August 1, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 14)

In addition to developing new drugs to treat various human diseases, biotechnology is well known for spawning a plethora of novel instruments, tools, and techniques to discover and manufacture those unique therapeutics as well. Indeed, products and services that may help our readers perform their jobs more efficiently and economically receive regular coverage in GEN.

It is with great pleasure, therefore, that we are delighted to present our &#34Innovations in Biotechnology&#34 section. Here, products are showcased from our advertisers that are particulary noteworthy for their potential to assist biotech scientists in moving products out of the laboratory and onto the marketplace in a timely manner. Congratulations to all the listed companies for their creativity and expertise in developing such innovative products and services!

Custom Monoclonal Antibodies

HuCAL technology can generate highly specific antibodies that could not be obtained using animal-based immunization methods. Antibodies specific for C106-oxidized DJ-1, a novel cancer target oxidized at a single amino acid, should be useful for diagnosis of several DJ-1 related diseases. HuCAL recombinant Mabs for the study were generated directly from the HuCAL Gold library in eight weeks using directed screening protocols and peptide antigens.

AbD Serotec


The 96-well Shuttle is a new high-throughput transfection system, based on the Nucleofector technology. Designed for applications, such as RNAi-based target identification and validation, as well as reporter gene assays. It combines high-throughput capabilities with Nucleofector technology benefits. Various nucleic acid substrates can be delivered under identical conditions and transfection efficiencies of up to 95% (DNA) or even up to 99% (siRNA) are achieved.



The i-Control is an easy-to-use controller, designed specifically for the bioprocess industry with the power, reliability, and expandability of the industrial programmable logic controllers and distributed control systems. It has an intuitive navigation, large color touch screen interface, off-the-shelf application, and the ability to use the same system to control autoclavable, disposable, or SIP bioreactors. Engineers like the open-system architecture with no drivers required, GaMP validatable code, based on the S88 guidelines, and fieldbus technology, which enables on-screen diagnostics.

Applikon Biotechnology

Planova 20N

Industry leaders demand a robust, nonclogging virus removal filter that can handle high concentrations with minimal process optimization. The hollow-fiber design of Planova 20N exceeds that demand. Its 30-um virus-removal layer imparts superior flux-decay resistance. Since virus removal is affected by the flux decay, which in turn is the result of the process solution overwhelming the filter capacity, Planova 20N is the ideal solution for Mab applications that exceed the capacity of other filters. From 0.001 m2 to 4 m2, it is scaleable from development to manufacturing.

Asahi Kasei Medical America

OptiCell MAX

OptiCell is configured for continuous laboratory-scale production of Mabs from antibody-expressing hybridoma cell lines. Hybridoma cells are incubated in 30 mL of media, enabling the harvesting of antibodies three times a week by extracting 20 mL of the supernatant at each harvest. Under continuous hybridoma antibody production, the hybridoma cells are not disturbed, thereby eliminating the need to spin down cells at each collection of the supernatant. In this manner and due to its sterility integrity, a single OptiCell can be used in hybridoma antibody production for weeks at a time.


Culex Automated Pharmacology System

In pharmacokinetics studies, the ideal animal model accurately predicts what will happen in the human. Procedures that activate the HPA axis, unleashing stress hormones, have been shown to affect the absorption, distribution, and metabolism of drugs in preclinical pharmacokinetics studies. The Culex Automated Pharmacology System automates monitoring of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics in rodents, hence avoiding the HPA axis effect. Because manual dosing was partly detracting from the benefits of hands-off sampling, hands-off dosing was developed. With fully automated intravenous and gastric dosing, now far better data than before is available.


Protein Interaction Analysis

The Biacore T100 provides unmatched performance for protein interaction analysis and is used from research through to QC. Based on the highest quality data, users can determine specificity, affinity, kinetic and thermodynamic parameters of interactions involving LMW compounds, such as potential drug candidates, through to antibodies and other biotherapeutics. One example application is antibody characterization, which can take weeks with conventional methods, but can be completed in days with Biacore T100, which allows users to select the best antibodies as research tools, assay components, or therapeutics by fully defining their interaction behavior.



The utility of the MicroRotofor cell as a separation step prior to SDS-PAGE and LC-MS/MS, an alternative separation strategy to traditional 2-DGE for proteomics research, has been proven. This strategy enables researchers to uncover low-abundance proteins for biomarker discovery. Advantages include running samples under native or denaturing conditions and separation of proteins that are insoluble in gel-based separation methods. Also, with the MicroRotofor, fractionated samples can be directly analyzed on mini gels without any concentration steps, thus speeding and facilitating the fractionation workflow prior to LC-MS/MS analysis.



