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Thermo Fisher, PerkinElmer, Cellix, Qiagen, NIH, Nikon

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Thermo Fisher Scientific has introduced Momentum workflow software for laboratory applications, the company said. The software was launched at LabAutomation 2008, held this week in Palm Springs, Calf.
 
According to the company, the software enables multiple workflows via real-time, data-driven decision-making, which eliminates the need for customized data handling. Its open topology editor allows users to specify the design, configuration, and operation of their individual system, and plug in different schedulers to support a broad range of processes and workflows. Users can also manage multiple islands of automation, treating them as part of a larger connected system.
 
The company said that initially, Momentum will be made available to drug discovery and development labs, because the software is appropriate for numerous automation applications including hit picking and inventory management, HTS/HCS screening, automated cell/tissue culture applications, and laboratory workflow management.
 
Momentum is compatible with any combination of instruments and plate movers, independent of vendor, the company said. 
 

 
As a complement to the current LumiLux cellular screening platform, PerkinElmer has launched the new LumiLux CS cellular luminescence platform. PE introduced the product at LabAutomation 2008, held this week in Palm Springs, Calif.
 
The LumiLux CS has a much smaller footprint and meets the increased demand of HTS labs switching from kinetic fluorescence to flash luminescence technologies, according to the company.
 
The compact design allows for standalone operation for lower-throughput applications or integration into new or existing robotic platforms for HTS screening. The manufacturer said that its LumiLux platforms are the only dedicated flash luminescence instruments that enable simultaneous 1,536 “inject and read” flash luminescence assays, allowing laboratories to produce over 200,000 data points per day.
 

 
PerkinElmer has launched 20 new high-throughput microplates, the company said. PE introduced the plates at LabAutomation 2008, held this week in Palm Springs, Calif.
 
The manufacturer said that an exclusive feature of the plates is an innovative plate height design for 1,536-well microplates. The design has the same dimensions as 96- and 384-well plates, and provides a single automation protocol. 
 
With the new 1,536-well microplate models, OptiPlate, CulturPlate, SpectraPlate, and AlphaPlate, no recalculation and height adjustment is required when 96- and 384-well plates are changed to 1,536-well plates, according to the company. The new plates also have a wider gripping area, which enables more optimal robotic operations, and they meet standards established by the Society of Biomolecular Sciences and the American National Standards Institute.  
 
The manufacturer said that the new light-gray AlphaPlate, which was designed specifically for the AlphaScreen and AlphaLISA biomarker detection assays, has been shown to significantly reduce crosstalk when compared to standard white 1,536-well microplates. This provides for enhanced precision and greater sensitivity and signal amplification.
 

 
Cellix announced this week the worldwide launch of its VenaFlux platform.
 
The VenaFlux measures cell adhesion to antibody-coated or endothelial-cell cultured microchannels, producing IC50 curves under shear stress conditions and mimicking physiological flow. (see CBA News, 12/14/07)
 
The company said that scientists can use the VenaFlux to rapidly obtain quantitative analyses and results for potential drug candidates in therapeutic areas including cardiovascular, respiratory, immunologic, autoimmune, and oncologic disease states.       
 

 
Nanopoint has introduced two new products, the cellTRAY CT-2000F fluidics system for multi-day, live-cell experimentation, and the cellTRAY dish, an environmentally-friendly, Petri dish-type container. The products were launched at LabAutomation 2008, held this week in Palm Springs, Calif.
 
The cellTRAY fluidics system enables up to 10 parallel experiments over multiple days utilizing a “lab-on-a-chip” type cellTRAY slide, a small fluidics controller and miniature incubator that fits on a microscope stage. The reusable cellTRAY dish replaces Petri dishes for many slide-based experiments and significantly reduces laboratory bio-waste, the company said.
 

 
Qiagen this week launched its AllStars Hs Cell Death Control siRNA, the latest addition to its AllStars portfolio of RNAi controls.
 
According to the company, AllStars Hs Cell Death Control siRNA targets ubiquitous human cell survival genes. Transfection of this siRNA blend results in a high degree of cell death which is visible by light microscopy, making it an appropriate tool for siRNA transfection optimization and routine positive control experiments, the manufacturer said.
 
