Page 1

ISSN 1660-5276

Tecan Journal English Edition 3/2004 - November 2004

Pro Team速 Advanced Digest at the Functional Genomics Center in Zurich Page 8

A Generic Protein Kinase Assay for High Throughput Screening Page 10

Automation systems in genetic study of children Page 4



Solving Our Customer’s Application Needs

Global News Partnerships for New Ready-To-Use Solutions

Dear Customer

Page 3

The opening of the new Tecan Kobe Application


Development Center in Japan marks an important step

Automated Cell Line Generation and DNAExtraction Support LargeScale Genetic Study

Page 4 New Products

for Tecan since our foundation almost 25 years ago. This demonstrates the importance that Tecan is placing on the development of relationships with our customers in Japan and East Asia. Our commitment is being further strengthened by the opening of a local Tecan sales office in China before the end of this year. The new Center in Japan highlights our emphasis on working closely with customers

Page 7

to develop validated automation solutions for specific applications. In the near future, Tecan customers in the US and Europe will benefit from similar centers. In a parallel step, Tecan has recently started a series of collaborations with leading reagent and kit suppliers to develop new automated solutions for important application needs (page 3). We are reporting the first interesting results from these


collaborations in our new Tecan product catalog 2005. In addition, this catalog gives an

Pro Team® Advanced Digest

Page 8

overview of the entire range of Tecan’s automation and detection solutions as well a host of further valuable information that will help you to improve the efficiency of

Drug Discovery A Generic Protein Kinase Assay for High Throughput Screening

your day-to-day laboratory work. Please turn to page 13 to order your personal copy. You can read about our involvement in the “Children of the 90’s” project on page 4. Based at the University of Bristol, the project is aimed at understanding the health

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and development of children and involves large-scale genetic studies. Two robotic workstations from Tecan are proving to be crucial aids in achieving the goals of this ambitious project.

Tecan Plus Always Willing to Travel to Ensure the Reliable Operation of Your Tecan Equipment

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On page 8 of this Journal, you will find an article about the successful testing of the new ProTeam Advanced Digest, which was carried out at the Functional Genomics Center in Zurich. The article details the development of a sensitive and flexible

New Products New Tecan Product Catalog 2005 available

Page 13

automated solution for preparing samples that are suitable for analysis using protein mass spectrometry. Protein kinases play key roles in the signal transduction pathways of many diseases and are therefore important targets for drug screening. On page 10 we are describing


a new assay to measure kinase activity and inhibition with Tecan’s Ultra Evolution™

Preview on Conferences and Trade Shows 2004/2005

detection reader. Unlike current screening technologies this method is very simple to develop and run.

Page 14 I hope you enjoy this edition of the Tecan Journal.

Local News Tecan Opens New Application Development Center in Kobe, Japan

Yours faithfully,

Page 15

Aitor Galdos CEO Tecan Group Ltd.

Tecan Journal 3/2004


Global News

Partnerships for New Ready-To-Use Solutions

The isolation of RNA from biological samples is an application where the performance of a research kit can be increased substantially by an automated solution from Tecan.

Research kits have become indispensable

procedures and applications. The flexible

research kits for molecular biology applications,

tools for scientists in the life sciences.

Freedom EVOÂŽ platform plays a key

nucleic acid sample preparation, microarray

By combining them with completely

role in this optimization process.

processing and analysis, and genotyping.

automated systems or state-of-the-art

The Freedom EVO series of platforms

For example, magnetic bead separation

detection systems, the performance

was introduced last year bringing a new

technologies have become established tools

and productivity of these kits can be

level of scalability and modularity to the

for sample preparation, nucleic acid or protein

substantially improved. With almost 25

automation of life science applications

isolation, as well as sample clean-up. Magnetic

years of experience in liquid handling and

that covers all throughput requirements.

beads provide an innovative route to purify

detection technologies, Tecan is in a strong position to provide automated ready-to-use platforms and products that integrate third party research kits and reagents.

