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Top Trends in Life Science: Adaptability to Different Applications

Wed, 06/23/2010 - 10:28am
BioTek Instruments
BioTek EL406 Combination Microplate Washer Dispenser

At the forefront of customers’ demands are high-quality products that are extremely adaptable to different applications, provide the highest level of performance, and yet still remain cost-effective. As the range of microplate-based assays continues to expand, they seek ways to mine more research data with less money, materials, and time.

“More than ever before, our customers are looking for suppliers that will be “partners” in their discovery process,” notes Gary Barush, BioTek’s director of marketing & sales. “By this, I mean that they now demand outstanding customer service in both pre- & post-sales support backed by an experienced technical support staff.”

From a manufacturing standpoint, the challenge is to satisfy the need for performance, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness while balancing a wide range of assay platforms from simple biochemical assays to complex cell-based assays. BioTek creates many modular microplate-based instruments, allowing end-users to select only the modules necessary for their applications, thus keeping their costs down. As research needs expand and change, they can integrate new modules, providing application and budget flexibility.

Along with modularity is the combination of multiple features in one instrument. By packing multiple technologies in one instrument, researchers are no longer limited to choosing one technology over another—now they can have the best of both worlds, and don’t have to sacrifice valuable bench space.

 

BioTek Synergy H4 Hybrid Microplate Reader

BioTek provides instruments that are precise, modular, and multi-functional to suit the needs of any laboratory. For example, its Reader combines sensitive filter- and flexible monochromator-based optical systems to increase assay versatility while retaining precision performance on par with that of high-end single mode readers. Synergy H4 covers the entire range of microplate-based fluorescent, absorbance and luminescence assays, and as it’s modular, the reader may be upgraded as application needs change.

Another example is BioTek’s EL406 Combination Microplate Washer Dispenser, which combines a peristaltic reagent pump and two microprocessor-driven syringe drive dispensers and microplate washing for use with 96-, 384- and 1536-well microplates in one instrument. The EL406 is also modular, and the combination of dispensing and washing technologies in one unit expands the functionality for a wide range of washing and dispensing applications.

In today’s economic climate, some of the key challenges faced by life science researchers are increased pressures for productivity and cost reduction.

“In essence, scientists are being told to do more with less,” says Peter Banks, BioTek’s scientific director. “BioTek understands this and has built in both modularity and flexibility into our products.”

Synergy H4 is a Hybrid Microplate Reader allowing for the detection of the widest range of microplate applications. Similarly, EL406 is a Combination Microplate Washer Dispenser providing a small automation footprint and reduced plate cycling time compared to a workstation utilizing individual washers and dispensers.

The increased use of cell-based, microplate assays across the life sciences has caused the company to design instruments to facilitate these types of assays. Synergy H4 has bottom-read fluorescence detection capability suitable for live cell applications; EL406 utilizes angled low flow rate dispensing to ensure gentle wash and dispensing conditions that do not disrupt cell monolayers on the microplate. EL406 has been demonstrated as a useful tool for cell seeding (96- to 1536-well microplates), media aspiration and exchanges, cell washing, reagent addition, and providing adjustable residual volumes. BioTek Instruments, Inc., 888-451-5171, www.biotek.com

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