By Olga BAZANOVA, journalist
The ZAO ExpoCenter in Moscow is one of the few exhibition complexes which year after year acquaint the public with the latest achievements of Russian and foreign science and technology. At the end of 2002 it saw the sixth exposition "Science. Research Instruments-2002" which demonstrated state-of-the-art technological solutions and pilot models of instruments ready for commercial production, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technologies of the Russian Federation and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Visitors were shown know-how available in different areas of science: physics, including nuclear, chemistry, biology, medicine, mechanical engineering, materials technology, energy saving, airspace industry, radioelectronics, communications, optics, geology, agronomy, ecology, etc. On display there were diagnostic equipment, instrumentation, different analyzers and so forth.
For the first time the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technologies of the Russian Federation presented its exposition "Research Instrument Engineering-2002". Taking part were 30 organizations, firms and enterprises from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yoshkar-Ola, Taganrog, Nizhni Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Krasnodar, Kabardino-Balkaria displaying many instruments unique in characteristics, fitting top world standards and capable of being immediately put to practical use.
Thus, a portable gravimeter developed by the Gravimetric Technologies Research Enterprise facilitates prospecting for oil- and gas-bearing structures and fields of other mineral resources on the basis of anomalies of the earth gravitation field measured from airplanes, helicopters and sea vessels. The outstanding possibilities of the instrument have been confirmed by two independent series of flight tests arranged in Russia with the participation of esteemed international organizations.
Broad exposure was given to the equipment for quantitative analysis of different compounds and substances. For example, ZAO SORBPOLIMER and OOO MASHINOSTROITEL (Krasnodar) produce materials and equipment for thin-layer chromato-graphy-readily available and inexpensive methodology of studying low- molecular organic compounds, non-organic substances and high polymers performed on sorbent-coated plates. Sets of such equipment are in demand by analytical and toxicological laboratories for the control of medical preparations, standardization and metrological centers, state sanitary and epidemiological inspection, agricultural and chemical services, plant protection stations, narcological clinics, foodstuffs manufacturing enterprises, criminological organizations and so forth.
High-sensitive quantitative analysis of different inorganic, organic and biologically active substances is a field for the application of the capillary electrophoresis NANOPHOR series of instruments presented by the RAS Institute of Analytical Instrument Engineering. They are applied to clinical, genetic and ecological analysis, determination of purity and genuineness of pharmacological preparations, testing of
foodstuffs, as well as in criminalistics.
Voltamperometric analyzers with solid-state electrodes produced by ZAO AKVILON (Moscow) are designed for qualitative and quantitative testing of water, soil, air, industrial products and raw materials for the content of heavy metal ions and toxicants (cadmium, palladium, zinc, copper, bismuth, thallium and so on). The instruments are highly sensitive (up to 0.001 mg/1) and capable of identifying simultaneously several elements in one and the same sample. The contemporary software of these installations substantially simplifies and expedites the work minimizing operator errors and facilitating the storage of a large amount of measurement data.
ZAO AKVILON also put on display the Stayer series high-efficiency liquid chromatographic systems: an ion chromatograph for qualitative and quantitative analysis of non-organic and organic ions in water solutions, in natural, potable and other types of water and sewage; a device for testing super-pure water to identify traces of organic and inorganic ions; isocratic chromatographs for detecting organic compounds in foodstuffs, foodstuffs raw materials, drinks and for controlling technological processes in power engineering, pharmaceutics, chemical, petrochemical, oil refining and other industries; a gradient chromatograph for testing amino acids and carbohydrates, hormonal composition of biological fluids and compounds reactive mass.
The Bioanalytical Technologies Company (Moscow) set up with a special purpose of marketing unique developments of the RAS Molecular Biology Institute (named after Vladimir Engelgardt) and the RAS Spectroscopy Institute manufactures equipment for biosensoric technological applications. The exhibition featured a system for quick detection, as a matter of a few minutes, with high reliability and at low cost of the presence and concentrations in liquids of biologically active sub-
stances characterizing the state of an organism or a technological process, the quality of raw materials or finished goods and environmental pollution.
Also on display was the produce of the ECONICS EXPERT enterprise of Moscow designing and engineering electrochemical instruments of product certification, analytical and instrumental control and research. Its product line includes pH meters, voltamperometric analyzers, conductance meters, coulometers, titrators and other equipment.
The section of the Moscow State Institute of Electronic Technology featured a display of R&D Technological Center and ZAO Center of New Technologies. The former presented micro-systems for measuring barometric and differential pressure and controlling the status of gaseous environment; the latter showed various instruments, including electronic autonomously-powered scales.
