The virus and prion validation group at Octapharma GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany) reports how implementing an Integra Viaflo 96 has enabled them to reduce the time taken to undertake PCR assays by greater than 60%.
Octapharma specializes in the development and manufacture of preparations from human plasma. The virus and prion group has been set up for small-scale production of plasma based drugs from human blood which must be tested to be free of contaminating viruses. The virology PCR assay developed by Octapharma involves fixing a PCR template on the well surface of 96-well plates and then undertaking a protocol that includes 3 washing steps.
To undertake their PCR assay more efficiently, Octapharma sought a system that enabled reproducible and accurate liquid handling in the 96-well format and was able to completely remove residual liquid as well as avoid well-to-well contamination.
Dr Andreas Volk, a research scientist at Octapharma said: “Initially we looked at liquid handling robots with automatic washing stations to undertake our PCR assay. Not only was this a costly solution but we found wash stations to be prone to cross contamination”.
He added “When we tested the VIAFLO 96 it fully met our requirements as it enabled medium throughput liquid handling with all the adjustment options we had been used to with manual pipettes plus a specified tip immersion depth for each pipetting step. With our PCR protocol, which involves ten full liquid transfers per plate, we now only use half the amount of pipette tips as we can use the same tips for liquid handling and again for aspiration in each washing step. Octapharma staff has found using the VIAFLO 96 highly intuitive and overall the time required for our PCR procedures has been reduced to approximately one third of the original time”.
The handheld 96-channel electronic pipette provides fast, precise and easy simultaneous transfer of 96 samples from microplates without the cost of a fully automated system. It was designed to handle just like a standard handheld pipette. Users benefit from the increased productivity. Fast replication or reformatting of 96 and 384 well plates and high precision transferring of reagents, compounds and solutions to or from microplates is as easy as pipetting with a standard electronic pipette into a single tube. Four pipetting heads with pipetting volumes up to 12.5 µl, 125 µl, 300 µl or 1250 µl are interchangeable within seconds, enabling optimal matching of the available volume range to the application performed. INTEGRA Biosciences