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Bigneat Hood for Cancer Laboratory Robot

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Bigneat recently completed installation of a LABS biological safety enclosure for Cancer Research at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, UK. The installation satisfies the demanding protection levels required in processes involving live cells, which previously could only be provided by smaller Class II cabinets.

Screening of large numbers of potential anti-cancer drugs is a necessary step in drug development. It has been helped by the design of a new generation of robots which can pipette 96 or 384 samples at one time. But for cell work, where there is a need for both operator and sample protection; the latest laboratory robotics systems have become too large to be contained within a Class II laminar flow hood. The only solution is for a larger protection enclosure for the robot.

For the new Cancer Laboratory at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Bigneat supplied the LABS hood which encloses a JANUS™ MDT automated system from PerkinElmer.

For protection of the system, down-flow air is fully filtered by HEPA filters installed in the enclosure roof providing sterile air to ISO Class 5 and Class 100 FED Std. 209D conditions. Operator protection is achieved by drawing in-flow air (which enters through slots in the lower doors and when the doors are open) down through a full width grill along the front edge of the cabinet interior.

Professor Ian Cree is delighted with the results, “The Bigneat team worked with us to design, build and commission an excellent home for our robot, with easy access to load the consumables and a tip-chute. We're confident it will meet our needs for years to come.”

The design of the enclosure allowed for sufficient space for ancillary equipment such as the vacuum pump needed for the system. It is also fitted with large castors to allow it to be moved as necessary within the laboratory.

The Portsmouth team will use the robot to test potential anti-cancer drugs against human tumour-derived cells in 96 and 384 well plates. It will replace the current manual system and should increase the number of drugs which can be screened at one time by a factor of ten.