blog: Introducing our ISBER 2017 travel grant winner

ISBER 2017 travel grant winner: Brad Godfrey

ISBER_travel_grant_winner_Brad_Godfrey_April17As a global biobanking organisation, ISBER creates opportunities for networking, education, and brings together innovative approaches to evolving challenges in biological and environmental repositories. However, it’s also known as the ‘the place to be’ in the biobanking calendar and this year’s conference theme is ‘Due North: Aligning Biobanking Practice with Evolving Evidence and Innovation’. To support such an exciting event, we recently ran an ISBER 2017 travel grant competition and are excited to be able to share our interview with winner Brad Godfrey from Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan, USA.

Brad, please tell us about your role and your research:

“I am the Lab Manager for several chronic kidney disease studies at the Applied Systems Biology Core at Michigan Medicine. I receive clinical biospecimen shipments from various sites around the world and I will catalog and store them. Part of my role is processing the tissues to ultimately perform transciptomics profiling on the compartments of the kidney and whole genome sequencing on the blood. I also provide blood and urine samples to our ancillary studies to perform other types of molecular characterization.”

“I work entirely with human patient samples. We take a complete -omics approach to kidney disease starting with protocol biopsies and correlating tissue transcriptomics data with longitudinal samples or urine and blood. We have a collection of over 250,000 urine and blood samples across several chronic kidney disease cohorts, collected from patients for over a decade, that we use ourselves or ship to ancillary studies throughout the world. Our interdisciplinary research team integrates information from a wide spectrum of human cohort studies we have initiated or are intimately involved with. In these prospective cohort studies, we test the precision medicine concept for renal disease by integrating information along the genotype-phenotype continuum using carefully monitored environmental exposures, genetic predispositions, epigenetic markers, transcriptional networks, proteomic profiles, metabolic fingerprints, digital histological biopsy archive, and prospective clinical disease characterization.”

What do you hope to learn/gain from attending the conference?

“I have several goals for attending ISBER. First, learn any regulatory changes that have recently occurred. We deal with human tissue exclusively and need to be aware of the latest regulations. I will get updated on the latest trends in biobanking and what our outside studies will expect when requesting samples. Knowing the most effective approaches will help further the biobanking effort. We collect various biosamples from low and moderate areas of the world. I will be better able to communicate with our clinical coordinators how to properly obtained, preserve, store, and ship these samples under less-than-ideal circumstances. This is crucial in our goals to study kidney disease such as HIV-induced nephropathy that disproportionately affects less advantaged areas.”

Again our congratulations go out to Brad and we look forward to hearing about his experience and key findings from the ISBER 2017 conference!

Going to ISBER 2017?
Come and meet our team at booth #30!
Find out more here

 

press release: Advanced Analytical Technologies and TTP Labtech Alliance Delivers High-Throughput NGS Library Prep Solutions

press release: Advanced Analytical Technologies and TTP Labtech Alliance Delivers High-Throughput NGS Library Prep Solutions
  • The partnership combines mosquito® and Fragment Analyzer™ platforms to reduce cost, maximise throughput and improve quality of NGS library preparation.
  • Stanford University teams published the novel high-throughput library prep workflows for single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) in Cell1 and Nature Scientific Data2.

Cambridge, UK, and Ankeny, IA, USA, 29th March 2017: TTP Labtech Ltd. is a global leader in the design and development of automated instrumentation and consumables for life science applications. Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc. (AATI) is the award-winning manufacturer of Fragment Analyzer™ and FEMTO Pulse™ automated systems for nucleic acid sizing and quantity analysis. The Fragment Analyzer INFINITY™ model integrates within robotic cells for complete 24+ hour automation. The companies have signed a co-marketing agreement to support joint solutions that miniaturise and optimise high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) library preparation workflows.

