blog: Let’s talk crystallography in Asia and Oceania

Let’s talk crystallography in Asia and Oceania.

Hanoi, Vietnam will become ‘The city of crystallography’ from 3 – 7th December, hosting the 14th conference of the Asian Crystallography Association (AsCA 2016) and
TTP Labtech’s protein crystallography open workshop.

This region has a long and distinguished history in the field of crystallography:

  • Bragg’s Law, formulated by the Australian Lawrence Bragg
  • seminal contributions to the crystal engineering of organic molecules (India)
  • coordination polymers (Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and China).

This is highlighted in a recent themed issue of a Royal Society of Chemistry journal celebrating Crystallography in the Asia-Pacific region (CrystEngComm (2014) 16: 6276). This region is also one of the youngest and the fastest growing of the four Regional Associates of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr).

If you are going to AsCA 2016 and would like to join us for a relaxing afternoon of talks by leading crystallographers in both industry and academia and meet other users of
TTP Labtech’s liquid handling instruments, please come along on Saturday 3rd Dec at 11am at Hotel Mövenpick, 83 Lý Thường Kiệt, Cửa Nam, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội. Following the talks and discussions, you will be able to delight in the tasty traditional Vietnamese cuisine following a Hanoi sightseeing. At this open workshop you will have the chance to learn more about best practices and successful strategies to crystallise proteins using
TTP Labtech’s range of mosquito® and dragonfly® liquid handlers. This is a FREE event, but places are limited so please sign up to avoid disappointment.

The following speakers at the workshop will also be available for informal discussions during the day:

Dr. Andrew Doré “Extra-helical binding site of a Glucagon Receptor antagonist: problems and solutions using the mosquito LCP”

Dr. Andrew Doré is Director of Crystallography at Heptares Therapeutics, UK. His work addresses some of the hurdles associated with the instability of GPCRs and aims to generate small molecules and therapeutic antibodies targeting challenging or previously undruggable GPCRs.

Prof. Kurt Krause “Simplified Method for Influenza Neuraminidase Purification for Structural Studies”

Prof. Kurt Krause is Director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases and a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Otago. His group focus on the structural biology of infectious diseases.

Dr. S. Ramaswamy is an Senior Professor at Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, India. His research interests lay in the area of protein-protein interaction networks of translocation pathways and lipid signaling. His general research question is ‘what could be the differences in the modulation and dynamics of protein complexes/ lipids between normal cells and cell under the stress?’

If you would like to find out more about the mosquito range of liquid handlers or dragonfly please contact our experts at



18 Oct - 22 Oct 2016 ASHG 2016 recap

Thanks to everyone who spoke with us at ASHG 2016!

In case you missed it, you can find a full recap!

mosquito liquid handlers for genomics


  • superior accuracy and precision coupled with high speed transfers using true positive displacement pipetting technology
  • reduce sample and reagent requirements to 20 pg or less of nucleic acid and up to 50-fold reduction in reagents
  • no cross-contamination, no carryover with our low-cost disposable pipettes
  • be in control with the simple software interface by easily creating new protocol

application areas

low volume liquid handling with mosquito HTS, HV and X1

  • synthetic & molecular biology: High-throughput, miniaturised reactions for PCR, cloning and DNA assembly with mosquito
  • nucleic acid sequencing: Low cost, low volume library preparation for single cell analysis, including DNAseq, RNAseq and normalisation
  • gene expression profiling: Cost-effective, high-throughput analysis of mRNA with rapid qPCR set-up

Poster title: Automated, low-cost, miniaturized RNA-Seq and DNAseq library preps

>>Get our latest app note here: This application note presents a high-throughput, miniaturised workflow, in which differentiated pancreatic stems cells were studied using single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq), in Dr. Louise Laurent’s lab at University of California, San Diego, USA.

>>Watch our free on-demand tutorial here: Low-volume, automated single cell RNA-seq library preparation

>>Read the latest JALA publication here: Miniaturization Technologies for Efficient Single-Cell Library Preparation for Next-Generation Sequencing

Are you interested in a demo? >>Book it here!

11 Dec - 15 Dec 2016 Meet our experts at this year’s Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics

Meet our experts at this year’s Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics.

Venue: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, CA
Date: 11 Dec – 15 Dec 2016
Booth: #208

Join us at Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics

follow #antibodyeng on Twitter
Meet the team at the largest meeting that is devoted to Antibody Engineering!

We will be showcasing mirrorball, our versatile, high sensitivity, plate-based laser scanning cytometer optimised for antibody discovery and our sol-R coded beads for multiplexed fluorescence-based ELISAs and cell-based assays.
Download the brochure here!

