Enabling Genomic Advances - It is in Our DNA

Written by Bioscribe on April 25, 2018

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Happy DNA Day! It’s been 15 years since the Human Genome Project was considered complete. To commemorate this milestone and the genomic advances that have been made since 2003, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has launched the '15 for 15' Celebration, unveiling 15 ways that genomics has and will continue to transform our world.

Our Echo Liquid Handlers were introduced just a year later, in 2004, and have made significant contributions to the field ever since. We thought we’d celebrate with a Top 15 list of our own, highlighting how Labcyte can enhance genomics research.

  1. High throughput: Echo Liquid Handlers can transfer as many as 750,000 samples a day to 384-, 1536-, and 3456-well plates, slides and microfluidic devices.

  2. Miniaturization: Traditional DNA assembly methods require reactions of 10–20 microliters per well. Echo Liquid Handlers reliably transfer volumes as low as 25 nanoliters.

  3. Cost saver: The miniaturization enabled by Echo Liquid Handlers can reduce the costs of NGS library prep up to 100-fold, bringing the cost per reagent down from $72.91 to $0.73, and extend the useful life of a primer library.

  4. Time saver: The Echo system can rapidly pool oligos or DNA fragments from library plates. Since there is no time spent changing or washing tips, the Echo system can transfer each oligo or fragment from any well of a microplate in less than a second. This can save up to 15 hours in a high-throughput setting.

  5. Non-contact transfer: Echo system's non-contact transfer also eliminates cross-contamination to ensure reliable and reproducible data. Amplification of DNA from a single cell is inherently susceptible to contamination, for example, and exogenous DNA from tips or nozzles used during the transfer of samples or reagents into a PCR reaction cannot be resolved even with UV-radiation steps.

  6. Reproducibility: Precise, automated dispensing eliminates pipetting errors, and ensures protocols can be accurately repeated. An interlaboratory study also confirmed that results from ddPCR-based DNA quantification tests could be reliably reproduced among seven independent laboratories.

  7. Flexibility: Dynamic Fluid Analysis enables Echo Liquid Handlers to adapt easily to different types of fluids. This patented software algorithm adjusts acoustic energy requirements in real time without operator intervention.

  8. No need to dilute: Eliminating the need to dilute high-concentration primers can prevent dilution errors and save on storage. It also results in simultaneous normalization while pooling, which enables equal distribution of reads to every sample and even representation across all samples.

  9. No more repeats: The precision and accuracy of transfers at lower nanoliter volumes eliminate repeat experiments, further reducing reagent costs. With precise, accurate, non-contact transfers, Echo systems can reduce multiple displacement amplification (MDA) and RNA-seq reactions by 75% or more.

  10. Less waste: Eliminating the use of disposable pipette tips reduces waste generation. Smaller reagent volume also reduces the amount of chemicals that need to be disposed of, and enhanced sample storage capacity can reduce storage footprints.

  11. Scaling up: With options for integrated plate handling automation and software tailored for genomic research, Echo systems can easily scale for production environments.

  12. One-stop shop: With the Access Workstation, Echo Liquid Handlers can be easily incorporated into an integrated system to automate genomic workflows including, but not limited to, qPCR, PCR, enzyme reactions, DNA/RNA quantification, sample pooling, and normalization.

  13. Keeping it simple: Labcyte’s suite of Echo Software Applications assists researchers in creating liquid handling protocols for specific applications, simplifying the creation of plate formats, liquid transfer routines, and output files.

  14. Improved sample integrity and access: The latest Echo system, the Echo 655T, incorporates FluidX AcoustiX Sample Tubes (FAST) for ultra-high-density sample storage. The acoustic tubes have a unique cap design; their internal cap seal and increased cap/decap cycles enable longer term sample storage, as well as enhanced sample access, which can minimize freeze/thaw cycles.

  15. Responsive to new innovations: Over the past 15 years, Labcyte has demonstrated a consistent history of innovation in the use of acoustic energy to transfer liquid samples. The next step: Acoustic-Mass Spectrometry. Working in collaboration with AstraZeneca and Waters Inc., we have developed the ability to generate a mist of nano-droplets similar to those created in a mass spectrometer’s electrospray ionization source.

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