Page 1

ISSN 1660-5276

Tecan Journal English Edition 2/2003 - July 2003

New Visions for Genomic Research Page 4

Automated Protein Crystallization Accelerates the Study of Cellular Function Page 7

Freedom EVO Freedom to evolve Pages 3, 14



Global News

Product evolution for the changing needs of today’s laboratory

Page 3

Dear Customer On July 1st, we launched a new state-of-the-art automation platform: the Freedom EVO. This multipurpose workstation offers increased flexibility


and scalability as well as a new software capability built

Automated in situ hybridization (GenePaint)

on Tecan’s 20 year tradition of providing high quality

Page 4

liquid handling platforms. In this issue of the Tecan Journal we would like to tell you more about Freedom EVO. The “Global News” section (page 3) gives you insight into the ambitious and exciting development of Freedom EVO. An overview on the features and benefits of this


modular platform can be found in the “Product News” section on page 14.

Protein Crystallization Workstation

Page 7 Freedom EVO was designed to allow easy automation of an unmatched range

Drug Discovery PAMPA with Te-MO

Page 10

of applications in Genomics, Proteomics, Drug Discovery and Clinical Diagnostics. In this and in future editions of the Tecan Journal, we want to present you examples of such applications. We extended the volume of this edition from 16 to 20 pages because we have

Clinical Diagnostics

many interesting stories that we want to share with you. The issue features four

Salmonella monitoring

Page 12 New Products Freedom EVO

customer articles that provide insight into the use of Tecan’s solutions in each of our four business areas. We also provide you with an updated events schedule and hope to see you at one of the upcoming conferences.

Page 14

After receiving many positive remarks about the first issue of the new Tecan Journal, we hope that this second issue is just as much fun to read and provides useful

New Products

information about Tecan and its products and services. Information that can add

HS 400 Hybridization Station

real value to your scientific activities.

Page 16

Yours faithfully,

Tecan Plus Leaders in quality Tecan’s range of disposable tips

Page 17 Events

Michael Baronian

Preview on Conferences and Trade Shows 2003

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tecan Group Ltd

Page 18 Local News

Page 19 Tecan Journal 2/2003


Global News

The Freedom to Evolve

Driving the evolution - the core of Tecan’s Freedom EVO development team, which combined 20 years of liquid handling and robotic experience into the new platform. With the launch of its new automation

The success of this challenging project was

party devices as well as customized devices

platform - the Freedom EVO - on July 1st,

only possible because it was carried out

are easily integrated, giving users true

Tecan achieved an important milestone

by a highly skilled team of professionals

freedom to evolve.

in its history of over 20 years. The new

combining 20 years of experience in liquid

platform combines a unique experience

handling. The project had a company wide

in liquid handling and robotics and has

dimension and therefore required a highly

the necessary flexibility to match all

professional organization: people from many

application needs of the four business

areas of Tecan such as marketing, R&D, sales,

areas. Its development was a challenging,

customer support and production worked

company wide project.

together with the important goal: Developing a new state-of-the-art

Setting new standards for development

automation platform.

As a leading provider of liquid handling

The evolution in Freedom EVO

Setting the stage for the next generation

platforms, serving customers’ needs is of

One of the objectives of this project was

of liquid handling automation platforms:

central importance to Tecan. With this in

to produce an instrument whose modular

working on the video documentation of

mind and based on customer surveys and

design allowed each system to be configured

the new Freedom EVO. If you want to see

market analysis, Tecan started a project with

according to customers’ individual

clippings demonstrating the features of

an ambitious objective: to produce a new

requirements. It was very important for

Freedom EVO, visit

liquid handling platform that is flexible

Tecan to permit customers a straightforward

enough to serve the continually changing

integration of previously developed options

application needs of today’s laboratories.

and applications on Freedom EVO.

As a result of this development effort, Tecan

In addition, the platform dimensions have

launched Freedom EVO, a series of powerful

been maintained from its predecessor

laboratory workstations designed to deliver

(Genesis Freedom platform) to facilitate

an unmatched range of automated

replacement installations. At the same

applications in genomics, proteomics,

time, the new platform offers continuing

drug discovery and clinical diagnostics.

compatibility with new solutions, and third

Tecan Journal 2/2003



New Visions for Genomic Research

Figure 1: The GenePaint™ thermo-rack module for up to 48 hybridization chambers.

Tecan, in

The gap between the primary nucleotide

techniques this method has a significant

co-operation with

sequence and the expression and function of

advantage as it shows both the expression

Professor Gregor

genes still remains a challenge. The next big

patterns of genes in tissues and also

Eichele of the Max-

challenge is to discern which specific parts

provides a three dimensional location of

Planck Institute for

of the genome code for proteins, the tissue

the expressed gene at the cellular level.


and temporal expression of proteins, and the

This information is vital to addressing many


function of both genes and their expressed

questions that functional genomics poses.


proteins. Functional genomics is helping to

Germany), has

resolve these tough challenges, and the use

developed a system that allows automated

of automated systems is as important in

in situ hybridization (ISH). Ten-fold higher

functional genomics as it has been in the

throughputs compared to manual

sequencing of the human genome.

processing and improved reproducibility

Professor Eichele states: “When analyzing various tissues from different organisms, from plants through to humans, we see that certain genes are only expressed in specific cells of the tissue. For example, an oncogene in tumors may only be expressed in a few of the

open new doors in functional gene analysis.