The new NGS methods, published by Stanford researchers in Cell (Loh and Chen, et al., 2016) and Nature Scientific Data (Koh and Sinha, et al., 2016), combine the versatile
TTP Labtech mosquito® automated low-volume liquid handlers with Advanced Analytical’s Fragment Analyzer™. The approach overcomes challenges associated with high-throughput single-cell sequencing. Combined use of the mosquito and Fragment Analyzer systems enables scale with cost-efficiency, accuracy, and precision.

Rahul Sinha, PhD, Prof. Irving Weissman Lab, Stanford University, said: “This semi-automated, robust SMART-seq2 workflow for single-cell RNA-seq has reduced our hands-on time from two weeks to a couple of days, while increasing the accuracy and lowering the cost. The AATI Fragment Analyzer and TTP Labtech’s mosquito X1 and mosquito HTS have been essential for this new workflow.”

The Stanford team’s mapping of stem cell differentiation along multiple mesodermal lineages required preparation of miniaturised RNA-Seq libraries from nearly a thousand single-cells, a demanding task that would have been difficult to achieve without high-throughput instrumentation and nanolitre-scale liquid handling. TTP Labtech’s mosquito liquid handlers leverage precise and accurate true-positive displacement technology. The mosquito X1 and HTS were used to prepare input plates for the Fragment Analyzer, automate cDNA normalisation and generate low-volume Nextera® XT sequencing libraries in 384-well format. Efficient and accurate quantification and quality analysis on the AATI Fragment Analyzer was essential for the large-scale scRNA-Seq application.

Jonathan Hagopian, PhD, Director of Business Development at Advanced Analytical, said: “This partnership with TTP Labtech is enabling high-throughput NGS discovery with robust miniaturisation and accurate quantification on the Fragment Analyzer. The low-volume liquid handling capabilities of the mosquito also empower novel applications with ultra-sensitive analysis on our new FEMTO Pulse system.”

Klaus Hentrich, Genomics Product Manager at TTP Labtech, added: “Precise nanolitre scale liquid handling combined with accurate high-sensitivity quantification is key for miniaturising NGS library prep. TTP Labtech and Advanced Analytical instruments, together, provide powerful cost-effective genomics workflow solutions.”

mosquito_HTS_front_imageFragment_Analyzer_Automated_CE_System_image

 

 

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For high res images please contact lorna.cuddon@zymecommunications.com

For further information please contact:

Zyme Communications
Lorna Cuddon
Tel: +44 (0)7811 996 942
Email: lorna.cuddon@zymecommunications.com

 

About TTP Labtech

TTP Labtech designs and manufactures robust, reliable and easy-to-use solutions for sample management, liquid handling and multiplexed detection in drug discovery and genomics. We enable life scientists, through collaboration, deep application knowledge and leading engineering, to accelerate research and make a difference together. Our essential tools include state-of-the-art solutions developed for high throughput compound and biologics screening (acumen® Cellista, mirrorball® and fully validated consumables such as sol-R™ beads and plates),flexible sample management workflows from ambient to -800C (comPOUND®, arktic®, lab2lab), and unique low-volume liquid handling for genomics, compound screening and protein crystallography (mosquito® X1, mosquito® HTS, mosquito® Crystal, mosquito® LCP, mosquito® HV, dragonfly® crystal and dragonfly® discovery and a full range of validated consumables such as tips and plates).

 

About Advanced Analytical Technologies https://www.aati-us.com/

Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc. (AATI) develops, manufactures, and markets low and high-throughput automated analysis systems. The company’s instrument platforms optimize and accelerate complex workflows for basic science and commercial applications in life-science industries including genomics, molecular diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, biotechnology, synthetic biology, biofuels, and agriculture. AATI’s product portfolio has instruments for parallel analysis of DNA, RNA, pharmaceutical compounds, proteins, and post-translational modifications using capillary electrophoresis (CE) with fluorescence and UV detection. The Fragment Analyzer™, Fragment Analyzer INFINITY™, and FEMTO Pulse™ are automated systems for sizing and concentration analysis of various DNA and RNA samples including genomic DNA, NGS libraries, CRISPR mutations, dsDNA fragments, PCR amplicons, microsatellite SSR, RFLP, total RNA, mRNA, small and microRNA, single-cell and cell-free isolates. Advanced Analytical has facilities in Ankeny, Iowa, USA, Heidelberg, Germany, and Paris, France.

