Precious Sand Fly Samples Benefit from Epoch System at Kansas State University
Kansas State University
For two years, Dr. Marcelo Ramalho-Ortigao has been principal investigator in the Department of Entomology’s Biology of Disease Vectors Laboratory at Kansas State University. As a molecular biologist, Dr. Ramalho-Ortigao researches sand fly vectors and the interaction between sand flies and parasites of the genus Leishmania, looking for ways to use vector-based molecules to prevent or halt parasite development and subsequent leishmaniasis disease. His research is funded through grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases NIAID/NIH.
A myriad of cell-based, molecular and biochemical assays are used, and as sample analysis is typically conducted using a single sand fly, Dr. Ramalho-Ortigao is very concerned with sample conservation. “We want to maintain individuality in the insects, and unfortunately, this translates to very small samples,” he notes.
For nucleic acid quantification, a number of readers were used including those located in other laboratories. Marcelo wanted his own conveniently located microplate absorbance reader that would allow for multiple reads in low volumes. He had recently attended a vendor show at KSU where he met with BioTek Sales Representative Jason Fries, and was introduced to the Epoch™ Multi-Volume Spectrophotometer System, which includes the Take3™ Multi-Volume Plate. A demonstration highlighting the reader’s features and ability to run up to sixteen 2 µL samples was enough to cement the purchase.
Onsite installation and training by BioTek’s local Microplate Specialist was simple and thorough, and the Epoch System was quickly incorporated across the lab for micro-volume and microplate analyses. Marcelo says, “Epoch is versatile, robust and allows us quick readouts of many samples. We really like the reproducibility, speed and the small amount of material required.”
From L to R 1st row Nathan Elliott (MS student, summer NIH-ARRA intern), Dr. Ortigao, Dr. Narinder Sharma (posdoc), Iliano Coutinho-Abreu (PhD candidate); 2nd row Emma Hayes (MS student, summer NIH-ARRA intern), Maricela Robles-Murguia (Lab tech). Two students are not pictured: Leah Cox (MS student), and Shawna (undergrad).
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