In situ hybridization: simple and automated

HUGO remains a driving force in functional genomics

ISH is a very promising technique for

A large effort over a relatively short period

of genes in different tissues. In order to

of time resulted in the sequencing and

establish a database of gene expression

mapping of the human genome. While this

patterns in different tissues, Professor

achievement provides a great leap towards

Gregor Eichele of the Max-Planck Institute

unraveling the cause of many diseases and

for experimental Endocrinology in Hannover,

Professor Eichele explains that the potential

their possible treatments, the DNA sequence

Germany collaborated with Tecan in developing

possibilities that ISH offers is often limited

alone is not sufficient to reach this goal.

an automated system that works quickly

by the number of labor intensive and very

and accurately. When compared with other

time consuming steps. This produces an

analyzing the expression and function

tumor cells. This technique can thus be used as a diagnostic tool, particularly in cases where the sequence of a gene alone does not provide enough information about the disease or condition. Therefore, over the coming years we will need to analyze the expression patterns of thousands of genes.�

Tecan Journal 2/2003



In situ hybridization with GenePaint™ (Figure 2) • Fully automated system for in situ hybridization. • Additional module based on Tecan’s pipetting robot. • Stable mounting of tissue sections in hybridization chambers. • Incubation of the sections under moist, nuclease-free conditions. • Exact and efficient liquid handling. • Minimal reaction volume (90µl net volume). • Exact, quickly attained incubation temperatures between 10°C and 65°C. • Constant moistening of tissues. • Reliable incubation times and conditions. • 10-fold increase in throughput compared to manual processing. • User-friendly operation with Gemini software.

Figure 2: Tecan’s GenePaint™.

urgent need for an automated system that

Hybridization of the complementary probe is

Additional protocols for the system include

allows the analysis of thousands of genes.

carried out at 55°C and the excess hybridization

Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) and

probe is then removed by washing the slide

Immunostaining. The system can process up

Principles of GenePaint™

at 62°C. Temperature control is vital for

to 200 tissue sections simultaneously.

The combined efforts of Professor Eichele

successful hybridization and the exact

and Tecan have resulted in GenePaint™.

temperature has to be maintained

Gene expression in the mouse brain

This system can perform automated ISH in

constantly throughout these steps.

Using gene expression in the mouse brain

tissue sections. The basis of the system is

as an example we present here this novel

a Tecan pipetting robot that performs all

method as well as some other results from

necessary liquid handling steps, moves

Professor Eichele’s lab.

plates etc and incubates samples. More than 20 different reagents are pipetted during this complex process. However, the ‘real’

“Highly precise automated process”

As a first step, frozen sections of mouse tissue are applied to standard microscope slides, mounted in the GenePaint™

innovation of GenePaint™, the Hybridization

hybridization chambers and positioned in

Chamber, is integrated into the pipetting

the GenePaint™ thermo-rack and several

robot. This chamber consists of a microscope

pre-hybridization steps are carried out

slide and a glass plate that is mounted with

Following hybridization, detection of

thin spacers and pressed together. This

the bound probe can be carried out using

assembly makes up the extremely thin chamber.

non-radioactive methods. The necessary

Mounted in a temperature-controlled rack

incubation and washing steps are also

(see Fig 1), GenePaint™ can process a total of

performed automatically in the hybridization

48 chambers in one run. Depending on the

chambers. Both freeze- and paraffinated

size of the robot, several thermo-racks can

tissue sections may be processed with the

be mounted on the workbench, allowing

GenePaint™ System. Paraffinated sections

parallel processing of samples.

have to be de-paraffinized before the process.

Tecan Journal 2/2003

(paraffin elimination, proteinase K digestion, etc). Hybridization then takes place with Digoxygenin-marked, gene specific riboprobes (several hours incubation at 50-55°C). Washing steps are carried out under stringent conditions at 55-64°C. Digoxygenin-specific antisera and the following amplification steps allow the



Figure 3: Expression pattern of the Sox9 gene in a mouse embryo (sagittal section).

Figure 4: Expression pattern of the NPY gene in mouse brain (coronal section).

detection of riboprobes via a secondary detection system. For the detection of conjugated marker enzymes such as basic phosphatase or peroxidase, appropriate substrates are used. The results are convincing as Figs 3 and 4 show.

“One person can process ten times as many slides in the same timeframe”

The data presented has been published in Nature (Reymond et al. (2002) Human chromosome 21 gene expression atlas in mouse. Nature 420: 582-586). For more information please visit Professor Eichele also compared the GenePaint™

We also noticed that during manual

system to manual processing in his lab:

processing many tissue sections are damaged

“For the manual processing of 20 slides,

while almost no slides were damaged using

one lab technician is occupied constantly

the GenePaint™ system. This damage is

for almost 2 days. The process requires the

attributed to constant manipulation and

operator’s attention almost every minute.

removal of reagents from the slide”.

Slides have to be dipped into different solutions, reagents have to be pipetted onto

The judgment of an expert

the slides, the slides have to be transferred

Professor Eichele is extremely satisfied with

to temperature controlled incubators, etc.

the applications and the potential of the

Using the automated system, one person can

GenePaint™ system: “This application opens

process ten times as many slides in the same

up completely new possibilities in functional

timeframe. The throughput is only limited by

genomics. Both academic research institutions

the number of GenePaint™ systems used.

and pharmaceutical companies have a

An additional benefit of the system is the

tremendous need for automated in situ

great reproducibility of the results due to


the highly precise automated process.