Today’s high-throughput screening facilities face increasing demands to generate more information from their existing compound libraries. Multiplexed cell-based assays allow for multiple parameters to be measured within the same well hence saving time, consumable cost, and valuable test compounds. Two different multiplexed assay combinations were sequentially measured by PHERAstar, a microplate reader, in both low-volume 384- and 1,536-well plate formats. Multiplex combinations were applied to determine the method of cell death by monitoring of an apoptosis marker and cell viability. Further multiplex combinations were applied to determine if reporter gene signal correlates for cell number or cell viability. The PHERAstar microplate reader was used to record both luminescence and fluorescence, depending on the multiplex combination.

BMG labtech

UCOE Expression Technology

Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Element (UCOE) technology provides major improvements in gene expression in stable transfected mammalian cells through effects on the structure of chromatin. UCOEs prevent transgene silencing and give consistent, stable, and high-level gene expression irrespective of the chromosomal integration site. UCOEs expression elements are small DNA elements (isolated from around house-keeping genes, which need to be active most of the time), which create a transcriptionally active open chromatin environment around an integrated transgene. This maximizes its potential to be transcribed into protein, irrespective of the position of the transgene in the chromosome.


Neuronal Profiling BioApplication

The Neuronal Profiling BioApplication is an automated tool to easily and reliably quantitate neurite outgrowth in primary neuronal cell cultures. It performs measurements that characterize neurite outgrowth, such as neurite count, total length, and length of longest neurite with or without branches. In addition, it allows definition of subpopulations of interest, and the application characterizes these subpopulations accordingly. This application has been biologically validated, enhancing confidence in image-based data, and can be used for on-the-fly analysis of cells.


Pfenex Expression Technology

Pfenex Expression Technology is a Pseudomonas-based system for production of biopharmaceutical proteins. Proteins that have benefited from this technology include heat labile enterotoxin, scFvs, Fabs, and multimeric enzymes. The Pfenex Expression Technology has high expression levels, improves quality by correct folding through periplasmic targeting technology, is fast because of rapid strain development with ready-to-clone, off-the-shelf strains, and maximizes asset utilization by its simplified and scalable downstream processing methods.

The Dow Chemical Company

The EZ-Tn5 in vivo Transposomics

The EZ-Tn5 in vivo Transposomics is a robust gene knock-out and knock-in technology, simplifying microbial strain engineering and research. It enables stable introduction of any DNA into microbial chromosomes, thus simplifying metabolic engineering, protein expression, and identifying novel gene functions. The simplicity of this system relies on the ability to generate a Transposoma stable synaptic complex formed in vitro between a transposase and a transposon that can be electroporated into living cells. Transposomes are ideal for species that lack adequate molecular tools and have been used with over 50 different microorganisms.

Epicentre Biotechnologies

BioExpress and ToxExpress System

BioExpress System and ToxExpress System are unique and innovative genomics and toxicogenomics solutions, proven to enable translational biomarker programs and map to 25/76 opportunities highlighted by the FDA Critical Path Initiative.

Gene Logic

Microcapillary Flow Cytometry

Traditional sheath flow cytometers may require sacrificing the animal to obtain sufficient sample for multiple tests, precluding repeat bleeds on the same animal. Guava PCA and EasyCyte systems, with their sheathless, innovative microcapillary design, require only a single drop of blood (~50 uL), obtained via tail or eye bleed, for multiple tests. In one study, lymphokine knock-out mice were monitored over time for inflammation using changes in percent GR-1 positive cells. In another study, the same mice were profiled over time to determine if they showed signs of disease progression (leukemia) and were thus eligible for drug treatment.

Guava Technologies

Disposable In Vitro Production System

The in vitro system is designed to provide simple, cost-effective, smaller-scale (<100 mg) production of antibodies and other secreted proteins for the research market. The new production method uses a disposable gas permeable tissue culture bag that allows cells to live longer and grow at higher densities compared to conventional flasks or roller bottles. This system also increases gas exchange, which results in rapid cell growth, higher cell counts, and viability. Additionally, more cells and less labor translates to more antibody or other secreted proteins at less cost.

Harlan Bioproducts for Science

Senerga Mode of Action Platform

The Senerga Mode of Action Program dissects an immunomodulator’s effect on the immune response pathway by looking at the critical interactions that underlie a number of diseases. It has been used to discover the mechanism of action of a particular drug compound, while simultaneously determining target disease(s) choice, eliminating the need to screen the compound in a range of disease models where no efficacy would have been observed. This approach allows a systematic, efficient, and focused progression toward clinical trials and can reduce the discovery timeline by several months, as well as contribute to eliminating late-phase failures.

MD Biosciences

Onyx Monolithic Capillary HPLC Columns

Onyx capillary columns, engineered by directly forming a C18 bonded monolithic silica gel rod within a 100-um I.D. glass capillary tube, are a useful solution for many capillary LC/MS/MS applications where low flow rates, high peak capacity, and increased resolution are desired. Innovative applications include using Onyx as a trap-loading column ahead of a smaller packed capillary spray tip. Customers find the high porosity, low carryover, and fritless design of the Onyx monolith ideal for such applications. In addition, due to its wide flow rate flexibility high-throughput loading at 10 uL/min can be done to minimize the total cycle time in proteomics applications.


