Agilent helps launch carbohydrate analysis lab

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: University of Adelaide
Picture: University of Adelaide
The University of Adelaide and Agilent Technologies Australia Pty have partnered on the analysis of complex carbohydrates (‘glycans’).

Adelaide Glycomics, based at the University’s Waite campus, will help South Australian researchers in the field of glycoscience (the study of structure and function of glycans).

“This collaboration underscores the importance Agilent places on academia, working together to boost scientific outcomes that will provide economic and societal benefits​,” said Dr David Bradley, Agilent’s academia and collaborations manager for the South Asia Pacific and Korea region.

agilent adelaide
Picture: University of Adelaide

Agilent began its analytical instrumentation business 10 years after the invention of the atomic absorption spectrometer by CSIRO scientist, Sir Alan Walsh.

The provider of bio-analytical instrumentation and applications has a Spectroscopy Products Division facility in Melbourne.

“We have since developed many spectroscopy-based laboratory instruments, and continue to be committed to working with researchers across various industries to develop new applications from insight to outcome,” ​said Dr Bradley.

An example of possible work in the laboratory is analysing starch in potatoes to determine the structure and relative proportions of different starch types and what controls these proportions, with the aim of producing low-GI potatoes through plant breeding.

Other areas include development of biological-based materials for drug delivery systems and cosmetics; helping control the composition and quality of wines and improved understanding of the causes of diseases and developing diagnostic tools.

Professor Vincent Bulone, director of Adelaide Glycomics and director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, said complex carbohydrates are critical in every area of biology.

“But beyond their important role in living organisms they can be exploited in many products. There is hardly a moment in our daily life where we are not exposed to glycans. These molecules are the most complex in nature and the least understood.”

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