 

References:

  1. Kyle M. Loh*, Angela Chen*, Pang Wei Koh, Tianda Z. Deng, Rahul Sinha, Jonathan M. Tsai, Amira A. Barkal, Kimberle Y. Shen, Rajan Jain, Rachel M. Morganti, Ng Shyh-Chang, Nathaniel B. Fernhoff, Benson M. George, Gerlinde Wernig, Rachel E.A. Salomon, Zhenghao Chen, Hannes Vogel, Jonathan A. Epstein, Anshul Kundaje, William S. Talbot, Philip A. Beachy, Lay Teng Ang^, Irving L. Weissman^; Mapping the pairwise choices leading from pluripotency to human bone, heart, and other mesoderm cell types. Cell, 166:451-467, 2016.
  1. Pang Wei Koh*, Rahul Sinha*, Amira A. Barkal, Rachel M. Morganti, Angela Chen, Irving L. Weissman^, Lay Teng Ang^, Anshul Kundaje^ & Kyle M. Loh^; An atlas of transcriptional, chromatin accessibility, and surface marker changes in human mesoderm development. Nature Scientific Data, 3:160109, 2016.

*Co-first author
^Co-senior author

 

1 - 5 May 2017 Join us at the 13th annual PEGS Boston!

Going to PEGS Boston? Drop by booth #326 where we will be showcasing mirrorball

Venue: Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA, USA
Date: 1 – 5  May 2017
Booth: #326

We would like to invite you to the following workshop:
Title: High-Throughput Screening for Antibody Discovery Using mirrorball
Presenter: Christyne J. Kane, Senior Scientist, AbbVie Bioresearch Center, Inc.
Abstract:
The antibody discovery industry has begun to set aside traditional assay formats such as ELISA or flow cytometry in favor of more sensitive, high-throughput technologies to screen for novel biologic candidates. This presentation will highlight a selection of multiplex assays for the screening of hybridoma supernatants enabling the discovery process.

Meet mirrorball

TTP Labtech’s mirrorball high sensitivity fluorescence cytometer is a highly versatile instrument that brings process efficiencies to multiple stages in the biologics screening pipeline – from early screening and hit identification, through to characterisation and phenotypic cellular responses.

Key applications include:

  • biologics screening:
    – hybridoma, phage display, B-cell cloning, antibody fragments, peptides, scFv, Fab
  • binding characterisation:
    – Bmaxand Kd determination
  • functional assays:
    – cell health, cell cycle, proliferation, cell signalling
  • quantification of soluble proteins:
    – cytokines, hormones, growth factors

do more antibody screening with less

mirrorball represents a complete biologics screening solution. It offers analysis of bead-bound soluble antigens and cell-surface antigens expressed on both adherent and suspension cell lines in microplates. It is compatible both with washed and no-wash assay formats.

mirrorball’s multiplexing capabilities enable hit determination in high density microplates while simultaneously screening out non-specific and non-selective hits in the same well. This means antibody engineering researchers can identify cross-reactivity and selectivity but – significantly – without the loss of throughput.

Key benefits:

  • a streamlined no-wash assay format
  • unprecedented levels of throughput
  • maintaining cell morphology through in situ analysis of adherent cells
  • investigate multiple targets in one well
  • more stringent results by screening out non-specific and non-selective hits in the same sample
  • assay miniaturisation using high density microplates
  • visual confirmation of your results using an image for QC

Our team can also discuss with you our instruments used for:

  • flexible sample management workflows from ambient to -80°C (comPOUND, arktic, lab2lab)
  • unique low volume, positive displacement liquid handling for any liquid including cells or beads (mosquito, dragonfly).

