Industry Updates

Spot Hunter – Robotic protein extraction system

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Herolab Gmbh, the German based life science manufacturer, has recently enjoyed further success with Spot Hunter which is a robotic system integrated with a fluorescence detection unit of the automatic extraction of selected protein spots after 2d electrophoresis.

This new generation of proteomic workstation offers greater flexibility than other systems, improved accuracy and reliability all within a minimal footprint. Three sizes are available including a high throughput model for gels up to 340mm x 290mm.

The Spot Hunter has three essential steps. Firstly an image is captured of the 2D gels which can be stained using all common methods like Coomassie Blue, Silver Stain or fluorescent dyes like SYPRO® Ruby using an application-specific high-resolution CCD camera.

The easy4 science software is used to detect all protein spots and creates a target list which it transfers to the picking unit.

Finally the selected spots will be automatically extracted under contamination free conditions and then transported into a standard microtiter plate. The high throughout version can do this with up to 4 plates. A unique feature of the Spot Hunter is the simultaneous, detection and extraction of the spot during the downward movement of the needle. Depending on the gel quality, the cylindrical form of the punched-out spot will not be damaged.

The Spot Hunter has a number of features including an option gel supporting surface which can be cooled in order to avoid deformation of the gel during processing. Control and positioning of the X and Y axis for the picking unit is aided by the use of two mini cameras which can be used to make the whole process visible to the user.

The whole process conforms to GLP with the ability to enable exact backtracking to any spot. The complete process for 96 spots takes less than 20 minutes.

Says Herolab “we are very proud of this system in that it offers a fast and accurate solution for protein spot extraction but at an affordable price.

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