Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roche´s xCELLigence RTCA HT System: Fully-automated Measurement of Therapeutic Targets` Cellular Activity

"Label-free technologies have entered the stage of cellular drug discovery and high-throughput screening (HTS). For the measurement of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation electrical impedance represents an excellent universal readout technology, since different signaling pathways can be measured in one assay format using recombinant as well as primary cells. The recently developed xCELLigence RTCA HT Instrument from Roche Applied Science now allows to perform fully-automated impedance screens for GPCRs and other targets in the 384-well high-throughput format.
In a recent case study, Urs Lüthi and John Gatfield from Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Allschwil, Switzerland, integrated 2 RTCA HT (real-time cell analyzer for high-throughput) Instruments on an automated high-throughput screening platform from Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, US). 263 antagonist hits of the orexin type 1 (Ox1) GPCR that had been identified in a classical calcium flux (FLIPR) HTS were screened for Ox1 inhibition in fully-automated RTCA HT assays. The overall performance, the quality of E-Plates 384 and intra- and inter-assay reproducibility were evaluated. 65% of the 263 antagonist hits were confirmed to be Ox1 receptor antagonists after impedance measurements. According to the researchers, the RTCA HT Instrument could be readily integrated into automated workflows and delivered a highly reproducible data set, making the RTCA HT Instrument a powerful screening technology. 

Compared to standard readout technologies one of the major advantages of label-free technologies is that cellular processes are measured in real-time kinetics in a non-invasive manner. The xCELLigence System uses gold electrodes at the bottom surface of microplate wells as sensors to which an alternating current is applied. Cells that are grown as adherent monolayers on top of such electrodes influence the alternating current at the electrodes by changing the electrical resistance (impedance). The degree of this change is primarily determined by the number of cells, strength of the cell-cell interactions, interactions of the cells with the microelectrodes and by the overall morphology of the cells."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

MSE from Waters - the ultimate technology for reproducible profiling

"Waters mass spectrometers provide a method of data acquisition - known as MSE - that records exact mass precursor and fragment ion information from every detectable component in a sample. This method rapidly alternates between two functions: the first acquiring low-energy exact mass precursor ion spectra, the second acquiring elevated-energy exact mass fragment ion spectra. Every mass is measured, and spectra for each component aligned in retention time. This patented method records data without discrimination or pre-selection so your samples are completely catalogued in a single analysis.

When compared to Data Directed Analysis (DDA), MSE maximizes instrument duty cycle by ensuring that exact mass precursor and fragment ion information data are obtained for the entire peak complement of a chromatogram, making it ideal for fast analysis and narrow, rapidly eluting peaks. DDA results in both a loss of data in the MS mode when MS/MS data are being acquired, and poor duty cycle. MSE data is collected fast enough to accurately define the LC peaks for every detectable component.

MSE is faster than traditional MS followed by MS/MS analysis, and provides data that is not readily obtained by DDA, as both MS and MS/MS data for all detectable components in the chromatogram are generated. MSE can generate both precursor and product ions in a single analytical run thereby eliminating the need to rerun the samples to obtain further MS/MS spectra. To see MSE in action and hear what scientists have to say about it, visit"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bruker Announces Release of Breakthrough CaptiveSpray(TM) Nano/Capillary Electrospray Ion Source for Proteomics at ASMS 2011

At ASMS 2011, Bruker is introducing the breakthrough, proprietary CaptiveSpray electrospray ion source for nano-HPLC applications in proteomics. Using CaptiveSpray technology in many cases increases bottom-up protein identifications significantly, and CaptiveSpray is presently the best available technology for robust, reproducible protein ID or quantitative proteomics applications, with excellent, stable sensitivity over long time periods.
Unlike a traditional pulled nanospray tip, the Etch-Taper™ technology employed by CaptiveSpray ensures that the internal diameter of the spray tip remains constant, thereby reducing tip clogging, and providing excellent spray stability over the entire LC gradient and robust operation for long time periods, even with heavy proteomics samples loads. A key proprietary feature of the CaptiveSpray is its novel gas-flow focusing technology for dramatic sensitivity gains compared to normal electrospray. The CaptiveSpray source delivers nanospray sensitivity without the need for complex and time consuming spray tip adjustments, while its innovative plug-and-play design fits all current Bruker LC-MS instruments, including the latest maXis UHR-Qq-TOF systems, solariX FTMS systems and amaZon ETD ion trap mass spectrometers. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

PacBio RS Now Shipping!

It's official, Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT™) Sequencing is here! Last month we announced that we are now shipping commercial PacBio RS systems. This major milestone comes after more than 7 years of development. We at Pacific Biosciences have witnessed the power of our single molecule, real-time technology. Over the past year, it was even more thrilling to see top researchers from around the world present data taken from their new PacBio RS systems. Equally satisfying was observing the strong view among those customers that our technology will enable real applications that were not possible even six months ago. We are extremely excited to now deliver this technology out broadly to the world.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thermo Fisher Scientific Introduces New High-Field Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer at ASMS 2011

Novel high-field Orbitrap technology provides exceptional resolving power of >240,000 creating new possibilities in research and discovery
DENVER, CO. June 2, 2011.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, today introduced a new milestone in Orbitrap technology, the Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Elite. The Orbitrap Elite hybrid mass spectrometer integrates Thermo Scientific's faster, more sensitive ion trap - the Thermo Scientific Velos Pro - with the company's new high-field Orbitrap and advanced signal processing technologies. The system offers outstanding resolving power of 240,000, previously available only on Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometers, as well as a range of fragmentation techniques, helping customers explore and address the most complex challenges in proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics and metabolism applications. The new mass spectrometer can be seen in the Thermo Scientific hospitality suite at the Hyatt Regency in Centennial Ballroom D during the 59th Annual ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, from June 5-9 in Denver.
"Thermo Scientific Orbitrap technology is the recognized standard for accurate mass and high-resolution measurement," said Thomas Moehring, product manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "With the introduction of the high-field Orbitrap and advanced signal processing technology, we created a new standard in ultrahigh resolution and accurate mass for laboratories performing comprehensive proteomics and metabolism studies."
The Orbitrap Elite embodies multiple advanced technologies including its mass analyzer geometry, unique signal processing, new ion-transfer optics that improve ion beam transmission into the Orbitrap mass analyzer and a new image current pre-amplifier. These capabilities are coupled with new Velos Pro ion trap technology - linear detection electronics, fast scanning and neutral-blocking front-end ion optics - to enhance overall system quantitative performance, speed and uptime. The sum of these unique innovations offers:
  • Maximum resolving power of greater than 240,000 FWHM at m/z 400
  • An amazing four-fold increase in scan speed for increased precision and confidence in quantitative results, and enhanced compatibility with UHPLC.
  • More high-quality, higher-energy collisional induced dissociation (HCD) spectra and FTMSn spectral fragmentation trees for confident structural elucidation.
  • Exceptional sensitivity for the detection of very low abundance proteins, peptides and metabolites