Recently, Tecan started a range of new business partnerships with leading providers of research kits and reagents that included Pierce Biotechnology, Promega and Invitrogen. The goal of these collaborations

Combining expertise for enhanced productivity Among its current range of automated products, Tecan offers validated “one-stop�

is to develop new validated automated solutions for applications that allow users to benefit from significant enhancements in productivity and time savings.

solutions for specific molecular biology and drug discovery applications, including sample preparation, protein or nucleic acid isolation, as well as sample clean-up.

and concentrate a wide range of important biological molecules. Magnetic beads are widely used in academic and industrial research as well as clinical research and diagnostic settings. Tecan is the only provider offering systems for genomics that automate applications using two additional separation technologies: vacuum filtration/solid phase extraction and centrifugation. A new application for completely automated

Cutting edge technologies in genomics

isolation of DNA from large volume blood samples gives a good example for the

The genomics market provides a good

advantages of total solutions. See page 9

Tecan provides its partners with the

example of the strength of ready-to-use

for a description of this ready-to-use system,

automation know-how and expertise to

Tecan solutions. In this market, supply

which has been developed in collaboration

bring out the best from their proven methods,

companies are offering a diverse range of

with Promega.

Tecan Journal 3/2004



Automated Cell Line Generation and DNAExtraction Support Large-Scale Genetic Study Tecan’s automation systems are key tools for the Children of the 90s project Richard Jones, Head of Biological Collection, “Children of the 90s”, Bristol, United Kingdom

Figure 1: Dr. Richard Jones, Head of

Figure 2: The Tecan Genesis Freedom 150 that automates the transformation process of the cells is

the Biological Collection at ALSPAC.

installed in a sterile air-flow cabinet.

Following the complete sequencing of

intensive and robotic automation was seen

across the plate. The cell cultures are then

the human genome, scientists are now

as essential for the high throughputs needed

manually transferred into a flask and after

concentrating on understanding the

to create up to 25,000 cell lines within a

expansion the cells are ready to be harvested

functions and regulatory mechanisms of

five years period. Two sophisticated robotic

for long-term storage in liquid nitrogen and

genes and gene networks. These studies

workstations were built by Tecan to automate

for DNA extraction.

cover a wide range of approaches and

both cell line generation, maintenance and

subjects. Their aim is to understand the

storage of the cells and subsequent DNA

development of different diseases and to

processing and banking.

understand genetic and non-genetic influences on health and child development. The “Children of the 90’s” project (see box) is aimed at understanding the health and development of children and includes large-scale genetic studies. It has one of the largest collections of biological samples, including DNA, worldwide. Immortalized cell lines are being generated from each study participant to ensure an unlimited supply of DNA for genetic testing.

Immortalized cell lines are being created by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)- transformation. EBV-transformation and subsequent DNAextraction and processing, are very labor

normally takes about six weeks with visits to the robot every two or three days.

The first automation system consists of

The system is designed to allow up to three

the Tecan Genesis Freedom® 150 to automate

hundred cultures to be processed within

the transformation process (Fig 2).

18 hours. All operations are carried out

Each transformation takes place in one or

automatically by the Tecan Genesis

two wells of a 24-well plate. Cultures are

workstation under sterile conditions to

held in automated incubators and delivered

avoid contamination of the samples and

via shuttles to the lab automation system

to contain the virus.

housed in a sterile air-flow cabinet. Lids are removed automatically, and the liquid handling system allows manipulation of the culture according to a worklist previously generated by the laboratory

Need for a fast and reliable lab automation system

For each culture the transformation process

staff's evaluation. At early phases of the transformation, the automated workstation

The robots mark an important new phase for the research project

removes spent medium and replaces it with fresh medium (Fig 3). Once staff decide that the cell-line is established, the cultures are divided and distributed to expand the cells

Tecan Journal 3/2004



Figure 3: The workstation automatically removes spent medium and replaces it with fresh medium according to a worklist generated by the laboratory staff.

