identification. The NanophotometerⓇ was used in this study to determine the quality and quantity of the extracted RNA.
The final article covers the promising antitumor agent EPS364, a Novel Deep-Sea Bacterial Exopolysaccharide, for the treatment of liver cancer. Liver cancer tumors have proven to be highly chemotherapy-resistant tumors with most chemotherapy regimens being severely limited by the underlying liver disease. The NanoPhotometer® was used to detect the UV spectrum of EPS364 from 200–800 nm. The purified EPS364 had no obvious absorption at 260 or 280 nm, indicating the absence of nucleic acids and proteins in EPS364, suggesting that EPS364 is a pure polysaccharide.

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