Redefining stem cell research with VIAFLO electronic pipettes and VACUSAFE aspiration systems

· Customer Testimonial

Redefining stem cell research with VIAFLO electronic pipettes and VACUSAFE aspiration systems

Chief Scientific Officer Dr Richard Wetzel explained: “The market for these synthetic products is evolving rapidly, so we decided to focus on developing solutions for drug testing and drug development models. Our customers mainly work in stem cell expansion areas, such as cell banking and cell production for clinical applications. We want to provide these scientists with solutions that enable them to expand their stem cell lines and harvest sufficient volumes of cells for wider clinical applications and, ultimately, treatments.”

VIAFLO pipettes assist coating of biomimetic plasticware

Our VIAFLO lightweight electronic pipettes quickly became a core part of the biomimetic coatings preparation workflow. Richard continued: “We have developed a range of pre-coated cell culture plasticware – screenMATRIX and myMATRIX – and use the VIAFLO 8 channel and single channel pipettes to prepare and fix the biomimetic coating onto these products. We also do a lot of cell culture work using mesenchymal stromal cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, which we seed onto 96 well plates using the VIAFLO pipettes.”

“The screenMATRIX is the starting product for many researchers when they begin a new project, as it helps them to discover the optimal growth conditions for their cells. Many companies approach us at a later stage of project development and are often interested in using products such as myMATRIX, which is formulated for growing human mesenchymal stromal cells in serum-free media. With these customers, we can develop bespoke projects that are tailored for their specific needs; this type of project is our main driver at the moment, while we are still in the development and establishment phase of business growth.”

Reproducible results with controlled pipetting

“We have multichannel and single channel VIAFLO pipettes in a range of sizes, including 100, 300 and 1250 µl, which offers increased flexibility to our workflows. Mostly, we use the Repeat Dispense function, where you aspirate the maximum possible volume and then dispense multiple aliquots across the plate. This saves a lot of time compared to pipetting aliquots one at a time. The automatic Pipet/Mix function is also really handy – it simplifies the process and ensures that your solution is uniformly mixed,” said Richard.

“Quality of results is really important to us and we know that we can trust the accuracy of the VIAFLO pipettes; we don’t need to double-check whether the pipette is doing what it should. The predefined pipetting functions mean that we can dedicate specific pipettes for each step of the SOP, so multiple operators can use the same pipettes without making mistakes. We can even block out other menu options on the pipette so that the settings can’t be changed, which is a really nice feature for standardized protocols with different users.”

Perfectly aligned pipetting with GripTips

“I really like the GripTips pipette tips; we do so much pipetting, and it is really important that the tips are properly aligned and locked on. The quality of the tips is fantastic – there is no risk of them leaking or falling off – which is crucial to us as we take a lot of pride in the manufacture of our own products. We've also started using the GREEN CHOICE refill inserts, which reduce wastage; this was a nice addition, and we would love to support more of these developments in the future.”

Quiet vacuum aspiration with VACUSAFE

Another instrument that is heavily used in the lab is the VACUSAFE aspiration system. Richard commented: “We use the VACUSAFE for everything; from removing the supernatant from the screenMATRIX plate when we produce a coating to routine cell handling, including cell washing and addition of media. As it is much quieter than many other aspirator pumps it causes less disturbance in the lab, which is really important because it is used so much.”

“When we started the company, we chose INTEGRA from the outset because of the quality and durability of its products. I had worked with INTEGRA pipettes in other labs since 2011, so I knew first-hand about their usability, and how good the customer service is. We have complete confidence in the quality of INTEGRA products, and they will always be the first choice for our lab.”