Automated DNA-processing The second Tecan robotic workstation Genesis Freedom 200 combined with the Tecan GENios detection system automatically measures the extracted DNA from the cell culture samples and normalizes the DNAconcentration ready for genetic analysis by the project’s collaborators (Fig 4). The extracted DNA samples are usually at a wide range of concentrations depending on the state of the sample from which DNA was extracted. The Tecan GENios™ microplate reader measures the DNA-concentration and the Freedom workstation then automatically dilutes the DNA to the target concentration. This ensures that the optimal conditions for subsequent genetic analysis are met. The workstation generates multiple sealed daughter plates ready for analysis. The system also features a “pick and place” arm capable of cherry picking minitubes with the extracted DNA from closely packed 96-position racks (Fig 5). The workstation can, on request, pick out sample tubes

Figure 4: The DNA extracted from the cell lines spans a wide range of concentrations.

from the store according to any chosen

After measuring the DNA-concentration, the Genesis Freedom 200 automatically normalizes

variable (for example: male or female;

the DNA solution to the required concentration.

Tecan Journal 3/2004



Figure 6: Prof. Martin Bobrow from Addenbrooke's Hospital (Cambridge) and a governor of the Wellcome Trust (left), and Prof. Eric Thomas, vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol (right) attended the opening of the new laboratory. Figure 5: The “pick & place”-arm allows the

Two children who won the competition

automated cherry picking of minitubes from

for naming the automation systems

closely packed 96-position racks.

were allowed to start them.

DNA concentration, etc) and reorganize them in new arrays. The system performs this task with a speed and accuracy that would not be practical manually.

Entering a new phase of research The robots and new laboratories mark an

The Children of the 90’s project: genetic and non-genetic influences The Children of the 90’s project is known to the scientific community as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). This unique project is based at the University of Bristol. It is discovering new ways of understanding diseases with a view to improving prevention and treatment and has created the world’s largest biological sample collection to support these aims.

important new phase for the Children of the 90’s project. Working out the interplay between genetic and non-genetic influences on the growth and development of normal children from the womb into adult life is the key to understanding, and therefore preventing or treating, common diseases. The new robotic workstations from Tecan are critical aids in achieving this goal.

Around 14,000 children and mothers have donated more than half a million samples to the project since 1991. No other study in the world has such a large DNA collection from a normal population. The project is mapping many aspects of the life of its children through to adulthood. The aim is to understand the ways in which the physical and social environment interacts over time with genetically inherited attributes to affect the child’s health, behavior and development. By understanding the causal pathways to diseases and disorders, preventive interventions can be devised for the future. As part of the program, cell samples are held in long-term storage for future study. One interim research finding has identified possible risk factors for peanut allergy in children. The great majority of children (84%) with peanut allergy had been exposed to creams containing peanut oil in the first 6 months of life. Another project is studying the causes of autistic disorders. Scientists will now be able to track the development of this mental disease and undertake groundbreaking research into both genetic and non-genetic factors underlying this condition. Tecans’ robotic workstations were given names in a competition with the children taking part in the study. After many suggestions two children named the Tecan Genesis Freedom 150-Plattform “Germinator” and the Freedom 200 “Robobanker”. The children started the machines on the official opening of the laboratory of the project in 2003 (see Fig 6). More information about the project is available at

Tecan Journal 3/2004


New Products

Fully automated purification of genomic DNA from large-volume blood samples1

High quality purified genomic DNA is essential for a wide range of molecular biology methods in genotyping. A new fully automated platform co-developed by Promega and Tecan provides the ideal solution for purifying genomic DNA from large-volume, whole blood samples (3-10 ml). The system combines Tecan’s Freedom EVO® platform with Promega’s MagneSil® DNA Large Volume Genomic DNA purification protocol. Genomic DNA can be purified directly from fresh, refrigerated or frozen whole blood samples using this simple, flexible, and scalable procedure. The genomic DNA is then ready for a variety of downstream applications. The complete integrated system is designed to allow on-the-fly batch size and automated reagent scaling depending on sample volume. The method of purification eliminates centrifugation and avoids problems found with conventional methods, such as reduced yields due to storage conditions, and lengthy times to resuspend the DNA into solution. 1 Disclaimer: Tecan’s Freedom EVO platform combined with the new Promega MagneSil Blood Genomic DNA, Large Volume system has been developed for research laboratory use only.

