Monday, 27 July 2015

Salimetrics will again be supporting ISPNE 2015 Conference in Edinburgh 8th to 11th September, the meeting also offers the opportunity to meet with Professor Douglas Granger (Chief Scientific & Strategy Advisor and a majority owner of Salimetrics)

The conference title ‘Stress and the brain: from fertility to senility’ aims to discuss stress from early life development, childhood and adolescence through to adulthood and senescence. The exciting programme has particular focus on mechanisms, including genetics, epigenetics, brain structure and function, and translational approaches to stress disorders, from early life programming to dementia, including the development and trials of new therapies. The Conference organising committee have assembled a stellar cast of plenary speakers, plus outstanding symposia and extensive opportunities for colleagues to discuss posters and short communications.

Professor Douglas Granger will attend ISPNE this year, at Arizona State University, he is a Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology. He also holds an Adjunct Faculty position at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and Bloomberg School of Public Health. His studies have been instrumental in the conceptualization and analysis of biosocial relationships involving child well-being, parent-child and family relationships, as well as how these biosocial links moderate and mediate the effects of early adversity and stress on children’s adjustment. Dr. Granger is a leading expert engaged in work focused on the discovery, measurement, and application of analytes (hormones, antibodies, chemicals, DNA) in saliva. 

Douglas has published more than 200 studies and is also a faculty scholar-entrepreneur. Early in his career, Dr. Granger transferred technology, founded and served as President of Salimetrics LLC*,  At Arizona State University, he has created and is the Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research (IISBR), which facilitates the integration of salivary analytes into prevention science, nursing, public health, and medicine.

Please contact should you wish to set up a meeting with Prof Granger at ISPNE to discuss the use of Salivary Bioscience within your research area

*In the interest of full disclosure, Dr. Granger is founder and Chief Scientific and Strategy Advisor of Salimetrics LLC (State College, PA), and this relationship is managed by the policies of Arizona State University.

ISPNE Committee President Professor Clemens Kirschbaum (pictured) and the Executive Committee have again put together an exiting programme, follow LINK below to view details:

To view the full Conference Programme use this LINK

Monday, 20 July 2015

Need help choosing a Saliva/Hair Testing Laboratory for your Research Samples? here is what we have installed at our Cambridge based European Laboratory supported by over a decade of experience using the Worlds Best Commercially available Assays (Salimetrics of course)

Take a look below at what we have installed at our Cambridge Laboratory, in addition we also offer Saliva Training Days where you test your own saliva and get to learn all about saliva, full details here Spit Camp 

Full details of our range of Saliva Testing Products are linked below:

Salimetrics Saliva Assay Kits

Saliva Collection Devices

Basic Laboratory
You will need to have a general laboratory lab space within which to conduct your Research. For example.....
  • Laboratory benching, that meets the current specifications for work with Saliva
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Precision balances (For weighing saliva samples to determine flow rate and weekly checks on your pipettes)
  • Vortex mixers (useful for mixing reagents or making saliva dilutions)
  • Heater/ stirrers (useful for mixing wash buffers)
  • Single and multichannel pipettes (essential - these are used for accurately dispensing saliva and reagents into your assay kit. The quality of the final assay results is greatly influenced by pipetting - both in terms of operator experience and well maintained pipettes)

Air conditioning (to keep lab temperature to around 21C) Most Salimetrics assays are conducted at room temperature but if the lab is much colder or warmer than 21C the assay results may be unreliable
The assays most commonly use aspirate/ dispenses of:
Single pipette: <10µl & 25µl & 50µl
Multichannel:  100µl, 200µl and 320µl  (for salivary Alpha Amylase)

High Quality Water
As a minimum you need grade 3 distilled water but ideally ultra-pure water (18 MΩ water) would be used for all buffers in ELISA and salivary Alpha Amylase. Essential to use: Grade 3 distilled a minimum specification. We currently use a Purite Neptune for ultra pure water (18.3 MΩ water) and a Purite Select for the grade 3 water.

The rate-limiting step for our assays is often how quickly we can get samples centrifuged.  Most samples require 1500RCF for 15 minutes and do not require temperature control. As the saliva is being centrifuged it is important to use sealed adaptor lids so in the event that a tube breaks in the centrifuge, saliva is not passed into laboratory air.

