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Flexible, application-depended HTS automation center in genomics and proteomics

Poster at Drug Discovery '10, ELRIG Annual Drug Discovery Conference, 1st + 2nd September 2010, Coventry, UK
: Cuntz, Timo; Huchler, Roland; Fritsche, Michael; Brandenburg, Albrecht; Zühlke, Dietlind; Brändlin, Ilona

2010, 1 S.
Annual Drug Discovery Conference <4, 2010, Coventry>
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Zellenfertigung; High Throughput Screening (HTS); Zelle; Biologie; Automatisierung

We want to introduce the concept of a new HTS-automation center which allows any flexible application in the topics of genomics and proteomics.
The fundament of this new concept is built by our fully automated cell culture systems like "Autranomics", in which 500 stem cell pools can be cultivated, sorted and pooled in cryo vials per month.
Based on this automated cell-culture handling the new HTS technique allows a modular set-up of different process steps. Starting with handling of human/animal cells in an incubator, the system is able to count and split the cells in MTPs or flasks. Liquid handling options allow fully automated and precise dosing of biopharmaceutical compounds to the cells in the MTPs. Process modules are including life-cell-imaging, where fluorescent marked cells are detected. This is interesting in the focus of protein localization or co-localization studies. In order to setup stable cell lines, a specific picking robot separates the positive and negative fluorescent cells in different containers. Afterwards they are processed in an integrated incubator.
Another possible application in the field of proteomics is the analysis of recombinant expressed proteins after compounds incubation. If the protein won't be secreted, the cells are fully automated lysed and the supernatant analyzed in a specific screening centre or cellular assay like microarrays. As well functional protein-studies are possible e.g. RNAi. In the field of genomics the DNA/RNA can be separated and analyzed under the use of different assays.
We realized this flexible application-depended HTS automation center in a version combining cell-culture handling, life-cell-imaging, compound handling, picking cells and separation between cells and supernatant. Operated via an easy to use graphical-user-interface (GUI) and controlled by efficient scheduling module, it's possible to handle the fully automated system in a flexible way to get validated results in HTS.
The talk will cover the technological and application aspects of a fully automated system for pharmaceutical and biotechnological researches and will point out the innovative solutions.