VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipette accelerates immunology research at University of Basel

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VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipette accelerates immunology research at University of Basel

The role of immune cells

The immune system plays a critical role in everyday life and disease, and Korcan’s group is specifically interested in the role of immune cells in inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colitis-associated colorectal cancer. He explained: “We mainly work with human patient samples and transgenic mouse models, looking at how monocytes enter the tissue and differentiate into macrophages to have pro- or anti-inflammatory effects during the disease course. We are primarily looking for the cytokines and cytokine receptors expressed by macrophages and epithelial cells, and studying their interactions.”

Increasing workflow efficiency

The group’s normal workflow involves extracting RNA from samples and converting it to cDNA, before conducting qPCR, or running ELISAs for serum samples. Korcan continued: “Most of our samples come from the Swiss IBD cohort, and we’re usually analyzing biopsies and blood, looking at criteria such as electrolytes, minerals, trace elements or antibodies. Our work involves transferring lots of samples between different well formats and, previously, we were conducting this work with single channel pipettes, which was a laborious and error-prone process.”

Researcher at the University of Basel working with VOYAGER pipette
Photo courtesy of University of Basel

VOYAGER capabilities are second to none

The VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing electronic pipette has proved perfect for the group’s highly manual workflow, as the automatic adjustable tip spacing allows users to transfer multiple samples simultaneously, reducing transfer steps and pipetting errors. “We looked at a range of different pipetting systems, and the VOYAGER really stood out, as nothing compared to its adjustable tip spacing abilities. We already had a number of single and multichannel VIAFLO electronic pipettes, which are well liked in the department, and this made it easier to integrate the VOYAGER into our workflow.”

“We mainly use the VOYAGER in qPCR setup, using 13 to 9 mm spacing to transfer samples from 1.5 ml tubes to eight tube strips. After the reverse transcription reaction, we transfer the cDNA to 384 well qPCR plates using 4 mm spacing. The repeat dispensing function is really beneficial too, allowing us to distribute different qPCR master mix solutions from 1.5 ml tubes to 384 well plates. We’re also using the VOYAGER in cell culture and ELISA applications, for the addition of reagents from 1.5 and 2 ml tubes to 24, 48 and 96 well plates, plus the transfer of samples between different plate formats. The GripTip pipette tips are the perfect partner to our VOYAGER; the tight connection between pipette and tip ensures nothing is loose or leaks, and this means less errors are made. Overall, the VOYAGER saves us a huge amount of time compared to using manual pipettes, and our throughput has significantly increased since using it – it really helps to accelerate our research.”

Researcher working with VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipette
Photo courtesy of University of Basel