Labcyte Inc. has announced the issuance of U.S. Patent 7,090,333 describing the use of acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) for the preparation of microarrays of proteins and peptides.
ADE uses sound to move fluids eliminating all physical contact with the liquid being transferred.
This disposes of the need for pin tools, pipettes and nozzles that are currently used to make protein arrays and are known to cause loss of protein due to adsorption on the device surfaces.
ADE is also precise with the coefficient of variation, the measure of precision, often a few percent even at the nanoliter and picoliter level. ADE can even transfer volumes as low as 25 femtoliters (0.000025 nanoliters).
"This broad patent expands the horizons for protein array preparation," said Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Elaine J. Heron.
"While the challenges of producing DNA arrays have largely been addressed, protein arrays present new problems that have not been adequately solved."
"ADE solves these problems by eliminating the possibility of adsorption on the transfer device, which leads to variation in the amount of protein as well as cross contamination."
"Our next step in the array area is to work with customers who wish to make highly reproducible protein or peptide arrays for their own use or for sale."
"The Labcyte ADE technology is used in our award-winning Echo™ Series 500 liquid handlers."
"These systems have quickly become the state-of-the-art in sample transfer in high-throughput screening laboratories in the pharmaceutical industry."
"The elimination of pipette tips and pin tools with their large incremental costs in operation was an early driving force for their adoption."
"But the improved results in precision and in assay results have had an even bigger impact upon users of the systems."
"ADE transfers compounds directly from source microplates to assay plates or to microscopes slides for arrays by quickly moving a transducer from underneath one well to the next."
"The focused sound energy generates a droplet from the source fluid for transfer at each well, and there is no need to clean the sound generator as it does not touch the source fluid."
"This method of transfer eliminates the loss of compounds by adsorption to pin tools and pipettes."
"Pharmaceutical researchers have proved that these losses lead to missing hits in screening."
"We feel that the elimination of pin tools and pipettes in protein array preparation will have a similar impact on results."