Don’t miss the presentation by John Silva, Senior Principal Scientist at UCB Celltech

Title: High Throughput Antibody Discovery – Deeper Profiling of Antibodies during Primary Screening
Date: 14 Dec 2016
Time: 12 pm

UCB’s core antibody discovery platform combines automated high-throughput B-cell culture screening and the identification and isolation of single, antigen-specific IgG-secreting cells.

We demonstrate the use of the TTP Labtech mirrorball platform in primary antibody binding assays and in multiplex antibody screening to specifically identify cross-reactive hits. In addition, we have also applied the technology for screening for antibody functional activity.

For more information about the event please click here


14 Mar - 15 Mar 2017 Discover our sample storage solutions at SLCM17

Discover our sample storage solutions at SLCM17.

SLAS Europe’s Compound Management Conference 2017

Venue: Berlin, Germany
Date: 14 Mar -15 Mar 2017

Breaking Down Walls – Uniting Sample Management Communities to Advance Scientific Innovation #SLASCM17

Effective design and management of compound collections is crucial to the success of research efforts in the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Agri-Science industries. In addition, academic organisations are establishing comprehensive compound management infrastructures to help realise their target validation and drug discovery goals.

TTP Labtech’s unique pneumatic technology uses a cushion of compressed air or nitrogen and a system of flexible tubes to transport microtubes. This makes our instrumentation extremely reliable and robust compared to traditional systems that use robots. Our modular stores, comPOUND® and arktic®, also minimise the use of moving parts that can malfunction in refrigerated conditions and our proven technology ensures that users will have maximum uptime and availability of their systems.

Downstream automation platforms such as automated liquid handlers can be used more efficiently by delivering samples to specific SBS rack locations, thereby avoiding the need for additional re-arraying steps.

Visit our booth and speak to our experts about how comPOUND® and arktic® can future proof your collection.




16 March 2017 Meet our experts at the Swiss Symposium on Lab Automation 2017!

Meet our experts at the Swiss Symposium on Lab Automation 2017!

Venue: University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil, Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland
Date: Thursday 16th March 2017

Join us at the Swiss Symposium on Lab Automation 2017

The Ssla 2017 will be dedicated to Microfluidics and Liquid Handling Automation. The agenda will be available at the end of 2016.

We will be showcasing lab2lab, our automated pneumatic sample tube transport and scheduling system, for connecting scientists to centralised instrumentation. Click here to find out more about lab2lab before the event.

For more information about the event please click here





4 Feb - 8 Feb 2017 SLAS 2017, Washington, D.C., USA

SLAS 2017, Washington, D.C., USA

Venue: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., USA
Date: 4 Feb – 8 Feb 2017
Booth: #1105
Workshop: TBC

Meet our experts at SLAS 2017 in Washington, DC from Feb. 4 – 8, 2017 where we will be introducing dragonfly® 2any liquid, any volume, any well, any time!

Making its premiere at SLAS 2017, dragonfly 2 is set to be a game-changing solution to challenges in assay development and high throughput screening!

The complexities of assay development, and challenges associated with validating and transferring assays into HTS are well known bottle necks in the drug discovery process.  TTP Labtech have sought to address this with the application of a novel liquid handling technology within a range of user friendly, low volume liquid handling instruments that significantly reduce assay development time and greatly improve assay robustness in screening.  dragonfly 2 gives scientists a common platform whereby they can easily develop complex assays and screen those assays in a robust and cost efficient manner.

  • Join us for the dragonfly 2 workshop: 7th Feb, 2 pm
    (further details coming soon!)


Come by our booth # 1105 where we will be showcasing solutions for sample management, liquid handling and detection instrumentation which are ideally suited for use in:

Target Discovery  – simple answers from complex biology

  • arktic – biological library -800C automated storage
  • mosquito – low-cost, low-volume NGS library prep
  • acumen Cellista – genome-wide library profiling
  • comPOUND – rapid automated delivery from -200C storage

Assay development – develop complex assays, faster

  • dragonfly 2 – automated multi-channel assay development and validation for HTS
  • mosquito – low-volume compound addition and dilution
  • acumen Cellista – high-content phenotypic screens
  • mirrorball –no-wash, multi-target immunoassays

High-throughput screening – robust and cost effective screening

  • dragonfly 2 – robust, accurate and reliable HTS dispensing
  • mosquito – simple assay ready plate creation and reformatting
  • acumen Cellista – practical uHTS phenotypic screening
  • mirrorball – multiplexed, no-wash immunoassays
  • comPOUND – rapid automated delivery from -200C storage

