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June 01, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 11)

Use of Secondary Recovery in Screening

Ultrasonic Fluid Processor Re-Solubilizes Fragment Precipitates and Can Increase Yields

  • Click Image To Enlarge +
    Figure 1. Microsonic Systems’ lateral ultrasonic thrust (LUT) technology: The Hendrix SM100 Ultrasonic Fluid Processor contains 16 x 24 arrays of the piezoelectric acoustic elements and enables rapid, simultaneous processing of fragment libraries.

    Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is gaining recognition for its many advantages over high-throughput screening. Key benefits include better hit-to-lead rates and broad chemical space for possible compound scaffolds. Due to the low affinity of fragments to the biological target, fragment libraries may contain weak hits and therefore scientists screen fragment libraries at high concentrations, sometimes as high as 200 mM.

    Even though many fragments have high solubility in DMSO, environmental shocks introduced by DMSO hydration or repeat freeze/thaw cycles can cause compounds to crash out of solution and consequently affect the accuracy of FBDD screening results.

    To resolve this issue, Microsonic Systems developed the Hendrix SM100 Ultrasonic Fluid Processor. At the core of the Hendrix SM100 is lateral ultrasonic thrust™ (LUT™) technology, a form of nonfocused ultrasonic energy generated using Fresnel lens elements.

    LUT technology works by using a MEMS-based transducer, which when excited with RF power generates ultrasonic waves. These ultrasonic waves pass into the sample as broad beams of acoustic energy. As shown in Figure 1, the waves create regions of strong LUT energy that in turn create strong fluid motion in the form of a rapid vortex.


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