AllStars Hs Cell Death Control siRNA has been functionally validated in a wide range of human cell lines and primary cells. It can be ordered in tubes in 1-nM, 5-nM, or 20-nM amounts, or in 96-well plates in 1-nM, 0.25-nM, or 0.1-nM amounts.
 

 
The NIH Clinical Collection, a plated array of approximately 450 clinically tested compounds, is now available for distribution through www.nihclinicalcollection.com, the agency said this week.
 
There is a cost recovery charge of $805 for the collection.
 
The NCC compounds are arrayed in six 96-well plates. Compounds are supplied as 50 µL of a 10 mM solution in 100 percent DMSO. The NCC consists almost entirely of drugs that have been in phase I-III clinical trials and have not been represented in other available collections.
 
These compounds also have favorable attributes for inclusion in a screening collection, such as purity, solubility, and commercial availability for re-supply. Having been used in humans, most of these compounds also have well-characterized safety profiles.
 
Bioactivity data on the NCC compounds from high-throughput screens will be publicly available through PubChem, because the compounds are part of the screening library for the NIH Roadmap Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network. Through ongoing screening within and outside the MLSCN, the body of knowledge about these compounds will be continually expanding.
 
All of the compounds in the NCC are commercially available for re-supply. Sources of compounds for the NCC are listed in the compound database.
 

 
Nikon Instruments this week launched the A1 series of confocal laser point scanning systems, which is designed to integrate with the new Ti-E research inverted microscope.
 
Two models are available: the A1 and the A1R. The fully-automated A1 offers standard paired galvanometers with high resolution scanning at up to 4,096 X 4,096 pixels, with a standard speed of two frames per second (fps) for 512 x 512 pixels. The A1R model incorporates a hybrid scanner system of paired galvanometers coupled to a high-speed resonant galvanometer.
According to the company, the A1 series offers many new and exclusive features for confocal image and data acquisition, including Nikon’s exclusive Dual Integration Signal Processing and a high-speed fiber-optic communication data transfer system. DISP uses a pair of integrating digitizers to assure that data is gathered over the full pixel period.
 
The fiber-optic communication data transfer system can move data at a maximum of four gigabytes per second. This speed allows transfer and recording of image data (512 x 512 pixel images) in five modes at more than 30 fps. 
 
The A1 series is available with or without a resonant scanner, depending on imaging needs. The A1R includes both galvanometer scanners, which acquire up to four fps, and a resonant scanner. The resonant scanner acquires 30 fps at 512 x 512 pixel resolution and as many as 230 fps in the 64-line band scan mode.
 
The resonant scanner also allows for either simultaneous or sequential photo-stimulation or bleaching or image acquisition revealing high temporal and spatial resolution of intermolecular interactions. Analysis software for FRAP and FRET is also provided. The A1 system without the resonant scanner provides all the features of the A1R minus the high speed resonant scanner.
 
Among the A1’s features are three beam introduction ports, which allow the connection of two fiber coupled laser sets and one air space coupled laser. The AOTF modulated 4-laser unit, which provides as many as seven laser lines (choices from 405 nm, 440 nm, 457 nm, 488 nm, 514 nm, 543 nm, 562 nm, and 638 nm), the AOM modulated 3-laser unit, which provides an additional three laser lines, and an optional picosecond or faster pulsed laser are just three of the laser options available. Laser power for two of the input ports are continuously monitored and reported to the control system ensuring excellent quantitative and uniform imaging performance.
 
The A1 features an optional spectral detector for concurrent acquisition of up to 32 channels. Three spectral resolutions or channel widths are available (2.5 nm, 6 nm, and 10 nm), simultaneously covering up to 320 nm of spectrum at each frame scan. Simultaneous excitation using up to four laser lines can be achieved with frames speeds of two fps at 512 x 512 pixel resolution, or as fast as 16 fps at 512 x 64 pixels. 
 
The A1 will offer Virtual Adaptable Apertures systems detection as an upgrade option beginning in October, 2008. 

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