New Equipment Enhances Critical Tissue Engineering Research
As our world becomes a faster-paced environment, life sciences have turned to automation to reduce costs and create more efficient operations. Thanks to a grant from the Roy E. Thomas Foundation, researchers in the HMRI Tissue Engineering laboratory have recently acquired two new instruments that will allow them to streamline workflow through automation and spend more time on the discovery process in their search for new anti-cancer drugs.
With the new Biomek 4000 Laboratory Automation Workstation, our Tissue Engineering program has the ability to increase production of tumor histoids – living human mini-tumors – used in testing new anti-cancer drugs. Producing the large number of tumor histoids required for drug testing would be virtually impossible without robotic fluid handling offered by the Biomek 4000. Much of the exorbitant cost of developing new anti-cancer drugs is attributed to the use of unreliable and inefficient test systems during screening of potential new drugs and can cost upwards of $1 billion to bring one new drug to market.
The grant from the Roy E. Thomas Foundation also enabled the purchase of a second essential piece of equipment, the Synergy H1 Hybrid Multi-Mode Microplate Reader. Placed next to the Biomek 4000 robotic system, this temperature-controlled programmable plate reader is used for spectrophotometric analysis of tumor histoids within their droplets. Both pieces of equipment are housed within a laminar flow tissue culture hood, a requirement for maintaining the integrity of sterile cultures.
“We are absolutely delighted, to say nothing of relieved and grateful, to have the important new equipment which will allow us to advance to a new phase of our research,” said Dr. Marylou Ingram, senior research scientist with the Tissue Engineering & In Vitro Systems program. “The grant from the Roy E. Thomas Foundation could not have been more timely or important to our research.”