Tecan Journal 2/2003



Automated Protein Crystallization Accelerates the Study of Cellular Function Solving the three-dimensional (3D) structure of nuclear receptor proteins is crucial for understanding the processes that mediate the development of multicellular organisms and those that can lead to diseases including cancer The organization of higher eukaryotic genomes and the control of gene expression during embryonic development in both normal and pathological differentiation is the focus of the Institute for Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC) in Strasbourg (France). The nuclear receptors of hormones constitute the largest family of ligand regulated transcription factors. To understand how nuclear receptors work and are regulated, it is crucial to solve their 3D structure and correlate structure and function. Automation of the labor-intensive steps involved in determining protein structures, in particular protein

Dr. Jean-Claude Thierry, Pierre Poussin and Dr. Didier Busso (from left) with the Protein

crystallization, is key to increasing the

Crystallization Workstation of the IGBMC in Strasbourg.

efficiency and throughput of processes involved in obtaining structural

crystals of biological molecules. “Tecan plays

set up of the crystallization experiments

information of proteins significant in

an essential role in introducing high throughput

are then performed on a Genesis 150

human health and biotechnology. To date,

automation methods to biological research”,

Workstation.” The Protein Crystallization

only the 3D structures of the nuclear receptors'

explains Dr. Jean-Claude Thierry, Deputy

platforms have been working successfully

individual domains (DNA binding domain

Director of the laboratory. “Tecan is an

since their installation at the IGBMC in

or ligand binding domain) have been

important provider for our structural

March 2002. Dr. Busso believes that the two

determined. The structures of complete

genomics automation tools. In most cases,

workstations offer significant advantages

receptors are yet to be determined.

standard Tecan devices are used for these

as they are easy to operate and their user-

To understand the biology of full-length

applications, thereby facilitating the ease

friendly software interface allows him to

receptors and their complexes, the Structural

with which information can be exchanged

optimize the different procedures. He also

Biology and Genomics Department headed

between research teams worldwide.”

likes the flexibility of the system, which facilitates continuous improvements in

by Dr. Dino Moras is developing a variety of These include: cloning, expression,

Labor is divided between two integrated workstations

protein production and purification,

Dr. Didier Busso, platform coordinator, is

and crystallization platforms designed

responsible for generally streamlining and

for screening receptors under a range of

developing the automation systems of

different conditions. The aim is to produce

the Structural Biology and Genomics

proteins and protein complexes compatible

department of the IGBMC. In this process,

with the desired structural biology

from the cloning of new receptors to the

determinants (solubility, high purity and

final structure determination, crystallization

high homogeneity). The protein crystallization

plays a major role.

platform is an important element in this

“Our crystallization platform integrates two

for mixing stock solutions required for the

high throughput structural biology approach.

Tecan workstations”, he says. “In the first

crystallization screens.

The system has been developed to test the

phase the crystallization solutions are mixed

numerous parameters involved in obtaining

on the smaller Miniprep, while the actual

target focused structural genomics tools.

Tecan Journal 2/2003

the screening methods, and accommodates differences in proteins or protocols. The Miniprep Workstation is equipped with two diluters (10 and 1ml) and two liquid handling arms each carrying a tip for aspirating and dispensing fluids. It uses similar modules (racks and carriers) and shares the same essential features for accurate liquid handling found in the Genesis Workstation. The Miniprep is used



“Tecan is an important provider for our structural genomics automation tools”

The worktable of the Crystallization Workstation with the liquid handling arm (left) and the robotic manipulation arm. Between the two arms, the crystallization plate with the evaporationminimization cover is visible. • In order to minimize evaporation, a sliding

The Genesis 150 Workstation is equipped

facilities and other equipment necessary for

with a liquid handling arm, a robotic

protein crystallization. “Our quality control

cover is moved by the robotic manipulation

manipulation arm, eight XP3000 diluters, and

measurements show that the accuracy and

arm over the crystallization plate after the

250µl syringes. The liquid handling arm is

reproducibility of the two workstations

pipetting steps.

equipped with eight teflon coated low

is excellent. This is very important for the

volume tips. This configuration allows

success of our crystallization screening

accurate and reproducible dispensing of

experiments,” Pierre Poussin comments.

liquids commonly used in protein crystallization studies down to 0.5µl. The eight tips are adjustable and allow independent movement in the Z-axis, enabling the use of any type of 96 or 384well crystallization plate. The system also includes a plate cover to minimize evaporation of volatile buffers.

and adding one drop of protein solution per well takes about 30 minutes. Therefore,

Currently, in the standard crystallization

anywhere from 800 to 1,000 crystallization

protocol, up to 672 different conditions

experiments can be prepared per day.

per plate are used for selecting the most

While this system lacks a temperature

appropriate crystallization conditions and

control module and is not designed to run

more than half of them originate from an

overnight, these modules can and have been

“in house” design. Optimization of the

easily incorporated into Tecan Protein

crystallization involves variations of the final

Crystallization Workstations.

sitting drop volume and of the ratio between protein and precipitating agent. About

Typical system performance and protocols used

Filling the reservoirs of one 96-well plate

1,000 trials per macromolecular species are usually performed.