Hit-to-lead – progress with confidence

  • dragonfly 2 –  complex assay setup and screening
  • mosquito – low-volume hit picking and serial dilutions
  • acumen Cellista – multiplexed cell heath, multi-parameter 3D assays
  • mirrorball – multiplexed cell-based hit characterisation
  • comPOUND – compact, high-speed cherry picking -200C storage

For more information about SLAS 2017 please visit their website:



13 Feb - 16 Feb 2017 See how mosquito can further your genomics research at AGBT 2017

See how mosquito can further your genomics research at AGBT 2017

Venue: Hollywood Beach, Florida, USA
Date: 13 Feb -16 Feb 2017

The TTP Labtech team will be showcasing mosquito HTS, HV and X1 at the ‘Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) General Meeting 2017′. Come and find out how we can help you further your genomics research!

AGBT provides a forum for exchanging information about the latest advances in DNA sequencing technologies, experimental and analytical approaches for genomic studies, and their myriad applications. During the day we will also hope to present posters. – Watch this space for the abstracts!

TTP Labtech’s mosquito HTS offers an accurate and easy to use solution which can be applied to miniaturising next generation sequencing (NGS) reaction volumes within an automated, high throughput setting. Additionally, it offers ability to pipette liquids with high viscosities (such as enzymes in 50% glycerol) accurately and precisely with no cross contamination. It provides a unique opportunity to obtain the current level of data at a significantly lower cost, and/or to carry out larger scale studies at current costs.

For more information about AGBT 2017 visit the website at:



blog: No more ‘wash and wait”, now you can just ‘add and read’!

Developing complex immunoassays for antibody discovery faster using the mirrorball cytometer

Have you ever wondered if those moments of standing by the sink washing out your ELISA plate and bashing it on a tissue, could be better spent?

Immunoassays have been, and are still, an essential tool during many stages of the drug discovery process, but these assays can become a bottleneck due to limited throughput and capability. ELISAs are simple and inexpensive but can only detect one target thus numerous individual assays are required to measure multiple targets. Newer approaches address some of these limitations through multiplexing or homogeneous assay formats, however, these often result in greatly increased reagent and consumable costs. Many are limited in flexibility to just immunoassays, whereas more versatile systems such as flow cytometry are generally less suited to a screening environment.

Meet the alternative – mirrorball®, a highly sensitive fluorescence cytometer!

As you know, time is of the essence when it comes to antibodies, antibody derivatives or peptide discovery. mirrorball offers an image-based alternative to traditional flow cytometry and ELISA that is specifically designed to accelerate the pace of antibody discovery.

This simple to use plate-based fluorescence cytometer provides gold standard data for multiplexed immunoassays through process efficient workflows that free up time, remove throughput barriers and alleviate budget constraints to make easy work of hit identification.

mirrorball combines the power of flow and imaging by using TTP labtech’s laser scanning technology. It offers no-wash multiplexed immunoassay protocols: add (sample, beads and/or cells, and reagent) – incubateread (~12 mins). Additionally, mirrorball provides the versatility to address downstream competition and functional characterisation assays so you can understand more about the potential efficacy of your screening hits.

Take solace in knowing that there is now an alternative to ELISA and Flow Cytometry which offers the ability to perform immunoassays which are:

  • simple – streamlined no-wash fluorescence-based ELISA protocols; simply add, incubate and read
  • productive – multiplexing. Combine antibody binding, selectivity and specificity counter-screening in one up-front screen, or design multiplexed phenotypic characterisation assays
  • flexibility – to chose an appropriate test model (sol-R™ coded beads, adherent cells analysed in-situ, or suspension cells) based on physiologic relevance
  • versatility – run immunoassays and phenotypic screening assays in one platform; the ability to re-scan plates over time enables a kinetic read-out without destruction of cells
  • economical use – low cost of ownership; work in high-density plate formats such as 1536-well and use less sample/reagents per well, enjoy zero daily/routine maintenance and running costs
  • reliability – walk away automation. mirrorball’s no fluidic design enables you to confidently walk away and not wait by the machine for a tube to become clogged!

If you would like to find out more about mirrorball and the NEW sol-R consumable range of beads and plates please go to our website or contact one of our specialists at We’re happy to discuss your personal workflows with you and help you to identify ways in which mirrorball can save you time and money!

blog: Unleashing the power of a single cell

TTP Labtech’s mosquito liquid handlers for automated, high-throughput, low-cost sequencing

Dr. Louise Laurent (University of California, San Diego, USA) and her team have recently published a miniaturised method for single-cell RNA library preparation that has reduced costs by 90% whilst increasing throughput and ensuring the high quality of libraries. (Sergio, MC et al. JALA 2016)!