Columbus Pro™ – the high performance microplate washer Columbus Pro is a new microplate washer with excellent wash performance and unique process control options. The washer sets a new standard of reliability through a unique, 100% leak proof high-end aspiration pump with magnetic drive technology. Columbus Pro achieves very low residual volumes of less than 2 µl through multiple aspiration points for each well. Columbus Pro is equipped with an advanced overflow wash procedure. Overflow washing creates a circular flow of liquid in each well, providing high wash efficiency without compromising throughput by tedious sequential aspiration and dispense steps. The washer can be used stand-alone as well as integrated into Tecan EIA-platforms such as Freedom EVOlyzer®. The washer allows easy operation via a built-in keypad or the new WinWash™ Clinical software that fulfils the requirements for electronic records and signatures. The Columbus Pro for Enzyme Immuno Assays (EIA) in 96-well format complies with EU Directive 98/79/EC for in vitro diagnostic products.

Tecan Journal 3/2004



Pro Team® Advanced Digest Proves its Sensitivity and Flexibility at the Functional Genomics Center in Zurich Dr. Peter Gehrig1, Roland Durner2 and Dr. Ralph Schlapbach1

The TecPro96™ plate: liquid is efficiently removed by means of vacuum through a Peter Gehrig, System Specialist Proteome Mass Spectrometry, evaluated the Pro Team Advanced

small capillary in the bottom of each well,

Digest application on the new Freedom EVO platform.

eliminating losses of gel pieces.

The University of Zurich and the ETH

This methodology has become the most

validated protocols. It consists not only of a

(Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule)

accepted way of identifying proteins.

liquid handling platform but also integrates

Zurich are ranked among the world’s leading academic institutions in Life Science research. In 2002 the two institutions opened the jointly sponsored Functional Genomics Center Zurich (FGCZ), to provide their research groups with ready access to the latest technologies of transcriptomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. The FGCZ allows researchers to access the most recent technology developments and enables them to use up to date tools in their highly competitive modern biological research (see box).

Just after the FGCZ’s foundation, the Proteomics section installed Tecan’s previously developed Pro Team Digest application on a Genesis 150 platform. It was employed in automating MS sample preparations that ranged from in-gel digestion of proteins to spotting the

experimental setup, sample tracking and generation of reports.

including destaining, reduction/alkylation and digestion are all carried out in the

Pro Team Digest to be a reliable tool for fast

TecPro96™ plate (see picture). Following

and efficient processing of samples before

digestion, dried droplet preparations can

MS analysis.

be prepared directly from the generated

1D or 2D gel electrophoresis is a standard

has started to evaluate the recently developed

procedure in proteomics and an important

Pro Team Advanced Digest application on

step in the preparation of proteins for mass

the new Freedom EVO® platform.

identification through MS and to keep up

peptide mixtures using disposable tips. This method is recommended if the sample analysis includes other MS techniques such as ESI (Electrospray Ionization) since only a small part of the sample material is being used. The highest sensitivity and the most reliable

spectrometry (MS). In a method called

compared with databases of known proteins.

a new user interface that includes

The researchers have consistently found the

with technological developments, the FGCZ

by MS. The resulting information can be

assured by the Pro Team Studio software,

The initial steps of the different protocols

The enzymatic digestion of proteins after

set of peptide fragments that can be analyzed

friendliness of this versatile system is

of sample plates for MALDI-TOF MS.

To meet the increasing demands for protein

digested by specific proteases into a unique

meet the criteria of automation. The user

resulting peptides onto various types

Protein digestion plays an important role in proteomics

peptide mass finger-printing, a protein is

new consumables designed specifically to

Automation of a variety of protocols

protein identification are obtained when

The Pro Team Advanced Digest system

before they are applied to the MALDI-TOF MS

provides an environment in which fully

sample plate. The user can choose between

automated in-gel digestion of proteins

SPE (solid phase extraction) disposable tips

can be performed using a large range of

such as the ZipTip™ or an SPE plate format

samples are concentrated and purified

Tecan Journal 3/2004



BSA/fmol 1750 875 525 350 175 85 Phos B/fmol 1250 625 375 250 125 60

Sequence Coverage/% 71 69 55 66 61 30 Sequence Coverage/% 47 50 46 48 31 26

The FGCZ The Functional Genomics Center Zurich (FGCZ) is a jointly sponsored state-of-theart facility of the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich. Its mission is to provide scientists of

