October 1, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 17)

Fully Automated Sample Preparation Liberates Life Science Research Laboratories

Beckman Coulter develops, manufactures, and markets products that simplify and automate complex workflows for life science research. As a provider of genomic services and sample-preparation solutions, including automated next-generation sequencing sample prep, Beckman Coulter enables researchers to achieve the highest quality data. Scientists use our reagents and instruments to study complex biological problems including causes of disease and to develop potential new therapeutics.

About the Company

Beckman Coulter’s commitment to innovation dates back to its origin in 1935 when Dr. Beckman sold the first commercial pH meter. For 75 years, the world has turned to Beckman Coulter for solutions, and we are proud to say we’ve solved many of them.

Each step of the discovery process can be extremely time consuming and costly. Accuracy, quality, efficiency, and knowledge are critical to success. Our team of experts works closely with customers to understand the intricacies of their everyday operations, as well as the most complex challenges, to offer the most innovative solutions.

Markets Served

Beckman Coulter serves life science and diagnostic customers alike. All of the SPRI reagents are easily automated on a robotic platform and validated methods are available for Beckman Coulter’s Biomek Laboratory Automation workstation.


SPRI (Solid Phase Reversible Immobilization) technology is the foundation of Beckman Coulter’s nucleic acid isolation and purification kits and the SPRIworks next-generation sequencing sample-preparation systems.

Targeted nucleic acids are immobilized onto par amagnetic beads using specific buffer conditions. Sample contaminants are easily removed without the need for centrifugation or filtration, creating a streamlined, scalable, and automation-compatible format.

Other methods that use vacuum filtration, silica beads, and other magnetic particles, often require large input volumes, recover poor quality or low yields of nucleic acid, and can result in inconsistent data. SPRI beads avoid these challenges due to their high uniformity, high non-specific binding capacity, and high iron content.

These technological advances allow researchers to achieve reproducible performance, easily remove contaminants, and obtain high-quality nucleic acid recovery without clumping or the use of hazardous chemicals.

Nucleic Acid Isolation and Purification—With the breadth of Beckman Coulter’s nucleic acid purification systems, researchers can purify nucleic acid from samples such as cultured cells, whole blood, mammalian tissue, plant material, viral particles, fresh, frozen or fixed-formalin, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue, and PCR fragments.

The SPRI line of reagent systems, accessories, and software methods coupled with Biomek automated workstations, create an unparalleled alignment of automation proficiency, saving customers time and money and providing a fully walk-away solution. The size and uniformity of SPRI beads allow for high yield and purity, produce robust and consistent performance, and offer easily scalable reaction volumes and sample throughputs.

Next Generation Sequencing Sample Preparation—In 2010, Beckman Coulter launched the SPRIworks platform. SPRIworks Fragment Library Systems I, II, and III prepare fragment libraries for the major next-generation sequencing platforms (Illumina, Roche/454, and Life Technologies.) The system consists of a bench-top SPRI-TE nucleic acid extractor, a method card, and cartridges, each of which contains all the reagents required to prepare one library. Researchers need only to add their sheared DNA sample and adapters and depending on the system used, ten fully constructed libraries can be prepared in about three to six hours including built-in SPRI clean-up and size-selection steps.

Launching this fall, a new high-throughput option, SPRIworks HT will be available. SPRIworks HT provides a scalable solution for library construction, enzymatic/PCR clean-up and size-selection processes on the Biomek FXp Laboratory Automation Workstation. Researchers can construct up to 96 libraries in a microplate format in 5 to 6 hours with less than 15 minutes of hands-on time.

The simplicity of the system allows every user to become a sample-prep expert upon their first interaction with the system. Additionally, many downstream applications are also available in the SPRIworks HT method suite including qPCR clean up and set up, normalization, and pooling.

Beckman Coulter

250 South Kraemer Blvd.

Brea, CA 92821-6232

Phone 800.742.2345

Website www.beckman.com

Date Founded 1935

Number of Employees 12,000

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