In 1670, Antony van Leewenhoek made it possible to visualise a single cell under a microscope, now we have the potential to examine the entire genetic make-up of large populations of single cells simultaneously.

Advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods have enabled whole transcriptome sequencing of single cells in high-throughput. A primary limitation of sequencing is cost. It is true that the cost of sequencing has now decreased, but this has not been the case for the library preparation step. If this part of the process could be miniaturised then the cost of library preparation could also be reduced. To achieve this, we have developed the ideal platform – reproducible, low-cost, low-volume benchtop liquid handlers designed for precious samples of varying viscosity!

the ‘how to’!

The published miniaturised method separates single cells into individual microchambers where the reverse transcription reaction generates high-quality cDNA. Using TTP Labtech’s mosquito HTS liquid handler, as little as 20 pg of cDNA is used with the Nextera XT library preparation kit (Illumina).

applying the new method!

To assess the quality of the libraries, Dr. Louise Laurent’s group applied this system to analyse pancreatic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells.

After differentiation, the cell cultures were dissociated to single-cell suspensions. cDNA libraries were generated from 20 pg of cDNA for three final reaction volumes (2-, 4- and 8- µL) in quadruplicate, in 384-well plates.

5-fold reduction of cDNA and 90% reduction in costs

The resulting single-cell RNA-seq data demonstrated that even at low reaction volumes it was possible to distinguish between cells at different stages of differentiation and also between individual cells within each stage (Fig 1). There was high reproducibility with a greater than 5-fold reduction of input cDNA in a 2 uL reaction volume. In addition, miniaturisation provided total cost savings of 90%.


Fig 1. 2D principal component analysis demonstrates a clear separation between the libraries from each of the four cells. Importantly, the libraries did not cluster according to reaction volume, even within a single cell.

confirmed accurate and reproducible pipetting

mosquito HTS provided accurate and reproducible pipetting for each of the steps in the sequencing process. In addition, TTP Labtech’s mosquito HV and 384 magnet (SZZ00136) enabled efficient bead clean-up of the libraries before they were sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq 2500.

“The workflow we have developed, in partnership with TTP Labtech, has the potential to provide researchers with significant cost savings while maintaining the quality of single cell sequencing. The instrument cost and their ease-of-use make the mosquito liquid handlers viable options for labs that would like to scale-down and automate next-generation sequencing sample preparation.” commented Dr Laurent, Associate Professor, UCSD.

So if you want to save on sample and reduce costs but still want to analyse hundreds to thousands of single cells per project, then try using this method with TTP Labtech’s mosquito liquid handlers.

Listen to Dr. Laurent discuss this work in our webinar or download the app note for more details.

If you are attending ASHG2016, Vancouver, Canada (18-22th October 2016) then come along to discuss your NGS needs at booth #1326 anytime during the conference!

blog: The importance of being a consumable!

TTP Labtech’s sol-R microplate ensures confidence in your data!

Consumables are goods that are capable of being consumed by being destroyed, dissipated, wasted or spent. This definition implies a lack of worth but in the case of biological assays, the consumable commandeers a much higher status. If consumables are not designed appropriately, even when they are used alongside the most expensive piece of equipment in your lab, they will not produce high quality data.

Successful high-throughput screening relies on high-quality data. This needs to be considered throughout the whole process of sample collection, storage and processing. One advance that has become an accepted necessity in large screening laboratories is automation which reduces errors associated with manual operation and enables smaller volumes of materials to be processed. The full potential of automated systems can only be achieved with the help of optimised consumables.  Particularly at small volumes, pipetting accuracy and plate compatibility can increase productivity and reduce costs. This can also lead to a reduction in the number of replicates required, enabling more samples to be screened in the same time period.

TTP Labtech has recently expanded their range of screening consumables to include the sol-R™ microplate which is an affordable, high-quality, optically clear 384-well imaging plate. The plates are available in sterile and TC treated, or non-sterile, non-TC treated formats. Their optimised design provides reliable focus, good well positioning and QC tests report <3% CVs across a microplate. Although these plates have been designed to be compatible with TTP Labtech’s acumen and mirrorball fluorescence cytometers, they are equally compatible with other microscope-based imaging devices providing the customer with added flexibility.

Together with TTP Labtech’s sol-R bead range, the functionality of mirrorball can now be extended into multiplexed bead-based immunoassay applications so that there is no need to look any further for your complete solution to your multiplexed screening assays.

If you would like to find out more about TTP Labtech and their phenotypic screening solutions, including their new range of sol-R consumables, please go to the website or contact