Table A. TecPro-ZipTip configuration: Sequence coverage from in-gel digestion of 1D gel bands containing BSA or Phosphorylase B, respectively. Each concentration represents an average from two samples.

both institutions with technologies and expertise in the area of functional genomics. The FGCZ is set up as a user lab allowing researchers from all departments to receive training, support, and access to the latest

BSA/fmol 250 200 100 β-gal/fmol 250 200 100

technologies in functional genomics.

Sequence Coverage/% 28 26 23 Sequence Coverage/% 28 22 24

The section of the FGCZ involved in protein identification consists of a selection of mass spectrometers with both electrospray and MALDI-TOF ionization sources. In order to reduce the protein and peptide

Table B. TecPro-ZipPlate configuration: Sequence coverage from in-gel digestion of 1D gel bands

complexity of biological samples, 2D-PAGE

containing BSA or β-galactosidase, respectively. Each concentration represents an average from

and HPLC systems are used prior to mass



spectrometry analysis.

where the ZipPlate™ is supported. In both

Different amounts of BSA and Phosphorylase

coverage for low protein levels was also

cases the samples are initially processed in

B were processed with the ZipTip protocol

achieved with this protocol.

the TecPro plate. After the digestion process

in order to define the level of sensitivity for

has been terminated, the peptide mixtures

protein identification (Table A). Samples

are transferred either to a collection plate

were eluted directly onto a polished stainless

Sensitivity together with flexibility and robustness

for ZipTip processing or to the ZipPlate.

steel MALDI-TOF/TOF sample plate from

The results obtained with the Pro Team

The advantage of introducing a collection

Applied Biosystems using a solution for

Advanced Digest at the FGCZ demonstrate

plate is that binding, washing and elution

elution of 65% acetonitrile, 0.1% TFA

that it is a sensitive, flexible and reliable

of the peptides are independent of gel piece

containing 5 mg/ml α-cyano-4-

solution for automating the procedure of

size. The same liquid handling parameters

hydroxycinnamic acid. Spectra were acquired

protein digestion including the destaining

can therefore be used for all sizes.

on an Applied Biosystems 4700 Proteomics

and reduction/alkylation steps. Gel pieces

Analyser and database searches were

were not lost during the processing of the

performed using the Mascot search engine

TecPro96 plate ensuring excellent recovery.

from Matrixscience. Using the described

During the second part of the process,

experimental setup protein identification

Pro Team Advanced Digest allows fully

with the two test proteins was possible

automated handling of SPE plates including

below 100 fmol of protein.

direct spotting onto MALDI-TOF sample

The ZipPlate allows processing of 96 samples in parallel and direct application of small elution volumes of 1-2 µl onto the MALDI-TOF MS sample plate. The DirectSpot® procedure is highly reliable since gel pieces are not present in the ZipPlate. Consequently, they do not interfere with the process

The performance of the TecPro-ZipPlate

of applying small elution volumes to the

protocol was determined in a similar

bottom of the plate directly above the

fashion. Peptides were eluted directly onto

SPE resin.

a Voyager MALDI-TOF sample plate from

plates. A further advantage is the Pro Team Studio software, which made it easy to setup and use a wide range of protocols.

