The Changing Nature of Biomedical Equipment and Its Applications

The biomedical field and its equipment have undergone extensive growth over the past few decades, especially in the area of life sciences. As the latest advances in various existing and emerging technologies continue to find even more potential applications, this evolution is showing no sign of losing its momentum. Helping to meet those needs in universities, hospitals and other establishments engaged in research and diagnostic procedures throughout South Africa, IEPSA has grown, in parallel, to become a specialist supplier that is widely-known and respected for its high quality products and expert support.

At the time that we first opened our doors in 1980, the market was primarily restricted to hospitals and pathology departments and the dependence upon biomedical equipment per se, was still relatively limited when compared to that of the present day. Our main focus lay in sourcing and supplying these institutions with diagnostic kits and reagents that were designed to simplify selected procedures and to reduce the time required by the more conventional methodologies in vogue at the time.

Progress in the diagnostic field, in particular, has been extensive with techniques such as immunofluorescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) offering the means to accurately detect and quantitate many of the biological compounds such as enzymes that are now known to be associated with a variety of disease processes such as malignancies. As a consequence, much of our focus still lies within this field.

In terms of biomedical equipment, however, many disciplines, some old and others brand new, are now heavily dependent on the capacity for quick and simple testing procedures and reliable results or special handling abilities that the latest generation of advanced products have to offer them.  One classic example of a relatively new and expanding discipline that is totally dependent upon such technology is assisted reproduction.

Attempting to achieve in a laboratory what nature normally accomplishes within the highly complex biological environment of the female reproductive system is, to say the least, an exacting task and one that requires strict aseptic technique throughout all of the handling and ultra-efficient facilities for the preservation of the live male and female gametes. Typical of the specialised biomedical equipment required in this type of application are items such as the liquid nitrogen vapour storage freezers that may be used to maintain the viability of the donor ova and spermatozoa which will later be utilised when attempting an in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Together with dewars for storage and transport, these are also widely used for banking other living tissues such as bone marrow, stem cell cultures and the cord blood from which they may be extracted and cultivated. Specialists engaged in other related fields including gene therapy, immunology and oncology research also make extensive use of liquid nitrogen and so they too have a need for the biomedical equipment that is required in order to safely store and dispense it along with the means to monitor the state of stored specimens and to activate alarms in the event of any deviation from the required temperature range.

IEPSA sources state-of-the-art products from leading international manufacturers, specialised in their field. Our staff is thoroughly trained in the theoretical and practical aspects needed to support our clients in the use of all biomedical equipment.

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