Automated Liquid Handling Robot Accelerates Research into Next Generation Protein-Based Therapeutics

AXT have recently completed the installation of an automated liquid handling system at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. The TTP Labtech mosquito will be used by researchers to probe the atomic structure of proteins and will help accelerate their research by automatically preparing hundreds of samples.

Some of the team at the Ferrier Research Institute and their new mosquito automated liquid handling system from TTP Labtech.

The mosquito is the perfect partner for protein crystallographers as it combines speed, accuracy and high precision pipetting, all in a user-friendly package. Furthermore, the positive displacement pipette technology ensures repeatable liquid dispensing down to the nanoliter level that maximise the usability of valuable reagents. Combining this with single use disposable pipette tips prevents the possibility of cross-contamination ensuring the purity and accuracy of each and every formulation prepared.

The highly automated and high throughput nature of the mosquito liquid handling system will allow the researchers to prepare the vast numbers of samples required for accurate screening experiments. These numbers are typically in the hundreds if not thousands and are necessary to help identify the optimal conditions for preparing the best crystals. Use of the mosquito accelerates this process bringing it down from days or even months.

Professor Emily Parker from the Ferrier Research Institute at the Victoria University of Wellington commented, “the mosquito has become a valuable instrument in our research workflow. Important biological processes are mediated by proteins. Studying protein structures helps us to understand how proteins function. This understanding will help us to control and engineer desired proteins that can be used as treatments to address critical global problems.”

Richard Trett, Managing Director at AXT also said, “research into protein-based therapeutics is on the increase as they are more easily assimilated into the body’s own defence system. We are pleased that we can offer systems like the mosquito and other screening technologies that will help develop the next generation of biopharmaceuticals to teams like Professor Parker’s with a view to minimising the impacts of diseases and ailments that affect our society.”

The mosquito from TTP Labtech is part of AXT’s protein-based product portfolio that also includes X-ray-based protein crystallography systems from Rigaku Oxford Diffraction.