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Mar 1, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 5)

New Products Rolled Out at SLAS

  • TAP Biosystems introduced the new RAFT system that comprises a custom RAFT microwell plate, reagents, plate heater and protocol for the production of 3-D cell cultures.

    “RAFT enables the production of reproducible 3-D cell cultures in a standard 96-well plate format designed for compound screening and cell biology research,” said Grant Cameron, Ph.D., RAFT development director.

    “It uses collagen to create a realistic cellular environment to study cells’ complex behavior and gives scientists complete control over their experimental parameters.”

    Researchers can choose cell types and cell seeding densities and create complex co-cultures including multiple layers, if required. A broad range of analytical techniques, such as imaging, biochemical, histological and omics techniques, can be applied to the 3-D cell cultures, he added.

    Tecan displayed the QC Kit, a fully integrated performance evaluation tool for its freedom EVO liquid-handling workstations. The product, which was developed via a partnership with Artel, incorporates Artel’s Ratiometric Photometry™ technology within the Freedom Evo system.

    The QC Kit, noted Frederic Vanderhaegen, head of life sciences business at Tecan, enables the collection of precision and accuracy performance data regarding the volumes delivered by every channel of a liquid-handling arm. The new tool provides clinical, pharmaceutical, and forensic labs a reliable way to meet an increasing quality and regulatory demand for performance verification, added Vanderhaegen.

    Thermo Fisher Scientific placed one of its Orbitor BenchTrak customizable plate movers on the exhibit floor. Equipped with quick-connect modules, the product extends the functionality and versatility of the Orbitor RS plate mover, explained a company official, who described the system as one that provides a fully customizable automation solution that fits into existing laboratory space—either “on-bench” or “in-bench.”

    Multiple Orbitor BenchTraks can connect to form complex system layouts, and a range of “click-in” components, such as instrument loading platforms, mezzanines, guarding and microplate stores, can be incorporated to address almost any customer workflow requirement, he added.

    The PC-driven Orbitor Benchtrak features Thermo Scientific Momentum 3 software, which, the company claims, enables users to configure it for a wide variety of benchtop workflows, including sample prep, ELISA, nucleic acid and protein purification, cell or biochemical assays, qPCR, and next-generation sequencing.

    TTP Labtech introduced three new products at SLAS. The arktic™ -80°C automated bank was designed to provide high capacity storage per cubic meter. With the capacity to hold up to 95,000 0.5 mL tubes, the modular unit can fit into a small footprint, which makes it a consideration for space-restricted laboratories with biobanking needs.

    arktic incorporates the features of TTP Labtech’s comPOUND® storage system, thus allowing arktic to offer automated sample retrieval and sample tracking with connection to database and laboratory information management systems. “arktic provides storage under nitrogen or dry air in a hermetically sealed environment, as well as the ability to cherry pick individual microtubes for delivery within 60 seconds, so ensuring the integrity of valuable biological samples is maintained,” said Simon Tullett, product manager at TTP Labtech.

    The company also launched mosquito® HV, which was developed to allow scientists to handle low volume serial dilutions and assay plate preparations, across the 500 nL to 5 µL range. In addition, the mosquito HV reportedly can perform serial dilutions in the 2–8 µL final volume range, and can stamp from a mother plate directly to assay plates as part of the same protocol.

    TTP Labtech’s third new offering at SLAS was a noncontact sensor-based instrument, aequus. “By providing a safe, automated solution to solvent-level monitoring, analytical chemists can easily keep track of both solvent use and waste overflow during the everyday running of their analytical equipment,” explained Simon Tullett. “The ability to connect aequus to remote user alarms enables around the clock monitoring, helping to protect expensive analytical equipment, as well as the results of valuable chemical analyses.”

    Providing up to 12 channels, each aequus unit is capable of monitoring a maximum of six bottles in both solvent supply and waste trays, continued Tullett, who said that aequus addresses one of the currently unmet needs in automated laboratory management.

  • SLAS New Product Awards

    Conference officials also presented the SLAS New Product Award (NPA) Designation to four companies with the top new products showcased on the exhibit floor. This year’s NPA winners are:

    • Dynamic Devices: 96VVP liquid-handling robotic head
    • Fluidix: air film
    • Siloam Biosciences: OptiMax microplates
    • Tecan: HP D300 digital dispenser

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