Class II Cabinets
The class II cabinets are used to protect both the operator and contents of the cabinet from bacterial/ viral infection.  Whether or not a class II is required depends on the institutional view on health & safety and the nature of the samples being analysed. Not essential but the decision to install depends on the Health and Safety policy of your institution. Given that the Salimetrics laboratory processes large and continuous numbers of samples from a wide number of European customers and participants, we chose to use class11 cabinets for all our testing. We use cabinets by Bioquell and Faster
We use twin HEPA filtration but given the work we do there is little need for ways to sterilize the cabinet or filters (for example UV Lights) As you may be operating equipment such as washers, inside cabinets it is useful to have electrical sockets installed in the cabinet

Many reagents need to be stored at 2-8ºC (fridge) and saliva samples, ideally, at -80C or below.  Fridges should be high quality laboratory specifications that can maintain a stable temperature.  (‘Domestic’ fridges often show large temperature fluctuations between 2 -8ºC), this is essential
We largely use Gramm Fridges and -20C freezers and New Brunswick -86ºC freezers
Ambient fridges can maintain 22ºC, which is very useful if your lab temperature is not always well controlled. not essential but we use an LMK ambient incubator

Wireless Temperature Monitoring
It is very useful to get 24/7 warnings of when fridges/ freezers fail, for example during power cuts. Not essential but if you have to consider the costs of replacing kits or unique saliva samples it may be well worth the cost of monitoring. There are a number of solutions depending on the size of your lab and the how and when you wish to be contacted. We are currently using a system from Tutela medical (

Liquid CO2 Injection for -80c Freezers
If the temperature of the -80ºC freezer falls below a certain predefined temperature liquid C02 is injected into the freezer to keep the contents cold
Not essential but provides an additional amount of time before you start to risk damage to unique samples. Currently we use a single C02 bottle can maintain our primary -80ºC freezer at -70C for around 6 hours and additional bottles can extend this.  This system provides some ‘peace of mind’ during power cuts or system failures.

We currently use a New Brunswick C02 backup system.
If you are using C02 liquid you will also need a C02 sensor and alarm as the CO2 Gas can be fatal  at <5% concentration in air. (I.e. in case of a C02 gas leak).  We use Quantam sensor and alarm system

Microplate Reader (Essential)
Simple absorbance reader required with most common filters being 405nm (for salivary Alpha Amylase)), 450nm (for most ELISA) and 620nm (for reference read) we currently use a Tecan Sunrise and a Tecan Infinite F200.  The Sunrise is an entry-level system that is more than adequate for Salimetrics ELISA.
It is important to get some form of data processing software with the reader, for example Tecan Magellan software.
If you are considering salivary Alpha Amylase assays then an incubator option is desirable.

Plate Washer (Essential)
8 or 16 channel head will be sufficient, we currently use the Tecan Hydroflex with 18 channel head and 3 reagent bottles. If you are doing more than a few ELISA plates the washer is all but essential.

Plate Shaker Incubator
An orbital shaker that can ideally shake at least two plates at the same time.  If you were considering non Salimetrics ELISA or salivary Alpha Amylase then an incubator unit would be very useful. Not essential but relatively inexpensive and whilst you can tap plates to mix  a shaker provides far more standardised and efficient shaking

LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System)
LIMS databases store, analyse and report assay data.  They are useful if you are processing large numbers of samples, The database also helps to ensure you have detailed information on the location and history of each sample that is required for storage under the Human Tissue Act. We use a custom LIMS from AIS LIMS ltd (

Automated Liquid Handler
Automated Liquid Handlers can partially or totally automate the ELISA process, but far from essential. All the Salimetrics assays were developed to be used in laboratories without automated equipment. However if you are looking to test large numbers of samples there are advantages in using an automated system. We use a Tecan Freedom Evo with 8 fixed tips, fast wash system, robotic manipulator, 2 x incubator units (MIOs), Tecan Sunrise and Tecan Hydroflex controlled using TecanEvoWare and Tecan EvoWare PLUS software with Liebert UPS power backup.  The unit is enclosed in a Bigneat HEPA filter cabinet. These installations has just been replaced so we now have some 10 years experience of this assay and have just invested in the latest automated liquid handler from Tecan Robot available (There are other manufacturers but this was our first choice)

Autoclave (Essential)
The autoclave disinfects all lab waste and saliva by sterilizing at 131ºC for 30 minutes.  Normal lab waste, once sterilized, goes into the normal waste system and saliva is then incinerated. We use a benchtop 40L LTE Osprey autoclave

