On the cutting edge

A roundup of instrumentation, software and other tools and technology news

Jeffrey Bouley
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LONDON—Titian Software recently announced that deployment of its Mosaic sample management software has resulted in simplified workflows and boosted productivity at Esteve’s Compound Management Unit in Barcelona, after replacing their previous system.
“The improvements from using Mosaic are very clear to us,” said Carlos Maseda, researcher at Esteve. “The most significant benefit is perfect control of each workflow step. The fact that we can do everything inside one complete software solution avoids errors, is more efficient and makes more information available for users. The powerful audit trail, the pick lists and the possibility of restrictions/reservations on samples have brought important improvements to our workflows.”
Since its installation in 2015, Titian’s Mosaic software has been extended to support the whole of sample management research at Esteve’s R&D site. It provides step-by-step guidance and workflow management, compound ordering, full inventory tracking with a comprehensive audit trail and it communicates with Esteve’s existing chemical database and ELN software.
Edmund Wilson, Titian’s CEO, noted: “Esteve’s team required an improved sample management solution that they could be confident would be supported now and in the future. This is where our long track record in sample management really counts. Mosaic is designed to be scalable and has a wide array of functionality built in, so as Esteve’s needs change, Mosaic can adapt to meet those needs.”

INDIGO offers expansion of FXR assay
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.—INDIGO Biosciences has announced the addition of a Mouse Farnesoid X Receptor (mFXR) assay to its FXR portfolio. This addition both complements INDIGO’s industry-leading Human FXR assay and meets the demand for an expansion of the platform to include orthologue assays.
Also known as the bile acid receptor (BAR), the farnesoid X receptor is expressed at high levels in the liver and intestine. It plays an important role in the regulation of hepatic triglyceride levels and its activation is key in the suppression of bile acid synthesis from cholesterol. FXR activation is regularly studied when examining the disease states of dyslipidemia, bile acid and xenobiotic metabolism, metabolic disease and toxicology. FXR’s relationship to cholesterol has also served as a lead in the search for a solution to the obesity epidemic.
The introduction of Mouse FXR assay kits and services from INDIGO, along with the Human FXR assay kits and services already available, reportedly allows for better preclinical predictability by eliminating the need to extrapolate human assay findings to the animal test phase.
“The addition of Mouse FXR to our portfolio represents a significant expansion in drug discovery capabilities. INDIGO is excited to meet the increasing industry need for orthologue assay platforms for preclinical FXR research,” said Dr. Jack Vanden Heuvel, chief scientific officer.

Rigaku presents latest analytical instrumentation
THE WOODLANDS, Texas—Rigaku Corp. presented its lines of X-ray microscopy and computed tomography instrumentation at the 2016 X-Ray Microscopy Conference in mid-August at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
X-ray microscopy and computed tomography equipment from Rigaku enable nondestructive analysis of large samples at high resolution. X-ray microscopy is suited to all kinds of materials, from low-density materials such as biological samples to high-density materials such as ceramics and steels. Computed tomography reveals, at high speed, the high-resolution, three-dimensional structure of an object by means of computer-processed combinations of numerous X-ray images taken from different angles.

Tecan increases application flexibility for genomics
MÄNNEDORF, Switzerland—Tecan says that it has increased application flexibility and walkaway times for genomics workflows, in part through the launch of a new generation of 10 μl LiHa disposable tips that will improve labware access on Fluent and Freedom EVO workstations, as well as offering more options for on-deck tip storage.
The redesigned 10 μl tips are 3.6 mm longer and have been developed to improve access to PCR plates and common 384-well microplate formats, helping to minimize dead volumes and waste of precious samples and reagents.
Severin Heynen, product manager for consumables at Tecan, commented: “This completely redesigned tip is optimized for genomics workflows and other applications requiring high throughput and accurate low volume pipetting. Offering sterile tip purity and a range of storage options gives our customers even more choice in how they automate their protocols, helping to streamline laboratory workflows and maximize the return on their investment in our liquid-handling solutions.”

Jeffrey Bouley

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