Both workstations are connected to a personal

After the experiments, both technicians in charge of the platforms and researchers involved in the projects screen the crystallization plates. Observations are made

computer running the standard Tecan Gemini

The following standard protocol is used for

using high resolution microscopes equipped

software, which provides a graphical interface

setting up a crystallization screen using the

with digital cameras.

for controlling the instruments. Gemini

sitting drop method (with vapor equilibrium):

allows users to develop scripts with a

• On the MiniPrep Workstation, stock

graphic visualization of each step during

solutions are mixed and dispensed

programming and operation. Three Gemini

into 96-deep well plates according to

software scripts, written by Pierre Poussin,

a standard list of different crystallization

who is responsible for running and developing the crystallization platform, cover the most frequently used protocols for the preparation of crystallization screens according to

conditions. • The deep well plate is transferred (by hand) to the Genesis Workstation. • From each of these wells, 100µl of

the sitting drop method. Pierre is the

crystallization solutions are pipetted

administrator and main user of the MiniPrep

into the corresponding reservoirs of the

and Genesis Workstation, both instruments

96-well crystallization plates.

provide tremendous support for his work. The two workstations have been installed in a 36m2 laboratory together with support

• 1µl of protein solution is mixed with 1µl of

A Tecan MiniPrep Workstation is used for pipetting stock solutions into a 96 well deep well plate which serves as a source plate for

crystallization solution and is placed onto

the reservoir solutions with the different

the drop support of each well of

crystallization buffers.

the crystallization plate.

Tecan Journal 2/2003



Examples of protein crystals that were obtained with the Protein Crystallization Workstation using the sitting drop method.

Successful automated protein crystallization achieved Since March 2002, crystallization has been


performed on numerous different ligand-

Structural genomics in the laboratory also

binding domains (LBD) of receptors and

uses a Genesis 200 Workstation for cloning

other proteins and complexes. In addition,

and expression screening of multi-protein

crystallization of a large series of different

complexes of eukaryotic origin. All the three

complexes between LBDs and screened

workstations are based on the same Genesis

ligands has been investigated. More than

automation platform.

30 crystals have been obtained that are suitable for structure determination by X-ray diffraction.

Tecan Journal 2/2003


Drug Discovery

Implementation of a Parallel Artificial Membrane Permeation Assay (PAMPA) on a Tecan Genesis Workstation The PAMPA PSR4p is used as a first line permeability screen for pharmaceutical drugs in early lead discovery and optimization phases. Text: Frank Senner Chemicals and accessories: Buffer-Acceptor: 0.05M 3-[N-Morpholino]2-hydroxy-propanesulfonic acid (MOPSO) at pH 6.5. Buffer-Donor: 0.05M MOPSO and 0.5% (w/v) glycocholic acid at pH 6.5. Membrane: 10% (w/v) 3-sn phosphatidylcholine from egg yolk and 0.5% (w/v) cholesterol in dodecane. Donor: 96-well microplate, Roche made. Acceptor and Membrane: 96-well PVDF filterplate (Millipore MAIP N 4510). PAMPA PSR4p Setup: The pipetting steps can be divided into four parts: 1. Dilution of stock solutions and filtration: 10mM DMSO stock solutions are transferred

Figure 1: PAMPA PSR4p setup and pipetting steps.

to a microplate (PreMix) and diluted with donor buffer. The PreMix plate is put on a

To increase the throughput of the assay, two

Pe [10-6cm/s] as well as the sample

shaker to ensure proper mixing. A part of

automation solutions were compared: one

distribution can be retrieved by UV analytics

the PreMix solution is transferred to a UV

automation solution using a Tecan Genesis

of donor (tstart), donor (tend) and acceptor

plate and checked for sample precipitation

RSP 150/8 and a second automation solution

(tend) using the pION PSR4p software. The

(turbidity measurement). The remaining

consisting of a Tecan Genesis 150 and the

goal of this test is to compare the quality

part is filtered.

Te-MO96 Multi Pipetting Option. Performing

and the throughput of the PAMPA PSR4p

the assay on the Genesis 150/Te-MO96

using a Genesis RSP 150/8 and a Genesis

combination resulted in a 2.6 fold shorter

Workstation 150 with Tecan Multi Pipetting

assay time and 260 versus 100 assays. The quality of the assay was completely maintained.

Introduction The PAMPA PSR4p provides a first line permeability screen for pharmaceutical drugs. This three-compartment model

Option (Te-MO 96).

2. Preparation of reference and PAMPA PSR4p sandwich: A part of the PreMix filtrate is transferred to a UV plate and the reference UV spectra is read at tstart. Meanwhile the

Materials and methods Instruments: Tecan Genesis RSP 150/8: 250Âľl syringes, 384-well low volume tips, low volume option, low volume wash station, fast wash pump. Tecan Genesis Workstation 150/8 with Te-MO 96: 250Âľl syringes, 384-well low

donor plate is filled with the same PreMix filtrate. The filter plate is coated with phospholipids and placed into the donor plate. Finally the filter plate is filled with acceptor buffer forming a PAMPA PSR4p sandwich construction. The sandwich is sealed with a plastic foil and put away over night.

simulates the small intestine, the major

volume tips, low volume option, standard

3. Transfer of acceptor solutions into UV plate:

site of oral absorption. Drugs permeate

wash station, fast wash pump, Te-MO 96,

After a certain time the plastic foil is

by passive diffusion from the donor

tip block (96 teflon coated steel tips).

removed from the acceptor of the PAMPA

compartment, which is separated by a

SpectraMax 190: 96-well microplate UV

PSR4p sandwich. A part of the acceptor

phospholipid-coated filter, to the acceptor

reader (Molecular Devices).

solution is transferred to a UV plate and the acceptor UV spectra are read at tend.

compartment. The permeation constant

Tecan Journal 2/2003


Drug Discovery

4. Transfer of donor solutions into UV plate: Right after the acceptor solutions have been transferred to a UV plate the filter plate is taken off the donor plate and a part of the donor solution is transferred to another UV plate. Finally the donor UV spectra is read.

