The Utah Procurement Code provides that a procurement may be made without competition when the University determines that there is only one source that can reasonably meet the University’s need for the required supply or service, as described in Utah Code Ann. § 63G-6a-802.


The Purchasing Department has received the following request for sole source procurement

Product and/or Service to be purchased: Promethion NG system

Sole Source Supplier: Sable Instruments

Earliest Proposed Purchase Date: May 23, 2024

Buyer Name: Anthony Ferrara

Sole Source Justification:

The Promethion-Core is the only metabolic and behavioral phenotyping system that enables the tight synchronization of metabolic data with behavioral events. This advantage comes from their high flow rate (2 L/min, compared to 400 ml/min or 500 ml/min from alternate vendors) which makes the cycle time as short as <=2.5 minutes (cage 1 back to cage 1, 8 to 32 cages) independent of tubing lengths to equipment.

Their equipment is normal home-type and enrichment allowed, which puts shorten acclimation time. They also use a full pull mode calorimetry, which has further benefits. These advantages are demonstrated by generally maintaining or increasing the mass of the subjects during measurement.

Promethion’s stable isotope gas analyzer can simultaneously measure 13CO2, C18O2, CO2, and H218O (TSE can only measure 13CO2). It has a wide measurement range for δ13C (-100‰ to 4000‰) and CO2 (300ppm to 25,000ppm). The Sable Systems high-resolution isotope analyzer utilizes the most current technology (off-axis-integrated output cavity spectroscopy) for resolving and quantifying 13CO2 in exhaled breath. This technology includes a 3-kilometer path length sample cell that provides the maximum possible sensitivity. Competitor sensors use an old CO2 infrared absorption sensor with a short (<1M) path length. These sensors sacrifice performance/capability for price and do not enable researchers to conduct anything but the simplest experiment. Only the Sable Systems high-resolution analyzer has the sensitivity necessary to study specific metabolic pathways when coupled to metabolic equipment. This is accomplished by using positionally labeled tracers. For example, 13C6-glucose has only the 6th carbon isotopically labeled and may provide information on specific metabolic pathways (such as the pentose-phosphate pathway).

Another big advantage of the Promethion-Core system is that it uses water vapor pressure and barometric measurement to "dry" air mathematically. This measurement gives perfect RER and EE data, especially for long-term studies that accumulate biological samples in the equipment that severely decay the data in the CLAMS system we have now (CLAMS system uses desiccators to dry thus needs to be changed very frequently and are not consistent).

Sable Systems has a support staff team including multiple PhDs with peer-reviewed publications in biology. A lot of our research group is new to the metabolic phenotyping field. Thus, technical and scientific/analytical support is crucial to our users.

The other two alternate vendor options are not able to make the modifications to meet our requests.