Want to find out more? We offer a full range of resources, read our application notes and posters here…

application notes:

posters:

For more information about the PEGS Boston visit their website here.

banner_PEGS_2017

24 - 25 April 2017 Join us at the 10th annual Proteins and Antibodies Congress!

See mirrorball at this year’s Proteins and Antibodies Congress!

Venue: Novotel London West, Hammersmith International Centre, London, UK
Date: 24-25 May 2017
Booth: #6

TTP Labtech’s mirrorball high sensitivity fluorescence cytometer is a highly versatile instrument that brings process efficiencies to multiple stages in the biologics screening pipeline – from early screening and hit identification, through to characterisation and phenotypic cellular responses.

Key applications include:

  • biologics screening:
    – hybridoma, phage display, B-cell cloning, antibody fragments, peptides, scFv, Fab
  • binding characterisation:
    – Bmaxand Kd determination
  • functional assays:
    – cell health, cell cycle, proliferation, cell signalling
  • quantification of soluble proteins:
    – cytokines, hormones, growth factors

do more antibody screening with less

mirrorball represents a complete biologics screening solution. It offers analysis of bead-bound soluble antigens and cell-surface antigens expressed on both adherent and suspension cell lines in microplates. It is compatible both with washed and no-wash assay formats.

mirrorball’s multiplexing capabilities enable hit determination in high density microplates while simultaneously screening out non-specific and non-selective hits in the same well. This means antibody engineering researchers can identify cross-reactivity and selectivity but – significantly – without the loss of throughput.

Key benefits:

  • a streamlined no-wash assay format
  • unprecedented levels of throughput
  • maintaining cell morphology through in situ analysis of adherent cells
  • investigate multiple targets in one well
  • more stringent results by screening out non-specific and non-selective hits in the same sample
  • assay miniaturisation using high density microplates
  • visual confirmation of your results using an image for QC

Our team can also discuss with you our instruments used for:

  • flexible sample management workflows from ambient to -80°C (comPOUND, arktic, lab2lab)
  • unique low volume, positive displacement liquid handling for any liquid including cells or beads (mosquito, dragonfly).

Want to find out more? We offer a full range of resources, read our application notes and posters here…

application notes:

posters:

For more information about the 10th Annual Proteins & Antibodies Congress visit their website here.

10thproteinsandantibodiescongress

8 May 2017 Join us at the Norwich Single Cell Symposium 2017!

Join us at the Norwich Single Cell Symposium 2017!

Venue: Earlham Institute, Norwich, UK
Date: 8th May 2017

Join us for a day of talks and discussion on the development and application of new technologies to decode life at the single cell level and discover how our range of mosquito® liquid handlers can advance your research!

TTP Labtech’s mosquito is an essential tool for miniaturising reaction volumes by up to 90% for a wide range of genomics workflows. Read the scientific studies using the mosquito HTS to discover how this resulted in higher throughput and greater statistical power.

Benefit from:

  • accuracy and precision with nanolitre to microlitre volumes
  • accurately handle any liquids with high viscosity, such as enzymes in glycerol or genomic DNA
  • no-cross-contamination or carryover
  • future-proof open platform

Learn more from these peer reviewed articles:

>> Discover the mosquito liquid handlers for accurate, miniaturised genomics workflows

For more information, visit the Norwich Single Cell Symposium website here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog: How to seamlessly grow your library to a million compounds in three easy steps

How to seamlessly grow your library to a million compounds in three easy steps

Automated solutions to improve the ‘flow’ in the sample management workflow and reduce costs

As reported in a recent survey, the top three requirements for a successful compound management system include: accessibility, the ability to maintain a dynamic collection, and compound integrity. Although it is obvious that compound management groups need to consider all these things, there is also mounting pressure to reduce costs while still retaining integrity and efficiency, which creates a challenging and complex task for compound management.

