Labcyte Inc. has launched the Access™ Dual-Robot System (DRS) and the Echo® 655T Liquid Handler, key components of a new acoustic sample management solution that will support the next generation of pharmaceutical drug discovery as it demands faster, high-throughput screens while requiring less sample. The company, along with its collaborators AstraZeneca, Brooks Life Sciences and Titian Software, introduced the new solution to attendees of SLAS2018 this week in San Diego.
Pioneered by Labcyte, acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) technology uses the gentle energy of sound waves to move liquids at nanoliter resolution with superior precision and accuracy. The technology does not contact the liquid in any way, avoiding the risk for sample loss, carryover or cross-contamination, and enables assay miniaturization with reliable fluid transfers at volumes as low as 2.5 nanoliters. The Echo 655T Liquid Handler makes it possible to use acoustically compatible tubes for high-density sample storage, extending the benefits of contactless liquid transfer to the earliest stages of sample management to conserve sample material and preserve sample quality.
The complete solution includes automated storage systems that allow for rapid retrieval of new FluidX™ AcoustiX™ Sample Tubes, both supplied by Brooks Life Sciences. Racked tubes are then transferred to the Access DRS workstation where the Echo 655T Liquid Handler transfers samples directly from AcoustiX tubes into assay-ready plates for high-throughput screening applications. The Access DRS is a highly flexible and scalable platform for automating both tube- and plate-based acoustic liquid handling workflows. Orders for and results from samples processed on the system are managed by software developed by Titian Software.
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The combination of acoustic tubes and acoustic liquid handling was first developed in tandem with AstraZeneca to automate its pharmaceutical compound management system using fully acoustic workflows. By implementing this innovative technology, the research organizations of leading biopharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca could greatly reduce the frequency at which samples are replaced and lower the costs of maintaining large sample collections.
"Working with Labcyte, we have created a cutting-edge capability that will provide an unparalleled level of quality in the screening data produced from our biological assays, deliver new ways of working across all our research centers, reduce cost, and transform our ability to identify new molecules that could become medicines of the future," said Clive Green, Executive Director Sample Management at AstraZeneca's IMED Biotech Unit.
"We are incredibly delighted to partner with AstraZeneca, Brooks and Titian to bring unprecedented efficiency and quality in sample management and screening to laboratories around the world," said Mark Fischer-Colbrie, President and Chief Executive Officer at Labcyte. "Our new sample management solution provides a smarter approach to high-throughput screening and sets new standards for sample integrity, efficiency and data quality, while at the same time reducing costs throughout the process."
Labcyte will now be offering the system as part of its range of modular, customizable automation platforms. For more information about Labcyte activities at SLAS2018, including a series of tutorial workshops, visit representatives of the company at booth 915 / 921.