Customer Spotlight

Northwestern University

Synergy 2 Multi-Mode Microplate Reader Exceeds Expectations at Northwestern University

8-June-11

Kathleen Green's laboratory at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Pathology studies cell adhesion and the role it plays in human skin. Specifically, her lab is focused on desmosomal and related intercellular junction molecules, and how these molecules relate to and influence cell adhesion, cell behavior and skin development. Understanding desmosome molecules can unlock key information in many skin pathologies including blistering disorders and cancer.

Viktor Todorović is a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Green's laboratory, and is involved with a variety of procedures including tissue culture, confocal and live-cell imaging, immunofluorescence and common biochemical and cell-based assays. Viktor notes that desmosomal proteins are highly insoluble which makes some common procedures more difficult. Often, desmosome molecules are treated with an extremely harsh urea buffer to aid solubility. As urea is reactive and incompatible with many reagents, a multi-step process is used to determine protein levels, often taking up to one day to complete.

The entire lab was affected by this bottleneck, so Viktor was tasked with finding a faster protein concentration determination method, compatible with reagents used to dissolve desmosomes. Looking to increase the lab’s throughput, he narrowed his search to microplate readers, yet still faced many choices from several microplate reader manufacturers. During his microplate reader research, he called BioTek’s local sales representative, explained the situation and asked for a recommendation.

Kathleen Green, Ph.D., Viktor Todorović (postdoctoral fellow), Jennifer Koetsier (technician)

 Kathleen Green, Ph.D., Viktor Todorović (postdoctoral fellow), Jennifer Koetsier (technician)

The Synergy™ 2 Multi-Mode Microplate Reader with Take3™ Micro-Volume Plate was recommended, and after a demonstration and training session, Viktor was able to keep the unit in his laboratory for a month so that he, and others in the lab, could gauge its effectiveness.

Very satisfied with the instrument’s performance, and receiving positive feedback from his co-workers, Viktor persuaded Dr. Green to purchase the Synergy 2 and Take3 using a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

"The Synergy 2 exceeded our expectations," recalls Viktor. "It provides a time reduction from hours to minutes when measuring protein concentrations directly. We have also increased our capacity for processing DNA and RNA samples which comes in handy when doing up to 40 minipreps at a time, which is a huge help for our busy lab; and the Take3 plate allows convenient and direct sample measurements in microliter volumes." He also notes, "Not only can we run more assays on a single Synergy 2 instrument, the open configuration allows us to add additional modules for fluorescent polarization and other assay types in the future."

 

To learn more about Northwestern University, visit their web site.
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Thanks to Viktor Todorović at Northwestern University for relating his BioTek experience with us.



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