Intelligent sample management: moving compounds seamlessly – a case study from Dart NeuroScience (San Diego, USA)

Dart NeuroScience LLC (DNS) is a leading pharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery and development of innovative drugs for memory disorders. DNS made the radical decision to create more drug compounds in-house thereby protecting their own IP. To succeed in this task which would increase the size of their compound collection to 1 million compounds, many challenges would need to be overcome.

TTP Labtech Ltd. (Melbourne, UK) embraced the challenge and successfully supplied DNS with all the technology and tools to optimise their workflow in 3 easy steps:

1. Storing their compounds in high-density, automated stores

Currently, DNS possess 6 automated comPOUND freezers (TTP Labtech) that can store 1.2 million compounds. The stores are linked to increase throughput as samples held in several freezers can be simultaneously retrieved into one 96-well format rack.

2. Processing the tubes using automated retrieval and transport system

No more manual processing of tubes from store to aliquoting and then back to store. DNS is now able to process 30,000 tubes per day using TTP Labtech’s comPILER sample processing system.  The pick-time was reduced by 9-fold per 96-well plate with a saving of 1.5 FTEs.

3. Automating the creation of assay ready plates

DNS has decreased the total picking time for a 5,000 hit-picking campaign by 80% and the total personnel time required by 88%. In addition, these improvements have enabled assays to be miniaturised down to nanolitre volumes in 1536-well plates.

Dr Jose Quiroz (Associate Director at DNS) remarked, “There are three main reasons why we chose TTP Labtech as our preferred vendor: 1) The products – they had the products that did exactly what we needed them to do; 2) cost – because comPOUND is a modular system the upfront cost is reduced, but we still have the capability to expand; 3) the people – we have great trust in TTP Labtech, they have always been there when we have needed them and the service engineers go an extra mile to help customers anytime.”

Click here if you would like to read the DNS case study

You can also meet our sample management expert and learn about our streamlined tube-to-plate processing solution at the following events:

 

If you have any other questions or want to talk to a TTP Labtech expert about your sample management workflow requirement please contact discover@ttplabtech.com.

blog: Introducing our poster award winner

Poster Award winner: Carlos Perez Arques

In our previous blog we learned about Ana Isabel Matos (travel grant recipient) and her research aimsPicture_Carlos_Perez_Arques. This week, we’re going to speak with Carlos Perez Arques (poster award winner) to find out more about his journey into scientific discovery!

Please tell us which conference you would like your poster to appear at:
29th Fungal Genetics Conference in Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California (USA)

Please tell us about your research:
I began my research in connection with a research project about Mucor circinelloides, an early-diverging fungus which is a causal agent for an infectious disease known as mucormycosis. Despite the existence of a modern arsenal of antifungal drugs, mortality rates for this infectious disease remain devastatingly high since Mucorales present an unusual drug resistance. Consequently, a current demand of novel therapeutic targets is triggering the exploration of the genetic basis involved in mucormycosis.
This project attempts to link gene silencing via RNAi, a fascinating mechanism which among other functions controls gene expression in this fungus, with regulating pathogenesis. My work analyzes Mucor gene silencing mechanism role in regulating essential biological processes. To do so, we are undertaking transcriptomical analyses in mutants for the RNAi pathway, which are a virulent, and comparing them to virulent wild-type strains in order to find differentially expressed genes and small RNA producing loci. So far we have determined that Mucor controls the expression of genes implicated in vegetative development, specifically in asexual sporulation and nutritional starvation responses; sexual interaction and mating; and, more importantly, virulence factors.
Furthermore, we have uncovered a new protein, named R3B2, architecture domain highly consistent with a ribonuclease. This putative ribonuclease, along with RNA-dependent RNA polymerases, takes part in an alternative or non-canonical gene silencing mechanism. By creating a knockout mutant, we have demonstrated that R3B2 is involved in pathogenesis, indicating that this non-canonical RNAi pathway, and its target genes, could be used as therapeutic targets for novel antifungal drugs.