Many exhibits were directly related to medical diagnostics and treatment. E.g., the PANATRON-V Scientific and Implementation Enterprise (Moscow) put on display the laser therapeutic hardware Scalar-Panatron used in surgery, emergency medicine, general traumatology, gynecology and obstetrics, stomatology, othorinolaringology, cosmetology, pediatrics, psychiatry and so forth. Due to multi- functionality, small dimensions and weight, these devices may be used not only in in- patient medical institutions but also by ambulances and mobile hospitals.
The RAS Molecular Biology Institute (named after Vladimir Engelgardt) presented video-analyzers for multiple parallel testing of biological samples with the use of bio- chips* capable of simultaneously producing chemical and fermentative reactions (hybridization, DNA/RNA amplication, gene/antibody interaction).
Medical instruments were also given a broad exposure in the RAS collective exhibition. The display of the Mechanical Engineering Institute (named after Anatoly Blagonravov) showed the Pulse diagnostic cardiosphygmograph which in 3 to 5 minutes examines the cardiovascular system; an inexpensive computer electroencephalograph Neuro-KM; the electrogastrograph EGG-24 - 01, a unique computer system for monitoring electric rhythms of the gastrointestinal tract.
No less intriguing are the developments of the RAS Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry (named after Vladimir Vernadsky). Their organic reagents are unique preparations for spectrophotometric analysis of environmental objects. Their application allows to reduce the cost by the order of 1 to 2 as compared with other methods. Good prospects are also opened up by the photocatalytic air purifier demonstrated by the RAS Institute of Chemical Physics Problems which makes it possible to eliminate organic air pollutants resistant to any other means. The RAS Oceanology Institute (named after Pyotr Shirshov) has put on display thermogradientograph MTG-3M. It is through its use that the prospective appraisal of Russia's oil- and gas-bearing outlying seas** has become possible and fundamental studies of oceanic lithosphere have been completed.
Exhibits of the RAS Organo-elemental Compounds Institute (named after Alexander Nesmeyanov) have
* See: A. Mirzabekov, "Biological Microchips" in this issue.- Ed.
** See: S. Golubchikov, "Arctic Shelf- Russia's Key Reserve", Science in Russia, No. 1, 2000.-Ed.
highlighted original methods of detecting metalloorganic, organoele-mental, coordination and bioactive compounds. The RAS Institute of Structural Macrokinetics and Materials Technology has presented a calorimeter for instant measuring of the amount of heat released in burning different types of fuel. The RAS Institute of Microorganisms' Biochemistry and Physiology (named after Georgy Skryabin) has exhibited a multi-channel biosensoric analyzer for detecting biologically active compounds for ecological monitoring and control of some biotechnological processes.
An utmost interest is presented by a development of the RAS United Institute of High Temperatures, a remote optical profilometer capable of nondestructive real-time control even under vibration. For cutting metallic (up to 30 mm thick) and non- metallic (up to 80 mm thick) items, welding steel materials (up to 7 mm thick), heat treatment and fusing on, the RAS Institute of Laser and Information Technologies has created a CO 2 laser, a powerful coherent infrared radiation generator comprising a part of automated technological complexes. The same institute has offered a stereolithographer, a device for by-layer manufacturing of models, parts, units and structures of any shape or complexity from liquid compounds polymerizing under the impact of laser emission, and active mirrors from glass, silicon, piezoceramics and copper for correcting and generating laser beams and controlling their parameters. The RAS Institute of Super-pure Substances Chemistry has presented optic elements for spectroscopes and generation of high-density laser emission, particularly, for CO 2 lasers, manufactured from polycrystalline zinc selenide.
High interest among visitors was stirred by the exposition of ZAO SAPFIR (Moscow) manufacturing ultrasonic baths having application in motor industry (flushing of carbureters and injectors), stomatology (cleaning of casting forms and tools), mechanical engineering, repairs of office appliances (washing of units, parts, printer fonts), chemical industry (acceleration of reactions, mixing of solutions and liquids, degassing of liquids), electronics (washing of quartz plates and printed boards), goldsmithery (washing of finished goods) and so forth.
Some state-of-the-art developments were demonstrated by foreign participants too. Thus the US VARIAN showed gas and liquid chromatographs, chromatomass- spectrometers and other research equipment. German manufacturers demonstrated no less interesting exhibits. Shimazu presented a new generation of liquid chromatographs, spectrometers and analyzers of organic carbon and other instruments for use in pharmaceutical and food industries, biochemistry, ecological control and chemical analysis. Carl Zeiss showed optical, laser-scanning and electronic microscopes.
The exhibition provided broad opportunities for presenting products, expanding business partnership and establishing mutually beneficial contracts.
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