Results A set of 47 chemically diverse drugs was used to compare the different robotic equipment.

Figure 2: Comparison of measured PAMPA

Figure 3: Comparison of measured PAMPA

All pipetting steps, except the coating of

PSR4p permeation constants using a Genesis

PSR4p permeation constants using a Genesis

RSP 150/8 and a Genesis Workstation 150

RSP 150/8 and a Genesis Workstation 150 with

with Te-MO 96.

Te-MO 96.

the filter plate with phospholipids, were transferred from eight tips (Genesis RSP 150/8) to 96 tips (Genesis Workstation 150 with Te-MO 96). The measured permeation constants Pe [10-6cm/s] as well as the corresponding log Pe [cm/s] values are shown in Fig 2 and Fig 3. The implementation of the PAMPA PSR4p on a Genesis Workstation 150 with Te-MO 96 has reduced the total assay time by a factor

The quality of the assay has been completely maintained

of 2.6. The pipetting time itself has been reduced

Figure 4: Comparison of PAMPA PSR4p times

by a factor of 5.5. The time needed to read

using a Genesis RSP 150/8 and a Genesis

the UV spectra is constant. Fig 4 shows the

Workstation 150 with Te-MO 96.

different assay times with and without Te-MO 96. The Te-MO 96 wash procedure was extended by a distilled water mixing step in order to avoid a contamination of the assay solvents with the 50%/50% EtOH/distilled water wash solution.

Conclusion The PAMPA PSR4p has been successfully implemented on a Genesis Workstation 150 with Te-MO 96. The correlation of the permeation constants shows that the assay quality has been maintained. In addition the assay time has been reduced by a factor of 2.6, increasing the sample throughput from 100 samples/week up to 260 samples/week (triplicate determination). The bottleneck of the assay is the acquisition of UV spectra using 96-well microplate readers with monochromator technology. Newly introduced readers with diode array detection could overcome this problem and could lead to a throughput of up to 550 samples/week

Figure 5: Te-MO96 Multi Pipetting Option mounted on a Genesis Workstation.

(triplicate determination). Frank Senner, F. Hoffmann – La Roche Ltd., Pharmaceuticals Division, Bldg. 92/5.76A, CH-4070 Basel, This article has been published in Bioworld Q3/2003

Tecan Journal 2/2003


Clinical Diagnostics

Automated Quality Assurance (QA) with ELISA Assays on a Tecan Platform Tecan’s automated solutions facilitate the monitoring of Salmonella contamination at LUFA-ITL GmbH in Kiel, Germany. Sven Sebelin, engineer (Dipl. Ing.) at LUFA-ITL GmbH, Kiel

Figure 1: Dipl. Ing. Sven Sebelin and his Tecan Workstation processing an assay.

Figure 2: Tecan Workstation for automated processing of Salmonella ELISA assays.

As part of the QA-Initiative for quality

The company offers a range of different

required are key parameters for the quality

assurance in meat products, Salmonella

validated analytical methods to test foods

of an automated solution. To assess the

screens for pork meat have become a legal

and feeds. The Q&S program aims to

quality of the automation many experiments

requirement. The test assay Salmonella-

increase the safety of pork products during

were carried out and compared with manual

Meat-ELISA HerdCheck Swine Salmonella®

production and to significantly reduce the


(IDEXX Laboratories) has been examined

contamination with Salmonella in the

to see if it can be automated. Tecan carried

products. LUFA-ITL, together with Tecan, has

The tailored Tecan system

out tests at the LUFA-ITL GmbH. where the

established a fast and accurate test assay,

The automated solution (see Figs 2 and 3)

automated assay was compared with

optimized for high throughput and

consists of the following Tecan components:

manual processing with regards to data

automation. The assay is based on the

• Genesis 200 Workstation with robot arm.

quality and throughput.

HerdCheck Swine Salmonella® from IDEXX

• 25°C temperature-incubator.

Laboratories Inc. The ELISA test detects

• Plate hotel.

Salmonella-LPS-antigen of Serogroups B,

• Sunrise Microplate-Reader.

C1 and D in serum and meat samples.

• Columbus Microplate-Washer with

“Quality and security” Q&S – the cachet Q&S is a voluntary organization formed by

16 channels.

that introduced a quality cachet for meat

When automation is required Tecan is usually close at hand

and meat products made from pork, veal and

The throughput for this test is estimated

(software for operation and data

beef. For the first time, this cachet requires

to be up to 100,000 samples a year. This


the documentation of all processes in the

exceeds manual capabilities and requires

production line and the meat must also

a fast and accurate automated system

come from members of the Q&S cachet.

handling the key steps of the assay. Such an

a co-operation between various associations

automated solution must at least match or

LUFA-ITL GmbH is on board

outperform the quality of the manual test

LUFA-ITL of the AGROLAB group is accredited

results. Besides high throughput, factors

by Q&S, carrying out the quality control tests.

such as reproducibility, diffusion, preventing

• Linear racks for the samples. • Magellan and FACTS with Gemini

As an option, the throughput can be increased by using a second washer and dispenser. Adapting the protocol of HerdCheck Swine Salmonella® ELISA onto the automation solution did not pose a significant problem.

contamination and amount of sample

Tecan Journal 2/2003


Clinical Diagnostics

Three times higher throughput than the manual process

Figure 3: The surface of the workstation.

