Electronic pipettes give a helping hand in neurodegeneration research
Vasco Ledebur de Antas de Campos, Head of Discovery Biology at Rejuveron Vascular Therapeutics AG, explained why the company has chosen VIAFLO 384, a 96 and 384 channel handheld electronic pipette, for its workflows: “Rejuveron Vascular Therapeutics is a subsidiary of Rejuveron Life Sciences, a biotechnology company that develops and invests in therapies to tackle age-related diseases. Our focus is on finding novel treatments for neurodegenerative disorders and, as part of our research, we perform a large number of screening assays using Transwell plates with cellular models of the BBB.”
Vasco continued: “Since we screen compound libraries, we knew from the outset that there was little point in performing these assays manually, so we looked for a solution that would be easy to automate. We were aware that any pipetting system we purchased would also need to be used by other companies within the Rejuveron group, which meant that it had to be flexible and suitable for a variety of applications, making the VIAFLO 384 – which offers an automatic pipetting mode – an obvious choice.”
A multipurpose tool
The VIAFLO 384 offers interchangeable pipetting heads to allow 24, 96 and 384 channel pipetting, with volumes ranging from 0.5 to 1250 μl. It can be programmed to automate complete pipetting protocols – which ensures consistency of parameters such as the pipetting volume, height and position in the well – improving consistency and virtually eliminating the risk human error. This makes it easier to perform high throughput screenings with high accuracy, while the adjustability of the system makes it suitable for countless applications. For Rejuveron Vascular Therapeutics, this means that entire Transwell plates can be pipetted simultaneously, easily accessing the basolateral side of the wells to save time and increase reproducibility. Vasco explained: “The VIAFLO 384 offers high flexibility and productivity, as well as being easy to program to perform different tasks, minimizing human errors in our workflow. As we routinely perform library screening, our aim was to have high throughput and reproducibility, and we programmed the system to follow our protocols. This ensured that each study was consistent, and freed up the laboratory staff from performing tedious manual pipetting tasks. We use the VIAFLO 384 – with a 96 channel head using 125 µl Sterile Filter GripTips – both to deliver the drugs to the apical side, and collect samples from the basolateral side, of the Transwell plate. This is an easy job for the system, as you can program it to aspirate from any part of the well.”
“Our protocol begins with adding the cells to the Transwell plates, and incubating them until we have obtained high confluency and a nice monolayer has been formed on the filter membrane. We then administer our drug candidates, and collect samples from the basolateral side of the Transwell to check the amount of drugs that was able to permeate through the artificial BBB."
“What I really like about the VIAFLO 384 system is that it is easy to set up and optimize. In addition, it is very flexible. For example, you do not need to load the whole deck but can use just a single column or row, which means that we will be able to use the system to set up and study dose responses in the future,” Vasco concluded.