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April 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 8)

Microplate Alternative Finds a Home in AgBio

Douglas Scientific Now Targeting Pharma and Biotech Operations with Its Novel Technology

  • First Adopters

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    Array Tape is a continuous polypropylene strip, serially embossed with reaction wells in customized volumes and formats including SBS 96- and 384-well arrays. Array Tape is thin (0.3 mm) and flexible, which allows 200 microplate equivalents (76,800 reaction wells) to be spooled onto a single, compact reel (90 mm wide by 560 mm diameter), according to the company.

    Agricultural biotechnology companies are at the forefront of adopting the new technology. They are using Array Tape to perform SNP genotyping to improve molecular plant breeding and product development. “Once they see the results, they want to replace microtiter plates still used for other processes like ELISA and compound storage,” says Malmstrom.

    The Array Tape Platform is fairly simple to operate once installed, says Craig McLain, vp of marketing operations. Douglas Scientific offers a one week, in-depth class to train and certify technicians. “We work with clients to integrate Array Tape into their existing workflow. To maximize returns, a lab must evaluate and often modify up- and downstream processes.”

    The use of Array Tape by agricultural biotechnology companies could help them solve food shortages worldwide. Forecasts for population growth, changing weather patterns, and reductions in the world’s food supply are daunting. “We want to help our clients discover and deploy seeds that can grow in different parts of the world under changing weather conditions,” says Malmstrom.

    The next opportunity for Douglas Scientific is to introduce Array Tape to pharmaceutical and other bioscience companies for high-throughput screening. However, breaking into the pharmaceutical and diagnostics marketplace requires a higher level of sophistication. “We hope to develop and perfect technologies in plant genetics that will transfer to pharma, animal health, and biotech,” says McLain.

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