A clear statement

Great outlook!

The ELISA test consists of 12 different manual

When looking to the future Sven Sebelin

steps, from pipetting the samples and the

is happy to have the Tecan automated

controls to measuring the OD of the assay

solution at hand. The system fulfills all the

in a photometer. Manual processing requires

requirements with regards to throughput

the full attention of one person for 3 hours.

and quality. The team around Dipl.Ing. Sven

One person can therefore process

Sebelin is therefore ready for the increased

approximately 4-5 ELISA plates, or approx.

use of the ELISA assay for the QS Salmonella

400 samples per day.

monitoring program.

The automated system is capable of processing 12-15 complete ELISA plates per day, producing three times higher throughput than the manual process, with a reduced requirement for staff. When using a dispenser and a second washer the throughput may be further increased. The system can be operated by a single person. The test also provides an overnight protocol which increases the system’s efficiency even more. Comparing the data of the automated and the manual ELISA assay shows that the

Figure 4: Results of the HerdCheck Swine SalmonellaÂŽ Salmonella ELISA: Comparison

quality of the automated system matches

of manual (A) and automated (B) processing. The graphs show the results of 91 samples (red and

the manual performance (see Fig 4).

blue). 11 are positive (red). The sample numbers are marked for the positive samples.

Tecan Journal 2/2003


New Products

Automation Evolution - The Freedom EVO With the introduction of the Freedom EVO series of laboratory automation workstations (see page 3), new dimensions in automation system flexibility, safety and user friendliness are now available for laboratories around the world

Access to space below the deck allows Setting new standards – Tecan’s Freedom EVO: up to three arms in almost any combination can be

integration of devices such as plate readers,

installed on a single instrument, increasing speed and throughput.

centrifuges, washers or thermocyclers.

The Freedom EVO series of instruments

more than 75 drivers are available. Unique in

offer a range of throughput options,

the market, the Freedom EVO platform saves

Meeting today’s safety requirements

outstanding pipetting precision and

precious laboratory space through below-

The Freedom EVO platforms include many

accuracy. They bring speed, reliability

table access to a centrifuge or analytical

features designed to offer improved operator

and cost-efficiency to many essential

instrument with extra long robotic

safety. Door lock and cover shields – the

laboratory tasks. Whether it is clinical


Access Set – prevent unintended access

diagnostics or blood bank testing, quality

to the worktable during a run. Gas hinges

New instrument control software package

provide superior operation for both of these

or the latest genomics or proteomics applications, the Freedom EVO series has

Freedom EVOware is Tecan’s new,

allows loading of racks and carriers to proceed

liquid handling and automation options

state-of-the-art software package for

uninterrupted while the cover shield is in

to match and grow with your needs.

all biopharmaceutical (Drug Discovery,

operation. When necessary, an integrated

Genomics, Proteomics) applications on the

pause button allows operation to be easily

Scalable systems

Freedom EVO. Freedom EVOware combines

stopped and resumed.

Freedom EVO is available in three instrument

pipetting and scheduling of multiple devices

dimensions (100, 150 and 200cm) that support

in a single, easy-to-use package, designed

the implementation of a wide variety of

with a streamlined graphical user interface

application options and sample throughput

that allows scientists to focus on research.

needs. Freedom EVO is the only system

Multi level user management and full audit

on the market that can be configured with

trail allows laboratories working in a regulated

three arms, bringing speed, flexibility and

environment to comply fully with the FDA’s

cost-efficiency to many essential laboratory

CFR 21 part 11 ruling.

control, pharmaceutical drug screening

safety features. A continuous loading option

Tecan’s development processes meet worldwide regulatory requirements including the in vitro Diagnostics Directive 98/79/EC. Specific Freedom EVO configurations will be released for diagnostic applications making Freedom EVO the platform of choice for Clinical Diagnostics.

tasks. Apart from seamless integration of Tecan’s powerful devices such as plate readers, array scanners, plate washers and shakers, extraction units etc, the range of potential applications is significantly enhanced through incorporating third party devices for which

Tecan Journal 2/2003


New Products

A continuous loading option allows loading of racks and carriers to proceed uninterrupted while the cover shield is in operation.

Key features of the Freedom EVO series: • Four types of arms available: liquid handling; pick and place; robotic manipulator; and robotic manipulator

• Tecan multichannel pipetting option (Te-MO) with 96- or the new 384-channel head for high throughput applications.

with extended Z-axis for handling a wide

• Fully integrated status lamp to show

variety of vessels, plates, vials and tubes.

operational status of the instrument,

• Up to three arms in almost any

integrated pause button allowing the

combination can be installed on a

operation to be easily paused and

single instrument, increasing speed and

resumed and other new features ensure

throughput. If necessary, Freedom EVO can be field-upgraded with a robotic arm. • Liquid handling arm can be equipped with fixed tips, low volume tips,

process security and operator safety. • Redesigned, easy to use EVOware instrument control software package. • Optional integration of accessory modules

disposable tips, filter tips, or dedicated

including: incubators, plate stackers,

1536-pipetting tips in nearly any

plate carousels, bar code scanners,


plate readers, and other devices

• Access to space below the deck allows

provide incredible system flexibility.

integration of devices such as plate readers, centrifuges, washers or thermocyclers.

