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Science  18 Sep 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5947, pp. 1566
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_1566a

Scanning Microplate Reader with Spectrophotometer

The compact Zenyth 200 is a high-performance scanning microplate reader with the added benefit of a built-in ultraviolet/visible light spectrophotometer. It is designed to meet the needs of life science laboratories that need a fast, accurate plate reader with the flexibility to handle multiple plate formats from cell culture plates (6-well to 48-well) to 96-well and 384-well plates. The Zenyth 200's advanced optics are capable of endpoint, kinetic, multichromatic, spectral, and position scanning, covering the range from 190 nm to 1,000 nm. The temperature can be controlled for kinetic studies. It is available in two versions: a personal-computer-controlled version and a stand-alone version with built-in routines for nucleic acid quantitation and characterization and integrated Windows CE for easy data transfer.

Workstation for Transporter Research

The Surfe2r Workstation 5 is a semiautomated, benchtop system designed for basic research and assay development that features proprietary Surface Electrogenic Event Reader technology. The cell-free, biosensor-based system enables direct, precise measurement of transporter activity free of molecular labels, providing in-depth analysis of transporter function. The Workstation 5 provides one sensor position for a single sensor and up to 84 sample positions for buffers. The Surface Electrogenic Event Reader technology does not make use of entire cells but instead measures the charge displacement from membrane preparations that are isolated from cell culture and other sources. Membranes are coupled, via an alkaline thiol and lipid bilayer, to gold-coated electrodes that detect changes in the electrical signal, without the use of reporter molecules.

Label-Free Interaction Analysis

The RAPid 4 is a flow-based system that performs label-free interaction analysis through the use of novel Resonant Acoustic Profiling technology. The detection of molecular interactions through acoustic technology offers advantages over optical biosensors. It reduces the need to purify samples and generates accurate kinetic, affinity, and concentration measurement from complex biological mixtures, such as blood, serum, cell culture supernatants, and periplasmic extracts. The RAPid 4 is suitable for use in life science and pharmaceutical laboratories for biotherapeutics development and protein expression analysis. It exploits the piezoelectric effects of quartz crystal resonators for label-free detection of molecular interactions in real time.

Label-Free Instruments

Two next generation, high throughput, label-free instruments have been launched. The Octet RED384 is for protein, peptide, small molecule, and fragment screening. The Octet QK384 is for protein and antibody assays. Both instruments allow 384-well detection, 16-channel simultaneous readout, biosensor regeneration and reracking, and automation capabilities for biotherapeutic and pharmaceutical drug discovery assays. The new instruments increase the cost efficiencies of running ForteBio's label-free Dip and Read biosensor assays in high throughput mode, while speeding the time to results for kinetic characterization and quantitation measurements. The systems support two 384-well or 96-well plate positions. A full complement of samples can be run in one plate, while the second plate holds buffers, diluents, and controls.

Cell Migration Assay

The Oris Cell Migration Assay allows for real-time imaging and can be used on high throughput and high content imaging instruments. Unlike traditional cell migration assays using a Boyden chamber device, there is no transmembrane or cell culture insert obstructing live images of the cells as they migrate. The assay features a specially designed, cell-seeding stopper inside each microplate well that restricts cells from seeding into a central detection zone as cells are being dispensed. After cell attachment has occurred, the stoppers are removed, allowing cells to migrate into the detection zone for analysis using a fluorescence plate reader, microscope, or high content imaging system. The assays are available with tissue culture treated plates, collagen I coated plates, fibronectin coated plates, or a tricoated version with all three surfaces.

Protein and Fragment Assays

Two new label-free assay modules—for high-sensitivity protein quantitation and fragment screening—are available for use on the Octet instrument platform. The new modules are available via software upgrades. The high-sensitivity protein assay module can detect low nanogram per milliliter levels of analytes in quantitation mode. It can replace fluorescence and luminescence enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to provide results within an hour, enabling follow-up research to be conducted the same day. The fragment screening assay extends the small molecule analysis capabilities available on the Octet RED system by enabling kinetic characterization and screening of fragment libraries that include compounds in the 150 to 300 dalton range.

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