How does your research apply to the topics of discussion at the above-mentioned conference?
The 29th Fungal Genetics Conference dedicates a fair amount of sessions to basal fungi, including Mucoralean fungi. This group of early-diverging fungi are often reluctant to classical genetic tools like transposable elements or gene mapping, so novel strategies by which to study this fungal group are always well received. My research makes use of a transcriptomic advances to understand the molecular basis of pathogenesis and virulence in an understudied organism such as Mucor circinelloides, so this approach could be extremely interesting to the conference attendants.

Mucormycosis is very little understood, owing to a lack of genetic studies related to virulence. My work tries to link a very specific non-caninocal gene silencing pathway, not present in mammals, with pathogenesis and thus establishing the foundations to create novel and effective antifungal therapies.

What do you hope to learn/gain from submitting your poster at this conference?
I started my Master’s thesis in connection with a research project about Mucor circinelloides pathogenesis, a filamentous fungi belonging to the order Mucorales which is a causal agent for an infectious disease known as mucormycosis. This work taught me RNA manipulation and detection techniques to study gene expression, hence allowing me to embark on a PhD thesis to analyze Mucor gene silencing mechanism role in essential biological processes, such as vegetative development, sexual interaction and pathogenesis. It is my first year as a PhD student and I feel the need to enlarge and improve my contact network. Attending to this conference is an excellent choice due to its international recognition and affinity with my field of study. This could allow me to carefully plan future stays on different research groups and expand my studies. Furthermore, assisting to this conference will provide an extraordinary opportunity to learn new genetic and molecular techniques which I could use in my current research, and be aware of recent findings with which to draw new hypothesis and interpretations for my results. I also believe that presenting my results in a comprehensible manner could help me grow professionally as a scientist, and I am eager to do so among an audience that shares my enthusiasm for fungal genetics.
However, political and economic turmoil in my country due to unfruitful government elections has caused a dire lack of funds in my research group. We have been almost a year without national government and because of that our group has not received all allocated funds established for our research projects. This lack of funding is threatening our ability to finance our attendance to the 29th Fungal Genetics Conference at Asilomar and urged us to request this poster award.

Well we are absolutely thrilled to be able to help to support Carlos in his endeavours!

We would like to thank Carlos, Ana and all of the tremendous applicants for sharing their research with us. Please continue to follow us on social media for updates pertaining to future travel grants or poster awards. Meanwhile, have a lovely week!

09 May - 12 May 2017 Discover effective biobanking at ISBER 2017!

Discover effective biobanking at ISBER 2017!

Venue:   Toronto, Canada
Date:       09 May -12 May 2017
Booth:   #30

Snapshot presentation by Paul Lomax: Counting the Costs: The True Price of Manual and Automated Cold Storage

This year ISBER’s Annual Meeting theme is Due North: Aligning Biobanking Practice with Evolving Evidence and Innovation.

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 our range of mosquito® 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.

Or download our new Dart NeuroScience LLC (DNS; San Diego, CA) case study:
comPOUND: intelligent management – moving compounds seamlessly

For more information about the ISBER 2017 Annual Meeting (09-12 May), click here

ISBER 2017 logo

 

26 May - 30 May 2017 Meet mosquito and dragonfly at ACA 2017!

meet mosquito and dragonfly at ACA 2017!

Venue: New Orleans, LA, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Date: 26 – 30 May 2017

Visit our booth at this year’s American Crystallographic Association meeting (ACA 2017) and speak to our experts to find out how our range of liquid handlers can help enhance your research! – Or book a demo on mosquito crystal or dragonfly!

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With mosquito crystal, you can use smaller volumes of precious protein sample with no risk of cross contamination. This results in cost savings and allows more extensive screening. You can automate all the popular protein crystallisation screening techniques – hanging drop, sitting drop and microbatch as well as seeding or additive screening plate preparation – without the need to make set-up changes to the instrument.

For more information on the American Crystallographic Association’s 2017 Meeting (26-30 May 2017) visit their website here

ACA 2017 logo

app note: eliminating false-negative hits in ATP‑luminescence