The liquid handling arm can be equipped with fixed tips, low volume tips, disposable tips, filter tips, or dedicated 1536-pipetting tips in nearly any arrangement. Tecan Journal 2/2003


New Products

Tailored for smaller laboratories The Tecan HS 400 Hybridization Station Ease-of-Use • Easy loading of 4 slides at a time on microplate format slide carrier (seamless connectivity with Tecan’s LS Series Laser Scanner). • Self-rinsing, automated cleanup procedures. • Easy-to-use Windows™ – based software on a PC or through an optional touchscreen.

Flexibility • One instrument for a range of applications. • Complete range of options for low to high throughput hybridization. • Run up to four different protocols Increased information value and consistency

• The Station can be operated via the

in parallel (HS 4800).

of microarray experiments in combination

integrated touch-screen-module or from

• Choose between different sizes of low

with reduced labor are key factors for all

an external PC. For enhanced throughput

volume (70 – 100µl) hybridization

researchers, irrespective of their size or

or to process different protocols in parallel,


capacity requirements. This is why Tecan has

multiple HS 400 systems can be operated

made all the great features of the HS 4800

from a single PC.

Hybridization Station available to meet the needs of smaller laboratories. The HS 400 can process up to four microarray slides, ideally designed for researchers who need to carry out a modest number of experiments per run. The fully automated workstation significantly improves the reproducibility and sensitivity of microarray results and is suitable for many applications in genomics, proteomics and drug discovery, including key applications such as gene expression profiling, gene regulation, pharmacogenomic studies, up to the validation of gene expression

HS 400’s big brother, the HS 4800 Hybridization Station, provides an automated solution for medium to high throughput hybridization with identical process performance and full protocol compatibility. Up to 12 microarray slides can be processed in parallel on the HS 4800 Master System. Through its modular design, the Master System may be easily combined with one, two or three Extension Units (12 additional slides per unit). This allows processing of up to 48 slides using up to four different protocols in parallel.

results by in situ hybridization techniques. • Slide loading is facilitated by the use of Tecan's unique slide holders that permit four slides to be loaded simultaneously. • Incubations may be performed in the range 4–85°C. True parallel processing guarantees exact and reproducible incubation and wash times. • The HS 400 offers efficient liquid

The HS 400 and HS 4800 Hybridization Stations are the perfect solutions

Reproducibility and sensitivity • True parallel processing, no scheduling necessary. • Precise incubation in the range 4–85°C. • Three modes of liquid agitation for optimal sensitivity and decreased hybridization times. • Automatic slide drying maximizing quality of results and walk away time. • Heated reagents prevent buffer precipitation.

Reliability • Process performance tracked in log files. • Integrated bubble sensors. Optional liquid level sensing system (HS 4800). • Optional barcode reader allows

for scientists demanding improved

barcode to be connected with the

reproducibility and exceptional safety

program run.

in automated microarray processing. State-of-the-art technology combines easeof-use and flexibility with advanced features for outstanding quality and performance.

agitation and on-board slide drying to maximize sensitivity and shorten hybridization times. Tecan Journal 2/2003


Tecan Plus

Leaders in Quality - Tecan’s Range of Disposable Tips Highest quality to the finest detail

quality control procedures are used to

Tecan’s state-of-the-art solutions take pride

produce high quality polypropylene tips.

in automating laboratory work with the

To guarantee product consistency all

highest quality standards. This includes

production tools and products are subject

offering the highest quality disposable tips

to frequent quality inspection checks.

for exclusive use with Tecan Genesis, Genesis Freedom and Freedom EVO platforms.

Tip features designed for your specific needs

High performance pipetting

A range of disposable tip options with

The precision and accuracy of your results

carefully molded openings ensures pipetting

is dependent on employing the correct disposable tips for your Tecan pipetting platform. Sub-optimal disposable tip shape or inappropriate pipette tip material can have considerable adverse effects on pipetting results.

precision and accuracy for a wide range of volumes and liquids. To prevent retention of sample liquids, our tips have been especially engineered to provide smooth and hydrophobic surfaces. The carbon content of the tips makes them electrically conductive and

To guarantee optimal performance of all Tecan

allows liquid level detection.

pipetting platform, we offer a series of highly accurate and precise disposable tips designed for a single liquid transfer (one aspiration and one dispensing step).

Manufactured to the highest standards

User friendliness is key Different pipetting volumes require different tips, and that’s why Tecan offers a series of disposable tips, which all fit the same standard pipetting tip cone. Disposable

Tecan’s disposable tips have been designed

tips are available with or without a filter,

to meet the most stringent quality

and come in 10, 200 and 1000µl volume

requirements. Computer controlled

sizes. The tips are either packaged

manufacturing systems and integrated

in cardboard boxes or blister packs.

A range of disposable tips 10µl disposable tips • requires low volume disposable tip set. • suitable for volumes of 0.5 to 10µl. • packaging: blister (2,304 tips). 200µl disposable tips • requires disposable tip option. • suitable for volumes of 5 to 200µl. • packaging: blister (2,304 tips) or cardboard (17,280 tips). 1000µl disposable tips • requires disposable tip option. • suitable for volumes of 20 to 1000µl. • packaging: blister (2,304 tips) or cardboard (9,600 tips).

