Over the course of his distinguished career, Nobel Prize winner Percy Bridgman, Ph.D., investigated the behavior of materials under elevated hydrostatic pressure. These studies, for which he designed his own high-pressure equipment, included the thermodynamic effect of pressure on proteins and other biological substances.
Researchers recently met to discuss the use of ultrahigh pressure in biotech-related studies at a symposium held at Harvard Medical School and co-hosted by the Harvard Catalyst—Laboratory for Innovative Translational Technologies, Harvard Catalyst Central Laboratory, and by the Proteomics Resource of the Harvard School of Public Health. The hosting of this event was apropos as Dr. Bridgman was a professor at Harvard from 1908 to 1954.
Scientists no longer need to design their own instruments, as counter-top high-pressure instruments are now commercially available. “Commercialization of the Barocycler® platform brings pressure-control instrumentation to an average laboratory, opening opportunities for understanding of high-pressure thermodynamics in synthetic chemistry, catalysis, structural biology, biomarker discovery, and drug development,” explained Alexander Lazarev, Ph.D., vp of R&D at Pressure BioSciences.
With pressure-cycling technology (PCT) becoming a common tool for scientific investigations, many of the presentations focused on the physical effects of compression on macromolecules and its applications in proteomics, mass spectrometry, protein extraction, and tissue investigations.