Applied Biosystems using a 2 mg/ml

High sequence yield at low protein levels

α-cyano-4-hydroxy-cinnamic acid in 50%

The performance of a digestion process is

analysis was performed using a Voyager-DE

1 FGCZ, Zurich, Switzerland

influenced by several factors and depends on

Workstation and the Protein Prospector

2 Tecan Schweiz AG, Männedorf, Switzerland

the chosen method. Table A and B show the

search engine. The obtained sequence

3 MS results kindly provided by Millipore,

results from two of the protocols tested at

coverage is shown in Table 2. High sequence

acetonitrile, 0.1% TFA solution. MALDI-TOF

Billerica, Mass.,USA

the FGCZ. Tecan Journal 3/2004


Drug Discovery

A New Generic Luminescent Protein Kinase Assay Suitable For High Throughput Screening Lee Walker, Cambrex Bio Science Nottingham Ltd., Nottingham, United Kingdom Signal indicates drop in free ATP During a kinase reaction, the level of free ATP in the reaction mixture decreases as the γ-phosphate is transferred from the ATP molecule to the kinase substrate. This drop in free ATP can be accurately measured using the patented bioluminescent kinase reagents from Cambrex. The bioluminescent reaction is catalyzed by the firefly luciferase enzyme1 and provides speed, sensitivity and convenience. The reagent contains luciferin and luciferase, which emits a stable light signal, with an intensity proportional to the concentration of ATP.

An assay with a four-step procedure Cambrex kinase assay reagents were used to test p38 phosphorylation of the myelin basic protein substrate and p38 inhibition using Figure. 1: The new protein kinase assay is based on a glow luminescence signal, which is detected using the luminescence mode of Tecan's ULTRA Evolution™ multifunctional detection reader.

SB203580. Both enzyme and substrate were diluted to working concentrations using the same assay buffer consisting of 25 mM TrisHCl buffer pH 7.5 containing 20 mM MgCl2

Protein kinases and their ability to

suitable for the screening of potentially all

phosphorylate proteins play key roles in

protein kinases in 96, 384 and 1536-well

working concentration with purified water

the signal transduction pathways of many

formats. This technology utilizes luciferase

and the inhibitor, SB203580 was prepared

diseases such as cancer, arthritis and diabetes.

bioluminescence to measure ATP consumption

in 10% DMSO. Using Greiner 384 white

The importance of protein kinases makes

as a result of kinase phosphorylation of the

well plates, 10 µl of p38 kinase, 10 µl of

them common targets for many high

target substrate. The assay can be easily

dephosphorylated myelin basic protein, 10 µl

throughput-screening departments within

optimized for each kinase/substrate pair to

of Inhibitor and 10 µl of ATP were added to

the pharmaceutical industry. Current

produce rapid, quality data suitable for IC50

each well. The reaction mixture was then

screening technologies such as HTRF®

determination of screening compounds.

incubated at room temperature for 1 hour

(Homogenous Time Resolved Fluorescence)

This technology does not require antibodies,

before adding 10 µl of the stop solution.

and SPA (Scintillation Proximity Assay) are

radioactive beads, radiolabeled ATP or

The remaining amount of ATP was

based on phospho-state specific antibodies

specifically modified substrate sequences.

determined by adding 20 µl of the ATP

or radioactive beads. The need for new

The assay is based on a glow luminescence

detection reagent to the well and incubating

antibodies and beads for each kinase/substrate

signal with a half life of greater than 2 hours

for 10 minutes at room temperature.

pair makes these assays expensive and time

which is detected using the luminescence

The 384-well plate was read on a Tecan Ultra

consuming to develop and run.

mode of Tecan's ULTRA Evolution™

Evolution in luminescence mode using 100

multifunctional detection reader (Fig 1).

ms integration and samples were compared

Simple and rapid generation of data

The detection process is very rapid using

against a kinase negative control to

100 ms per well taking less than 40 seconds

determine activity and inhibition.

Cambrex has developed a non-radioactive,

to read one 384-well plate. In this article

homogeneous, robust and simple assay

the Ser/Thr kinase SAPK2a (p38) is used

and 0.1 mM EGTA. ATP was diluted to

to demonstrate the benefit of the assay. Tecan Journal 3/2004


Drug Discovery

Results comparable with conventional assays Using the kinase SAPK2 (p38) and myelin basic protein substrate as a model, the usefulness of using Cambrex kinase reagents to measure kinase activity and inhibition with Tecan’s Ultra Evolution has been demonstrated. This method is very simple to develop and run and can potentially be applied to any ATP-dependent protein kinase and target substrate. The assay has been proven to be robust with Z-values greater than 0.8 exhibited and reproducible and sensitive enough to determine low potency inhibition (Fig 2). Data obtained for the inhibition of the p38 kinases using SB203580

