Norton’s primary product is a compact hand-held unit, called a protein aggregation monitor (PAM (tm) ZERO), which was developed to study how proteins aggregate in solution.

The unit, a tested detector design for use in early stage drug discovery research and biopharmaceutical quality control and quality assurance applications, is used to measure the efficiency of therapies treating common degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, as well as for screening samples prior to structural analysis techniques, such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and x-ray crystallography.

Norton designed the PAM ™ ZERO that allows for rapid switching from one vertical niche application to another with minimal changes to software to maintain our market lead over potential competitors, while at the same
time enhancing our reputation with end users by supplying easy to use solutions to their actual needs.

The PAM ™ ZERO is a simple-to-use tool designed in response to feedback from identified user groups that measures protein-protein interactions as well as aggregation in ways required by researchers looking to understand such phenomena and apply the results in early-stage drug discovery research.

Our technology relies on proven laser-based light scattering.  The PAM ™ ZERO uses a single-angle, light scattering geometry with a novel flow cell that combines low volume (2μl minimum) and consumes just 0.0μl (not a typo) making 100% recovery easy and without the possibility of cross-contamination. Unique signal averaging algorithms makes it possible for almost anyone to undertake routine measurements on protein samples down at the 1mg/ml or lower level.

The PAM ™ ZERO comes with custom data capture and analysis software that can be run on most computer platforms Windows today (Mac _ Linux are planned).  The detector connects to any PC via a standard USB port, with sample data stored securely using any commercial or custom 21CFR Part 11 compliance software according to requisite procedures and methodologies.

Three analysis modes are available to PAM users at the press of a button:

1. Aggregation Content: A perfect way for crystallographers to screen samples prior to crystallization in order to accelerate structural work. The presence of aggregates that could lead to polycrystal formation can be detected within seconds.

2. Aggregation Kinetics: Increasingly, researchers need to understand _ control how proteins interact.  The PAM ™ ZERO can directly measure (with no need for fluorescent tagging) a variety of aggregation phenomena, plotting reaction curves in real time without any complex sample prep.

3. Mw: A simple static measurement to identify unknown proteins or estimate likely aggregate size distributions can be easily undertaken in a few seconds.

The client deals with the data exactly as lab protocols specify — The PAM ™ ZERO provides the numbers, and saves data onto in-house computer systems, as per proscribed methodologies.

The benefits for researchers using the PAM ™ ZERO include:

  • Low sample volumes: At 2μl and with 100% sample recovery for sample reuse, it reduces your sample costs
  • Reduced operating costs: Simple, low cost tool that can be bought from the departmental operating budget rather than typical convoluted cap-ex process and used by a technician in the lab; reducing the number of routine samples sent for costly analysis at a central facility
  • Faster analysis turn-around: By doing the bulk of simple screening tests at the lab bench, many results are known in minutes rather than days, while bottlenecks are reduced at the Central Analytical Facility and turnaround times for complex sample testing are greatly reduced
  • Enhanced efficiency: PhD level analysts can concentrate on basic research to accelerate early stage drug discovery and provide process and/or product enhancements
  • Size: A small footprint detector increases the amount of bench space available allowing for multiple testing stations to be used, while the novel “in-tip” 2µl volume sample station keeps the amount of valuable protein needed for an analysis to an absolute minimum and even that can be recovered and reused
  • Direct measurement: Proven light scattering technology measures protein size directly without the need for fluorescent tags that can lead to lengthy sample preparation protocols _ potentially alter the aggregation kinetics being studied
  • Platform independent: The detector attaches to any Windows, MAC or LINUX PC via a USB connection that can integrate the data analysis software with a corporate 21CFR Part 11 compliance software package

Norton Scientific Inc. is also the exclusive North American distributor of AstraGene, a Life Sciences UV/Vis Spectrophotometer, dedicated to Nucleic Acid and Protein Analysis.