CellTiter-Glo Assay

Due to the direct correlation between ATP concentrations and energy levels in the cell, quantification of cellular ATP levels provides the most biologically relevant biomarker for monitoring cell viability. With a single-step, 10-minute protocol, the CellTiter-Glo Assay can accurately measure as few as 10 or as many as 100,000 cells per well. It has become a new standard for testing the (anti) proliferative effects of cytokines, growth factors, and new chemical entities. The large dynamic range and robustness of the technology assures consistent results.


LightCycler 480

Efficiency is a quantitative expression of the quality of the PCR process and is highly sensitive to many reaction variables, which can vary from run to run. In cases where PCR efficiencies differ between the target and reference and are neither identical nor optimal, true reaction efficiency must be considered during data analysis. Use of the E-method from Roche Applied Science can produce the most accurate relative quantification data by compensating for differences between target and reference-gene amplification efficiency, whether within an experiment or between experiments.


RTS SmaRTStore

RTS SmaRTStore enables cherry-picked storage and retrieval of microtitre plates, microtubes, and vials in a self-contained unit. Operating at temperatures between -20 degrees C and +20 degreees C, SmaRTStore fits in a standard laboratory and holds 5,000 shallow well plates, 340,000 0.7-mL microtubes, or 46,500 1-dram vials. Automated storage ensures that precious samples are held securely and safely and overcomes the labor-intensive processes traditionally associated with manual freezers.

RTS Life Science


The EX-CELL EBx is a new serum-free medium designed to support EBx cell lines. The EBx platform is comprised of fully documented avian cell lines and EX-CELL EBx medium. This platform addresses vaccine market demands for safe and rapid viral vaccine and recombinant protein production systems, which are more cost effective and reliable than traditional egg-based systems. The EBx platform also meets all key requirements for industrial cell culture use, including high density, serum-free suspension growth in bioreactors (no microcarriers), absence of tumorigenicity, and high susceptibility to genetically engineered viruses, resulting in higher production levels.

SAFC Biosciences

GenomePlex Single Cell Whole

Genome Amplification Kit

The GenomePlex Single Cell Whole Genome Amplification (WGA) kit is designed to amplify the genome of a single cell, providing microgram quantities of genomic DNA. This technology offers accurate representation of the entire genome and identification of genome-wide copy number and chromosomal abnormalities. The Single Cell WGA kit was recently utilized to amplify the DNA from a single cell extracted from a preimplantation embryo. High-resolution comparative genomic hybridization was performed on the resulting DNA to determine the chromosomal status of the single cells. This approach allowed the entire genome to be scanned for chromosomal imbalances, offering benefits over current FISH-based techniques.



BioOptix10 is a 10-channel parallel-purification system that includes easy-to-learn software and the Foxy 200 high-capacity fraction collector. Its design provides an increase in productivity for molecular biologists and other researchers who find their throughput constrained by one-at-a-time sample purification. The BioOptix 10 solvent delivery and detection module contains 10 independently controlled pumps that can be programmed with different gradient conditions for rapid method scouting. Each channel is also monitored separately for UV absorbance, with the detection wavelength continuously variable from 190 to 360 nm to provide optimum sensitivity and selectivity for peaks of interest.

Teledyne Isco


RapidStak is a fast, efficient microplate stacker. Now with Polara RS software it offers even greater versatility with the ability to automate and schedule two instruments simultaneously. This creates a benchtop automation solution for multiple applications, such as plate preparation and reagent dispensing with plate reading. The RapidStak is designed to work with the majority of microplates and instruments. With intuitive instrument control, error handling/recovery, and barcode reading, RapidStak meets the increasing demand for increased efficiency, higher throughput, and true flexibility.

Thermo Electron


BioWave600 is the next scale in disposable bag cultivation technology. Use of the newest drive equipment and in-house bag manufacturing provides a scaleable wave-induced mixing characteristic. This enables the unit to produce up to 300-L culture volume in a fully controlled environment. This is achieved by the integrated use of chemical optical sensors, premounted in the cell culture bag for online-measurement of pH and DO. The unit is supplied with heating/cooling system, load cells, and gas mixing station as standard.

Wave Biotech, AG


The new WavePOD instrument module integrates all instrumentation associated with the bioreactor, such as DO, pH, and gas composition controls. This unit combines four key instruments in a single portable device. The WavePOD connects via a digital link to a Wave Bioreactor and its touch-screen allows access to all parameters. By integrating all the controls associated with a bioreactor it is possible to develop complex control schemes, such as dissolved oxygen control by automatically varying rocker speed. The WavePOD and Wave Bioreactor form a control cluster that can be accessed remotely over the built-in ethernet interface for data acquisition and control.

Wave Biotech, LLC

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