Human Tissue Act License
The handling and storage of Saliva falls within the Human Tissue Act. We therefore have invested in an HTA License costing some £6,000 per annum and have been audited by representatives from the HTA and received full approval for our documentation and systems

Salimetrics Saliva Testing Service

As you can see the Salimetrics testing laboratory in Cambridge has state of the art equipment and staffed by colleagues with over a decade of experience in saliva testing. We pride ourselves  by offering a fast, efficient and accurate service to researchers across Europe. Testing, dependent upon the number of samples,  can be as low as £8 per duplicate sample (all inclusive, Assay, Kits, Collection Devices, Bar Code Labelling, Shipping Cool Box) and in addition to the published range of Assays we will always look at other Analytes, so just ask

We also offer guidance on Saliva Collection advice, always talk to us first to avoid mistakes! We can help with project planning and continued customer service support throughout your project

Spit Tips, How to....

Need more advice, got a question e mail 

Monday, 13 July 2015

Salivary Uric Acid Assay Kit Enables Non-Invasive Testing for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Research

Salimetrics Salivary Uric Acid Enzymatic Assay enables the easy monitoring of Uric Acid levels with saliva samples (no needles, no phlebotomist, fast, easy and less expensive). This Uric Acid assay is the ideal tool to further elucidates correlations of oxidative stress and disease states    

Uric Acid, the body's most abundant antioxidant to combat oxidative stress, has emerged as a recognized marker for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Decades of epidemiological and clinical evidence have shown correlation between elevated serum uric acid concentrations and cardiovascular disease risk (1-8), as well as in association with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, preeclampsia, gout, metabolic syndrome and congestive heart failure. 

While uric acid is a critical antioxidant in blood, in excess, it can have deleterious pro-oxidant activities and increases in oxidative stress. Hyperuricemia, most often associated with gout, has also been strongly correlated with many chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Hyperuricemia is estimated to affect over 21% of the US population, and doubles in frequency between ages 20 and 80 years old (9). Symptomatic cardiovascular disease in later life is often the result of decades-long progression of atherosclerosis of blood vessels and a current study has detectable elevated Uric Acid as early as adolescence (10).

With the rising incidence of cardiovascular disease in the western world, the medical community seeks novel approaches to identify patients at the greatest risk for cardiovascular disease and other life-threatening conditions in order to suggest lifestyle changes that can prevent or delay these diseases. Salimetrics provides the tools and services, to engage and tackle scientific questions and more clearly define uric acid’s complex biological relationship to common health effects on a broad scale.

Learn "all about saliva" visit Salimetrics at

1. Chen JH, et al. (2009). Serum uric acid level as an independent risk factor for all-cause, cardiovascular, and ischemic stroke mortality: A Chinese cohort study. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 61: 225–232. 

2. Zoppini G, et al. (2009). Elevated Serum Uric Acid Concentrations Independently Predict Cardiovascular Mortality in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Diabetes Care. 32(9):1716-20

3. Viazzi F, et al. (2014). Serum uric acid and its relationship with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk profile in patients with hypertension: insights from the I-DEMAND study. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. 24.8: 921-927.

4. Gagliardi AC, et al. (2009). Uric acid: A marker of increased cardiovascular risk. Atherosclerosis. 202(1):11-7

5. Fang J, et al. (2000). Serum uric acid and cardiovascular mortality: the NHANES I epidemiologic follow-up study, 1971-1992. Jama. 10;283(18):2404-10.

6. Kivity S, et al. (2013). Association of Serum Uric Acid and Cardiovascular Disease in Healthy Adults. American Journal of Cardiology. 15;111(8).

7. Lippi G, et al. (2008). The paradoxical relationship between serum uric acid and cardiovascular disease. Clin Chim Acta. 392:1–7.

8. Keenan RT, et al. (2009). Hyperuricemia, gout, and cardiovascular disease--an important "muddle". Bull NYU Hosp Jt Dis. 67(3):285-90.

9. Zhu Y, et al (2011). Prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in the US general population: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2008. Arthritis Rheum. 63(10):3136-41

10. Gonçalves, Jean-Pierre, et al. (2015). "Serum uric acid and cardiovascular risk among Portuguese adolescents." Journal of Adolescent Health 56.4. 376-381.

11. Al-Rawi NH. (2011). Oxidative stress, antioxidant status and lipid profile in the saliva of Type 2 diabetics. Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research. 8(1) 22 –28.

Contact us for more information at