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The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group
February 1999 Meeting
Agricultural & Analytical Applications
Date: Monday, February 22, 1999
Place: Raritan Valley Community College Advanced Technology Communication
Route 28 & Lamington Road, North Branch, NJ 08876
Itinerary: Social Period with Food & Refreshments and Poster Session, Lobby
- 4:30 to 6:30 PM
Presentations and Discussion, Auditorium - 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Pre-Registration: Requested, not required. Registering will allow us to
more accurately gauge seating requirements and refreshment needs. Indicate
names of attendees and company affiliation.
Email: andy.zaayenga at lab-robotics.org
Agenda: This is a combined session meeting focusing on Agricultural
Applications and Analytical Applications. The Social Period will feature
food and refreshments. Members interested in presenting a poster are
encouraged to do so. Open career positions at your company may be announced
or posted. There is no fee to attend the meeting. Bring a business card to
drop in the registration fishbowl - it eases registration and qualifies you
for the rosewood pen set drawing.
Sharon Reed is chairing the Agricultural Session. Bill Haller is the chair
for Analytical Applications. Their contact information is listed below.
Presentation: Custom Modifications to Packard MultiPROBE 208 Liquid Handler
and Asymtek Century 702 Fluid Dispenser in Dispensing Agar-Based Insect Diet
Media for Insecticide Discovery in Agricultural Biotechnology.
Tracy Michaels, John Cesarek, Stacey Replogle,Mark Hurst,Lisa Fertsch and
Mycogen Corporation, Packard, Asymtek
MichaelsT at mycogen.com
A major technical goal of our program is to reliably and consistently
dispense volumes ranging from 0.1 ml to 5 ml to diverse types of insect
container formats, including the standard 96-well footprint, used in
insecticide screening. Dispensing of insect diet posed special challenges to
the liquid dispensing process due to the elevated temperature and mixing
requirements of the liquid media. Use of available laboratory liquid handing
equipment with the insect diet resulted in solidification and clogging of
lines and/or dispense heads. Various modifications were implemented
including specialized heating, insulation, dispense timing, dispensing
heads, tips, programming, and washing. These developments resulted in
consistent dispensing of the liquid insect diet with the Packard MultiPROBE
208 and Asymtek Century 702 . Additions to the Packard MultiPROBE 208
included an extension on the Z-axis range to enable the probes to access the
liquid insect-diet reservoir positioned below the deck. The Asymtek Century
702 was integrated with a Watson-Marlow Multi-Channel Peristaltic Pump for
coordinated accuracy of dispensing into containers with a variety of
dimensions and volumes. Each dispensing system has its own advantages and
unique roles in meeting the needs of the insect bioassay system and will be
discussed in detail.
Presentation: Migration From a Traditional AgChem Screen to a Miniaturized
Robert Bisbing, Rohm and Haas Company, Spring House, PA
Within the last two years, the strategy for and migration to a "high
throughput" first level screening effort has restructured the sample
handling, data acquisition, and biological testing areas within our overall
evaluation program for identifying agriculturally active compounds. This
change was initiated to facilitate, broaden and reduce costs associated with
the sample acquisition process and to improve the quality of compounds
entering our more advanced greenhouse screens. As an interim stage,
traditional screens requiring large amounts of test compound were replaced
with similar but modified tests requiring less compound. Concurrently, new
miniaturized screens were developed and validated within each area of
interest (fungicides, insecticides and herbicides). Means for converting our
powder archive to liquid format was initiated along with sample handling
strategy that would be consistent with new screens being developed for
implementation at the workstation level. A brief description with
overheads/slides of 4-5 of these tests will be given.
Presentation: The AMPLE(TM) Multiplex Synthesis Device
Robert E. Hormann, Daryl Gilbert, Wilhelm Glaeser
Rohm and Haas Company, Spring House, PA
In the Rohm and Haas agrochemicals group, we have developed a medium-scale
(75 mL x 15 vessels), semi-manual, parallel synthesis device called
AMPLE(TM) (Amplified Multiplex Preparation of Library Ensembles). Once a
lead structure is identified, possibly by combinatorial methods, a subset or
ensemble of structures related to the active members of that library may be
scaled-up, or amplified. The basic AMPLE(TM) design is flexible, compact,
scalable, and adaptable to the numerous conditions of nonuniformity which
are typical of traditional organic synthesis.
Poster: FLUORESCENCE DETECTION TO MONITOR FUNGAL GROWTH IN MICROPLATE-BASED
M. Elizabeth Miller and Christine S. Jany
Rohm and Haas Company, Spring House, PA
The fluorescent stain, FUN-1, available from Molecular Probes, was evaluated
for its utility as a live/dead marker with fungi used in our current
in-vitro cytotoxicity assays.
Presentation: LABORATORY AUTOMATION IN PHARMACEUTICAL DEVELOPMENT:
PERSPECTIVES FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM
Stephen Scypinski, Analytical Development
The R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Raritan, NJ
Incredibly, the use of laboratory automation and robotics in pharmaceutical
analysis and drug development is almost twenty years old. There are many
reported examples of success stories, trials and tribulations of
pharmaceutical dosage form automation. More recently, the automation wave
has hit the drug discovery area quite hard and it is amazing to see the
rapid implementation of automation and robotics in areas such as high
throughput screening and combinatorial chemistry. If one compares the "ramps
of utilization" between discovery and development, one will find (without
surprise) that discovery has far outstripped development in its utilization
of automation. The question to be asked is WHY?
I have asked myself the aforementioned question and have tried to answer it
by factoring in the rigidities we in development are confronted with such as
regulatory methods, cGMP compliance, method, system and computer validation,
documentation and training. Indeed, if any or all of these factors are
contributing to the non-usage of robotics in drug development and
pharmaceutical analysis, their contribution is almost certainly small. One
must begin to ask the question: "If we in development are indeed going to
integrate robotics into our repertoire of analytical tools and techniques,
what needs to be done to make this happen?"
Having joined a new organization less than a year ago helps one establish a
perspective and gives a new beginning and new ideas. One approach being
tried is to firmly "build automation in" when designing methods and sample
preparation schemes. This accomplishes several things. 1) It shifts the
paradigm of conventional sample preparation to that compatible with
automation (i.e. homogenization) 2) Translating/transferring manual methods
to an automated system becomes more facile and 3) Persons utilizing both see
more equivalency between them and hence, usage is more readily accepted.
A tangential approach to the implementation of "classic automation" is the
development of new analytical instrumentation based on high throughput
technology, which holds great promise as one of the premier analytical
techniques of tomorrow.
Using several examples, aspects of automation applied to the challenges we
all face as we move into the 21st century will be highlighted.
For more information contact:
dennis.france at pharma.novartis.com
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
andy.zaayenga at tekcel.com
Analytical Chemistry Chair and Treasurer:
bhaller at ompus.jnj.com
High Throughput Screening Chair:
John Babiak, Ph.D.
babiakj at war.wyeth.com
Agricultural Applications Chair:
reeds at pt.cyanamid.com
Data Management Chair:
Steve Fillers, Ph.D.
steve_fillers at biogen.com
The Raritan Valley Community College campus lies at the crossroads of
Central New Jersey, with Routes 22, 202 and 206 and Interstates 287 and 78
just minutes away. The College is situated on the north side of Route 28 in
FROM THE NORTH