Cherwell supports Dorte Egelund at record-breaking LabDays 2024

By Martin Sketchley

LabDays Stockholm 2024 was held in the Stockholmsmässan Exhibition and Congress Center on 17 and 18 April. The event attracted over 1,400 professionals – a new attendance record for the event. There were delegates with backgrounds ranging from research and development laboratories, the plastic recycling industry, plant research, chemical engineering, the paper and pulp industry, and of course pharmaceuticals. The exhibition floor was bustling with activity, featuring booths from leading companies and organisations presenting their products and services.

A variety of hands-on demonstrations showcasing the latest laboratory equipment and technologies were available at LabDays. Attendees had the opportunity to see cutting-edge instruments in action, ranging from advanced analytical tools to innovative automation systems. These demonstrations provided valuable insights into the capabilities and functionalities of the latest lab solutions, allowing professionals to explore potential applications for their own research and workflows.

Attendees were able to engage in interactive sessions, discuss real-world challenges, and learn practical tips and strategies to enhance their lab operations. Workshops also delved into subjects such as lab safety protocols, quality control measures, and best practices for data management. 

Cherwell's Microbiology Product Specialist, Wan Li Low, and Channel Business Development Manager, Melis Parmaksiz, were in attendance to support Dorte Egelund, Cherwell's distributor of its Redipor® brand in Denmark and Sweden. Wan Li and Melis provided expert insight into prepared microbiological media, highlighted new, more environmentally friendly products on the horizon, and presented on prepared media selection for differing sterile processes and environmental monitoring needs.

Here are their respective accounts of their LabDays experience.

Wan Li LowWan Li Low, Microbiology Product Specialist

Unlike other events Cherwell has attended, LabDays was less focused on the requirements of the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Annex 1. Delegates from pharma labs were interested in prepared media for environmental monitoring applications, and were particularly interested in Cherwell's ability and flexibility to produce custom prepared media formulations under its Redipor range. Few were aware of the possibility of buying prepared media from a supplier such as Cherwell, with these products mainly being produced in-house.

The products distributed by Dorte focused on microbiological applications. These included solutions for media preparators, anaerobic incubation, microplate analysis, a wireless temperature data logger, modular-automated plating and a dilution system.

In the Free Lab theatre, topics showcased available technologies to improve and ease laboratory experiments. Seminars covered subjects ranging from automated systems to carrying out microbiological plating and dilution, use of AI to aid analysis to basic laboratory requirements, such different drying methods, measurement of vital components such as pH and dissolved oxygen, and even calibration of pipettes!



In fact I was pleased to deliver a presentation myself: “Prepared media: What’s right for you? – An introduction to Neutralisers, Double strength media, Barrier packs and more”. This focused on things to consider when choosing the appropriate prepared media types. In conjunction with GMP Annex 1 requirements for environmental monitoring, the major factors affecting the type of prepared media to be used are based on the actual facility and process requirements. 

To facilitate this, prepared media such as Redipor are presented either as solid (agar) or liquid (broth) in various formats, such as plates, bottles, vials, infusion bags, ampoules, universals, as well as Cherwell's new Redipor Beta Bag. These products can be protected in multiple layers of packaging using materials such as flow wrap, poly bags or barrier packs. In addition, the availability of irradiated prepared media will give greater sterility assurance, especially in critical areas such as grade-A cleanrooms.

Facilities using vaporised hydrogen peroxide (VHP) will require packaging such as the Redipor Barrier pack, which will protect the media from the oxidising effects of VHP. The use of different neutralisers in contact plates will be useful to inactivate any residual traces of disinfectants on sampled surfaces, to ensure that an accurate representation of microbial colony count is observed from the sampled area. Despite this, considerations should be taken to use appropriate neutralisers to achieve optimum results and maintain cost-effectiveness.

The use of prepared media is not only limited for environmental monitoring purposes due to the variation in presentation. Other applications such as process or operator validation, general microbiology R&D activities including water sampling, serial dilutions, isolation and maintenance of bacteria or fungal cultures could also benefit from using prepared media, the feasibility of the prepared media manufacturer to create bespoke products helps to enhance reliability, accuracy and efficiency of processes whilst supporting compliance with regulatory requirements. As you can see, it's a complex topic with lots of ground to cover!

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Melis Parmaksiz - Channel Business Development ManagerMelis Parmaksiz, Channel Business Development Manager

I was delighted to attend LabDays Stockholm with my Cherwell colleague, Wan Li Low. The event was an excellent opportunity for us to engage with our official partners in Sweden. It was a privilege to support Dorte Egelund ApS, Cherwell's official distributor in Denmark and Sweden. Cherwell is committed to providing dedicated support to all of its distributors worldwide, with a primary focus on partnership, which is one of Cherwell's core values, and at the heart of why Dorte chooses to work with Cherwell. 

Global life science and medical technology companies, distributors that originated in Sweden, and medical device distributors based in Europe were among those present at LabDays. In my role as Channel Business Development Manager, I gained valuable insights into the market, and connected with new startup founders in the industry who were in search of microbiological media.

The exhibition provided a conducive setting for connecting with Automated Media Preparation, Incubator Equipment Manufacturers, and Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) companies. There was considerable interest in microbiological media and container suppliers, with some customers seeking services, quality, and logistics upgrades from their providers. Also, most customers with no automated process for culture media production were looking for reliable suppliers – "reliable" being yet another of Cherwell's core values! 

Cherwell displayed many products, which attracted people to the booth. The Cherwell Channel Management team recently had productive meetings with suppliers and manufacturers to explore partnership opportunities and brainstorm innovative solutions. Cherwell was one of the few media suppliers who participated in the exhibition, which showcased the company's growth and dedication to the Nordic market.

Cherwell team has derived immense value from the opportunity to interact with the technology providers during the exhibition.

When speaking to other exhibitors at LabDays, one mentioned the use of animal-free media when validating liquid filling processes. Although the actual motivation to move to the use of animal-free products was unclear, this may be in line with growing interest in animal-free research. The other potential driver could be to eliminate the risk of BSE/TSE in the research process. It's hoped that further discussions on the subject will provide greater understanding of the requirements for use of plant-based microbiological growth media.

It was interesting to meet colleagues with a shared interest in microbiology, whilst also learning about the different products available in Dorte’s portfolio. Our ultimate goal is to help our distributors successfully navigate their growth journey. If you're interested in becoming an official Cherwell partner, please feel free to fill out this form!

Sustainability and AI continue to gain traction across the industry

Overall, LabDays 2024 was considered a great success, fostering collaboration, innovation, and knowledge-sharing among industry professionals.

Key themes that emerged over the course of LabDays included the importance of leveraging technology to enhance lab efficiency, the growing emphasis on sustainability in lab practices, and the increasing role of data analytics and artificial intelligence in research and development activities.

For Cherwell, the event was an excellent opportunity to deepen understanding of the Swedish market and its microbiological media needs. Melis and Wan Li will bring this knowledge back to the team in Bicester to further inform product developments, and build upon the company's existing network of overseas distributors.



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