On the cutting edge
A roundup of instrumentation, software and other tools and technology news
Late March saw Dolomite Bio, a brand of Blacktrace Holdings Ltd., celebrate the first anniversary of its launch, marking the end of what it calls “a fruitful year in business.” This biology-focused brand, a spinout from sister company Dolomite Microfluidics, is dedicated to the development of innovative products for high-throughput single cell encapsulation.
The initial year of trading has seen Dolomite Bio grow significantly, the company says, with clients in 32 countries, including major academic institutions and pharma companies—and Dolomite Bio exceed its sales targets by 63 percent.
Dolomite Bio’s core technology is open and fully scalable, enabling microdroplet encapsulation of individual cells and molecules from a few to millions, reportedly in just a few minutes. It is said to be ideal for a wide variety of high-throughput, single-cell research applications, including single-cell RNA-Seq, direct isolation of functional antibody coding sequence libraries, profiling natively paired T cell receptors, directed evolution by FACS sorting, functional antibody screening in droplets and cell encapsulation in hydrogels.
“Dolomite Bio was launched to focus on developing novel products for high-throughput single-cell research, taking advantage of Dolomite Microfluidics’ underlying technology and the Blacktrace group’s understanding of the market to serve customers in this rapidly growing field,” said Mark Gilligan, CEO of Blacktrace Holdings. “One year on, we are delighted with the brand’s progress, and look forward to further success as we move into the future.”
BioTek opens second solar facility
WINOOSKI, Vt.—BioTek Instruments continues to strengthen its commitment to sustainability by announcing the opening of their second solar facility. In addition to the company’s existing 500-kilowatt solar farm in Whiting, Vt., a new, 88-kilowatt photovoltaic solar energy farm has been put into action in Milton, Vt.
The additional renewable energy will provide power to BioTek’s new 22,000-square foot facility expansion and is expected to offset 100 percent of the company’s annual electricity costs well into the future.
Transfection technology for primary cells
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Precision NanoSystems says it is helping scientists “to push the boundaries of neuroscience research” with a range of efficient and easy-to-use primary cell transfection kits. Combining user-friendly NanoAssemblr microfluidics systems with advanced nanoparticle technology, the company has developed the Neuro9, Astro9 and iNeuro9 nonviral gene transfection kits to allow rapid and easy knockdown or expression of genes in primary cells, both in vitro and in vivo.
The company’s transfection kits are optimized for nonviral delivery of short interfering RNA, messenger RNA or plasmid DNA into various neural cell types, such as neurons, astrocytes and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons.
Genedata Screener offers APC functionality and integration with Nanion SyncroPatch 384PE
BASEL, Switzerland & MUNICH, Germany—Earlier this year, Genedata, a provider of advanced software solutions for drug discovery and life-sciences research, announced new automated patch clamp (APC) functionality in Genedata Screener for Ion Channel Screening and a Genedata Ready-to-Run integration with Nanion SyncroPatch 384PE. The package reportedly provides seamless data capture and innovative analysis of Nanion’s multisweep, multidose current traces as well as interactive access to the raw traces for visualization and analysis optimization.
APC technology provides scalable functional measurement of ion channels, which are increasingly becoming important therapeutic targets in drug discovery. However, advanced APC measurements generate gigabytes of data per plate, resulting in data analysis bottlenecks and incomplete workflow support when multiple plates are screened. Genedata Screener for Ion Channel Screening helps address these data analysis challenges, and the new full integration and workflow automation can reduce analysis time by upwards to 95 percent, the company says.
G:BOX Chemi XX6 imager studies effects of stressors on bacteria
CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—Syngene, a manufacturer of image analysis solutions, recently announced that its G:BOX Chemi XX6 multi-application imager is being used by scientists at the University of Warwick to rapidly and accurately analyze how gram-positive bacteria react to stressors. This is providing information on phenotypic changes and may identify potential genetic targets, which could help in developing new antimicrobial therapies for drug-resistant bacteria.
Specifically, researchers are using the G:BOX Chemi XX6 to study the changes that occur following exposure to stressors in the model Bacillus subtilis (a close relative of drug-resistant bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus).
“B. subtilis expresses over 1,500 noncoding RNAs, and we want to determine what they are regulating and how they are doing it. As part of this research we’re using a G:BOX Chemi XX6 system to analyze chemiluminescent RNA and proteins, as well as image B. subtilis and E. coli colonies on 25 cm plates to identify interesting clones,” said Dr Emma Denham, assistant professor of molecular bacteriology at the University of Warwick.