Tecan Journal 2/2003



Tecan on the Road Preview on Conferences and Trade Shows 2003 Date



The 7th European Biotech Crossroads




The Japanese Society for the Study of Xenobiotics


The 76th Annual Meeting of the


France: 25-26 September Germany: 7-9 October Japan: 8 October 15 October

Japanese Biochemical Society


UK: 25-26 November

International Biotech & Europe LabAutomation


10-15 August

Drug Discovery Technology

Boston, MA

8-11 October

HUPO Meeting

Montreal, Canada

1-4 November


San Diego, CA

North America: Professional_Development/ Annual_Meeting/annual_mtg.htm

13-15 January 2004

CHI PepTalk

San Diego, CA

2-4 February 2004


Palm Springs, CA

19-21 February 2004


Chicago, IL

Always up to date:

Tecan Journal 2/2003


Local News

Forthcoming US trade shows will see many new Tecan products Tecan US is a major sponsor at the Drug

presentations and tutorials. Please contact

Discovery Technology convention in Boston,

Michele Valenta (see below for contact

August 11th–13th, and will be launching the

details) at Tecan US for a detailed schedule.

Freedom EVO with advanced Te-PS technology enabling routine use of 1536-well plates and including both new safety features and EVOware software. Also on display will be

We invite you to stop by the Tecan booth #1820, where we guarantee that the new, exciting products will make your visit worthwhile.

the exciting new FLT (fluorescence life-time) chemistries to revolutionize screening by The Tecan exhibition booth is ready to

providing fewer false positives in your data.

welcome you!

In addition, for the first time in the US, you will see, a new high-quality multi-detection

This summer, Tecan US will be launching a

system with injector options, ideally suited

variety of brand new products. Drug Discovery

for cell-based assays.

Technology in Boston is one of the big trade

To give our visitors the chance to familiarize

shows, and we would be very happy to

themselves with our latest products, we are

welcome you on our Tecan booth #1820.

hosting a number of workshops,

If you would like more information about the trade shows or our products, or if you would like to make an appointment for a personal tour of our exhibition booth, please do not hesitate to contact Michele Valenta, Tecan US at:

MipTec Tecan hosted workshop for automation and data management at this years MipTec in Basel The introduction of the newly launched joint offer of Tecan Workstations and IDBS’ ActivityBase data management software was supported by a seminar that Tecan and IDBS co-hosted at this years MipTec in Basel, May 12th-15th. This combined offer provides customers with a pre-configured automation of various assays, together with fully integrated software to record all data in real time. The comprehensive seminar, explaining both workstations and software was attended by 27 participants. “It’s impressive to see how well these Tecan workstations fit together with this powerful data management software”, commented one of the participants. “The system allows data collection of all processes on the workstation with just one software solution.” Further, visitors were able to see the new AutoLoader for Aquarius at the Tecan booth. AutoLoader enhances Aquarius by sorting, storing and loading plates for Tecan’s bench top liquid handling solution. The new HS400 Hybridization Station and the GENios Pro with its The Tecan booth at MipTec 2003 in Basel.

new injectors and a Connect Stacker were also presented to the public.

Masthead Tecan Journal Customer Magazine of Tecan Group Ltd. ISSN 1660-5276

Design, Editing and Layout: Northbank Communications Meadowside, Mountbatten Way, Congleton CW12 1DN, UK E-Mail:

Circulation: 8,900 copies (German), 12,000 copies (English)

Pre-Press and Printing: DAZ Druckerei Albisrieden AG Grafische Dienstleistungen, Albisriederstrasse 252a, CH-8047 Zürich

Publisher: Tecan Group Ltd

Copyright: All rights are reserved by Tecan Journal

Editor: Dr. Josef Syfrig

Photos and Illustrations: Tecan Germany GmbH, Tecan Group Ltd, Northbank Communications

Address: Tecan Group Ltd., Seestrasse 103, CH-8708 Männedorf, Switzerland Tel: +41 1 922 88 88 Fax: +41 1 922 88 90 E-Mail: Internet:

Typography: Type set in Thesis from LucasFonts Subscription: For a free subscription to Tecan Journal, please contact your nearest sales office (see back cover of this issue) or send an e-mail to:

Tecan Journal 2/2003


Freedom to evolve

Freedom EVO is a new robotic and software platform that enables the flexible integration of a range of powerful application tools. Whether you're involved in genomics, proteomics, drug discovery or clinical diagnostics, Freedom EVO with its Freedom EVOware software allows you to configure individually optimized modules into a fully integrated, robust system that exactly meets your application requirements. Freedom EVO can be readily reconfigured to evolve with your changing needs, thereby protecting your investment for many years. Freedom EVO may, for example, be upgraded with a Te-MO multi-channel pipetting option with 96- or 384-channel heads to increase its throughput. It supports up to 3 robotic arms which can be selected from a liquid handling arm, a robotic manipulator arm for moving microplates and other labware, a "pick and place" arm or a robotic manipulator arm with extended Z axis to reach devices beneath the worktable.

Genomics • Proteomics • Drug Discovery • Clinical Diagnostics For more information please visit or call your nearest Tecan office Austria +43 62 46 89 33 Belgium +32 15 42 13 19 Denmark +45 70 23 44 50 France +33 1 30 68 81 50 Germany +49 79 51 94 170 Italy +39 02 215 21 28 Japan +81 42 334 88 55 Netherlands +31 18 34 48 17 4 Portugal +351 21 000 82 16 Singapore +65 644 41 886 Spain + 34 93 490 01 74 Sweden +46 31 75 44 000 Switzerland +41 1 922 89 22 UK +44 118 9300 300 USA +1 919 361 5200 Other +43 62 46 89 33

Tecan Journal Edition 02/2003  

On July 1st, we launched a new state-of-the-art automation platform: the Freedom EVO. This multipurpose workstation offers increased flexibi...