Figure 2: SB203580 inhibition of p38β. 100 ng of kinase was used to phosphorylate 10 µg of

compares well to those obtained by the

dephosphorylated myelin basic protein in the presence of 10 µM ATP over a 1 hour incubation

more conventional assays used in published

period at room temperature. The inhibitor SB203580 was used over a concentration range of


0-10 µM based on published data. S+E- is the kinase negative control. The Western blot in the

(Fig 3). The use of a stop solution

allows the processing of batches of plates before commencing the end detection point. The assay can be easily miniaturized down to 384-well plate formats with the potential

upper part of the diagram corresponds to 1 µg of total substrate taken from the reactions and probed with an anti phospho myelin basic protein antibody. A concentration dependent effect of the inhibitor can be clearly observed using the assay and the phosphorylation of the substrate is verified by the Western blot.

to go beyond.

References 1 Applications of firefly luminescence. Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence, basic chemistry and analytical applications. Pp. 453-465. Academic Press, NY. 2 Specificity and Mechanisms of action of some commonly known protein Kinase inhibitors. Davies et al. Biochem. J. (2000) 351, 95-105

Figure 3: Inhibition of p38α and p38β. The experiment outlined in Fig 2 was repeated using the same quantities of enzyme, substrate and SB203580 with 20 mM ATP. Inhibition values (IC50) were determined for both isoforms of p38 and they compared favorably against published data2. Tecan Journal 3/2004


Tecan Plus

Always Willing to Travel to Ensure the Reliable Operation of Your Tecan Equipment Interview with Senior Field Automation Specialist Alois Oberholzer

“I personally believe that communication with our customers is as important as the technical part of my work”. Customers worldwide benefit from the many years of experience offered by Alois Oberholzer.

Tecan offers its customers a worldwide

updates that may be useful to their current

short period. This ensures experimental

network of support that provides a reliable

or future applications. I personally believe

downtime is minimized.

service of exceptional quality. Our qualified

that communication with our customers is as

service engineers form a crucial part of our

important as the technical part of my work.

service and are in direct, daily contact with our customers.

changes to the services they offer? Why does it make sense to maintain and service Tecan’s instruments?

What does the typical day of a field

Does Tecan plan to make any important

To improve our service, we ask customers for constant feedback and we continually put

A regular maintenance schedule ensures

their suggestions into action. We are currently

the required accuracy and precision of the

observing that our service engineers will need

Alois Oberholzer: My main tasks are to restore

instruments. Downtime is also minimized

to become even more specialized because our

and maintain Tecan instruments at the

and the instruments’ lifetime is significantly

instruments are becoming increasingly

customer’s site. This inevitably results in


complex over time.

automation specialist look like?

a large amount of traveling. Due to the diverse nature of the job, routine work only occupies a small proportion of my time. In the morning it is difficult to envisage when I will return home. If I have maintenance

How frequently does Tecan recommend a service?

Alois Oberholzer has worked for 25 years

This strongly depends on the instrument and

in customer service, 6 of them as a Field

the throughput. However, with standard use,

Automation Specialist for Tecan. He is

servicing twice per year is recommended.

mainly responsible for customers in

jobs scheduled, the day is easy to plan, however

Switzerland, but customers in other

when malfunctions have to be repaired the time required to complete the job is difficult to predict. Besides technical support, the direct contact with customers provides me with the opportunity to advise and inform them about

Why is it worthwhile having a service

countries benefit from his experience. If customers call the global helpdesk with


complex problems, he can be consulted A service contract allows customers to plan

and in the case of highly complicated

their costs better and always guarantees a

issues he is always willing to travel to

rapid response from Tecan within a defined

help our customers worldwide on-site.

