The iGEM Groningen 2022 team set out to develop a novel way of protecting birds against H5N1, with the goal of creating a biosynthetic alternative to inefficient vaccination efforts. The project aimed to identify a bacterium that is naturally present in the lungs of poultry, and genetically modify it to secrete nanobodies – small, single-domain antibodies – that can target and deactivate the avian influenza virus. The nanobody-producing bacteria could then be administered to lungs of the birds for immunization through an aerosol delivery strategy.
Ronald van der Meulen, Lab Manager for iGEM Groningen 2022, described how the lightweight VIAFLO electronic pipettes aided the group: “Various pipetting activities were required for our genetic engineering workflow. Working with the VIAFLO single channel pipettes was critical to streamlining several steps, including PCR, ELISAs, and western blotting. They were the main tools for all our pipetting steps to make our project a success.”
Designed with comfort and sustainability in mind
VIAFLO electronic pipettes form a perfect pipetting system with INTEGRA’s wide range of GRIPTIPS pipette tips, which never loosen, leak or fall off. The tips snap into place with minimal tip loading effort, providing a secure connection for accurate alignment. “The VIAFLO is lightweight, with a well-balanced design that is both fun and ergonomic to work with,” Ronald continued. “The combination of the pipettes and GRIPTIPS ensures the tips stay securely in place, helping to maximize efficiency and accuracy. We also used the serial dilution feature a lot, saving us a significant amount of time – by limiting the number of pipetting steps – and reducing our production of plastic waste, as only one row of tips was required for each serial dilution plate.”
“The success of Nanobuddy at iGEM 2022 was largely thanks to the efficiency and accuracy provided by the VIAFLO pipettes in combination with GRIPTIPS. The team really enjoyed using the pipettes, and they enabled us to achieve our goals for the competition. These pipettes will be used again when the iGEM Groningen 2023 group is formed, and the university will be hoping to replicate the success of the gold medal award last year,” Ronald concluded.