Southern Research Institute
Assay Development Lab Gains Flexibility with Sensitivity
Southern Research Institute (SRI) is a multi-site organization specializing in scientific discovery and technology development for public, private and government sectors. Within SRI’s Drug Discovery division, Research Biologist Krister Wennerberg runs the assay development lab, providing proof of concept for specific compound screening assays before transitioning them to a neighboring HTS laboratory. Fluorescent polarization, HTRF®, AlphaScreen®, absorbance, fluorescence intensity and luminescent assays are commonly required as part of the development process.
During assay development, he had previously used an EnVision™ microplate reader located in the HTS lab, but found it often inconvenient as the HTS lab had restricted access. “For my assay development lab, I wanted something powerful, as simple as possible to use, and flexible enough to use for any type of read without buying add-ons,” Krister recalls.
Researching the broad selection of microplate readers, the field was narrowed to three readers from three different companies including BioTek Instruments. Krister knew of BioTek as SRI’s HTS laboratory used several of the well-known ELx405™ washers, but had no previous experience with BioTek’s microplate readers.
Each company was invited to demonstrate their product on-site, with test results compared against each other and the HTS laboratory’s readers. A test of the filter-based microplate reader proved that it was complicated to use and not versatile enough for the assay development lab’s needs. A monochromator-based reader could not meet high sensitivity criteria. The final microplate reader, the Synergy™ 4 with Hybrid Technology™, was selected for its ease-of-use, flexibility and sensitivity. Krister notes, “What’s nice about the Synergy 4 is that we’ve been able to run screening-type assays, as well as development and secondary assays requiring kinetics and overnight readings.”
Service and support from BioTek also receive high marks. Krister recalls that the entire BioTek team, from local BioTek Representative Mitch Mansfield, to Microplate Specialist Jared Sandoval and internal BioTek people were very responsive from the initial order process all the way through to after-sales support. He remarks, “I’m impressed that they really listen to our suggestions and ask us for feedback, always making sure that we’re satisfied. It’s nice to have our opinions heard.”
Several months after installation of Synergy 4, Krister is very pleased with the sensitivity of the unit, and the expanded range of assays that he can now use, saying, “I would love to buy another one!”
To learn more about SRI, visit their web site.
Thanks to Krister Wennerberg at SRI for relating his BioTek experience with us.