Tecan Journal 3/2004


New Products

New Tecan Product Catalog 2005 available 100 pages full of valuable information on all Tecan’s products

Tecan is pleased to introduce its new 2005

extraction, protein purification and

product catalog that features its entire

crystallization, and cellular screening assays.

range of products. The catalog provides the perfect entry into the world of laboratory automation and detection products to help you improve the efficiency of your day-to-

The new English version of the catalog is free of charge and can be ordered via e-mail at or simply fax back the form below. Order your personal copy now.

day laboratory work. Whether you are working in genomics, proteomics, drug discovery or clinical diagnostics, you will find all the relevant

Fax number +41 - 44 922 82 81

technical information and specifications of instruments and systems to help you decide


the best solution for your needs. Name

Preconfigured and validated solutions for your applications


Many examples of how products can be combined and tailored to fulfill your

Street/PO Box

application needs, demonstrate the


flexibility and ease with which Tecan


instruments can be configured, used and upgraded. The catalog also describes specially


preconfigured and validated automation


solutions for a wide variety of methods in


biopharmaceutical research such as: DNA Tecan Journal 3/2004



Tecan on the Road Preview on Conferences and Trade Shows 2004/2005 Date



HET Instrument 2004




Lab Automation Europe 2004


The 19th Annual Meeting of The Japanese





Washington, DC

Netherlands: 1-5 November France: 4-6 November UK: 16-17 November Japan: 17 November

Society for the Study of Xenobiotics Germany: 24-27 November North America: 4-8 December 44th.html

30 January - 3 February

LabAutomation 2005

San Jose, CA

Always up to date:

New Products at International Biotech and Lab Automation Europe 2004 Tecan will present a range of new breakthrough products at Lab Automation Europe, which is being held with International Biotech, from November 16th - 17th in London. You are very welcome to meet us at booth no. A132 and find out more about Freedom EVO® 75. This recently introduced compact automation system complements the Tecan Freedom EVO family. We will also showcase the Freedom EVO HTS workstation with a carousel for fast and efficient high throughput screening. New solutions on display include: the fully modular monochromator-based microplate detection system Safire2™ that supports a broad range of high-speed fluorescence techniques, the HS400™ Hybridization station and the GENios Pro™ multifunctional injector reader. More information about the conference can be obtained at:

Tecan Journal 3/2004


Local News

Tecan Opens New Application Development Center in Kobe, Japan

The new Tecan Kobe Application Development Center is located inside the Kobe International Business Center (KIBC).

Tecan officially opened its new Application Development Center in Japan on October 1st 2004. The new facility is situated in Japan’s rapidly growing center for cell research and medical industry development in Kobe. It provides the ideal environment to further develop the well-known flexibility and adaptability of Tecan’s products and automation solutions. By building up a collaborative network with academia and biotech companies, Tecan Japan will offer better support and resources for all life sciences customers. The facility is used to showcase new laboratory automation solutions based on the company’s Freedom EVO® liquid handling workstations as well as a range of plate readers and washers. The center also provides a location to continuously develop Tecan’s products by optimizing protocols and gathering data that validate new solutions. This will ensure new reliable protocols with minimum set up time and ultimate performance for customers. “Over the past two years we received many new automation ideas from our customers that we wanted to pursue. However due to limited facilities we could only work on a few of the ideas, as it required many experiments to validate their protocols,” said Scott Eaton, President of Tecan Japan. “Now, with this new facility, our staff has an ideal setting to test and validate the majority of our customers’ ideas.” The opening was celebrated with a ceremony that was held on October 5th 2004 at the Kobe International Business Center (KIBC). The ceremony commenced with a keynote speech describing the objectives of the center. Scientific luminaries in cell research, as well as pharmaceutical sciences, gave congratulatory speeches. After the ceremony, the attending dignitaries and invited researchers were given a tour of the lab and a brief explanation of the current solutions under development. These range from automated physical chemistry property measurements to cell-based assay optimization and cell culture solutions.

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: 9,000 copies (German), 13,000 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 44 922 88 88 Fax: +41 44 922 88 90 E-Mail: Internet:

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Tecan Journal 3/2004


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Tecan Journal Edition 03/2004  

The opening of the new Tecan Kobe Application Development Center in Japan marks an important step for Tecan since our foundation almost 25 y...

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