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 www.tecan.com
Solving Our Customer’s Application Needs
Global News Partnerships for New Ready-To-Use Solutions
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
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
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
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
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
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
Aitor Galdos CEO Tecan Group Ltd.
Tecan Journal 3/2004
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 â€œone-stopâ€?
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
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 www.alspac.bris.ac.uk.
Tecan Journal 3/2004
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
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
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
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
the FGCZ. Tecan Journal 3/2004
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
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
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 Tecan Product Catalog 2005 available 100 pages full of valuable information on all Tecanâ€™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 email@example.com 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
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
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
30 January - 3 February
San Jose, CA
Always up to date: http://www.tecan.com/index/com-ev-entry.htm
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: www.labautomationeurope.com.
Tecan Journal 3/2004
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.
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Tecan Journal 3/2004
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Genomics â€˘ Proteomics â€˘ Drug Discovery â€˘ Clinical Diagnostics
The opening of the new Tecan Kobe Application Development Center in Japan marks an important step for Tecan since our foundation almost 25 y...