Childhood brain tumors are rare but, despite all the progress made over recent years, they are often associated with poor prognoses and low survival rates.
Researchers at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich are focused on the rapid translation of drugs for use in this field, and the INTEGRA family of products – including VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipettes, the ASSIST PLUS pipetting robot, EVOLVE manual pipettes and PIPETBOY acu 2 pipette controllers – have been a part of the lab since its inception. Dr Alexander Beck, the head of the laboratory, explained: “We assess drugs in terms of their efficacy on tumor cells, blood-brain barrier penetration, toxicity and, on a deeper level, the tumor biology.”
“The ASSIST PLUS pipetting robot is without doubt the system that has had the most impact on our work; I don’t think there is anything else out there with the same capabilities, especially for its price point. We do a large amount of cell culture and have set up a workflow to test a lot of drugs weekly, which includes cell seeding, drug dilutions and drug treatments, and a viability assay. Throughput has increased from two plates a week manually to 20-30 plates a week, and we benefit from improved reproducibility as well as more time to perform other tasks, thanks to the instrument’s automation abilities. We are now optimizing the use of a six-channel VOYAGER with wide bore GripTips on the ASSIST PLUS, to transfer embryoid bodies from 96 to 24 well plates; automating this process could reduce the workflow from hours to just a matter of minutes. Our INTEGRA portfolio is certainly helping us accelerate our research,” concluded Alexander.
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