The central screening core laboratory resides in the Texas A&M Health Science Center's Institute for Biotechnology. The primary screening platform is built upon a dual arm Beckman-Coulter Biomek FX Automation Workstation. The workstation contains both a 96-channel and variable spanning 8-channel pipettor and is equipped with fully integrated peripherals that permit unattended operation for up to 12 hours.
The Biomek FX is capable of performing both in vitro and cell-based assays in a wide variety of configurations from single tubes to 384-well microplates. The peripherals include a Liconic temperature and humidity controlled cell culture incubator and consumables storage system, a BioTek ELx405 microplate washer, and a Beckman-Coulter DTX 880 multifunction reader. Automated Labware Positioners (ALPs) allow the researcher to customize the worksurface with automated functionality such as shaking, stirring, heating and cooling to for a given application. The DTX880 is capable of performing absorbance, luminescence, fluorescence intensity and polarization measurements. The core laboratory also has a multichannel Beckman-Coulter NXp Automation Workstation. This system has a Kendro Cytomat temperature and humidity controlled cell culture incubator, an integrated BioTek ELx405 microplate washer and a Kendro consumables storage system. Data analysis from in vitro is performed using a combination of Pipeline Pilot from Accelrys Software Inc, Microsoft Excel and Spotfire from TIBCO Software Inc.
All cell based growth, viability and multiplexed high-content imaging studies are performed using the GE Healthcare IN Cell Analyzer 6000. This system is a high-performance laser-based, confocal, high-content analysis system. A self-contained unit with and integrated Scara 2 plate handler from Process Analysis & Automation Ltd., United Kingdom. The analysis system’s uniqueness is the mechanism for confocality, a fully adjustable aperture and next-generation, large format 5.5 Mp large field-of-view, scientific-grade CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) camera. A high-sensitivity new generation sCMOS detector chip, with typically 5× less noise than CCD cameras, delivering significantly increased sensitivity, and reducing exposure times. This filter-based system is capable of imaging up to four color simultaneously and is capable of automatically switching from low to high magnification without additional system setup. Image analysis is performed using Pipeline Pilot. The IN Cell 6000 can collect images from cover slips to high density multi-well image quality plates. This system is available at an hourly rate of $22.00-$66.00.
Program Director and TxSACT Co-Director