The Applied Physiology Laboratory at UNT focuses on research in two key areas – physiologic and immunologic consequences of weight change, and using nutritional countermeasures to maximize immune health after exercise – and performs analysis and testing for other research groups in related fields. Professor Brian McFarlin explained: “We conduct a lot of multiplexed analysis of protein and RNA biomarkers, and this requires precise pipetting. For one study, we were performing 50 flow cytometry preps per blood sample, and we had over 2,000 samples. The work was only between one graduate student and myself, and we quickly decided that we needed a solution to reduce the amount of manual pipetting we were carrying out!”
Brian continued: “We looked around the market, but the solutions on offer were fixed volume systems, meaning we would need up to five separate platforms. I first learned about the VIAFLO 96 multichannel pipette at a biomarker conference before it was even available and, after seeing its ability to change modules to have different volumes, I knew it was just what I needed. The conference’s demo model was packed up and sent to me for a trial, and it’s been in constant use ever since!”
The VIAFLO 96 offers an electronic solution that is as easy to use as a traditional handheld pipette, with improved reproducibility and throughput. “It’s been an absolute lifesaver for our work; we use it for sample transfer from storage tubes to reagent plates and reagent additions, especially for running Luminex® assays and ELISAs. Transferring the assays from handheld pipettes on to the VIAFLO 96 was seamless; INTEGRA was able to support us by writing protocols for specific applications and assisting in the set-up of these programs. The team showed us how to use the VIALINK pipette management software which is very intuitive, and now it’s easy for us to tweak a volume here or there on the protocols. We have since added VIAFLO electronic pipettes and VOYAGER variable tip spacing pipettes – which are great for our plate transfer work – to our collection. We also have an ASSIST that we use to automate some of our standard curve development, and we’re now looking to purchase an ASSIST PLUS pipetting robot for our workflow as well.”
“We now exclusively use INTEGRA pipettes for all of our liquid transfer work because of the benefits they offer; not only has our throughput increased tremendously, saving a lot of time, but the performance of our assays has improved. Our results are much more reproducible and there is a reduced risk of error – it’s revolutionized our workflow,” Brian concluded.