Laboratory Robotics

Andy Zaayenga zaayenga at lab-robotics.org
Sat Aug 23 15:18:25 EST 1997

The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group 
Topical Group of the North Jersey American Chemical Society 
September 1997 Meeting

Date:        Wednesday, September 17, 1997 
Place:       American Cyanamid, Quakerbridge Road (Route 533 South),
Princeton, NJ 08543 
Itinerary:   Social Hour & Refreshments - 6:15 to 7:15 PM 
             Presentations and Discussion - 7:15 to 8:45 PM 
Pre-Registration: Contact Sharon Reed, American Cyanamid, PO Box 400,
Princeton, NJ 08543
                               E-Mail:  reeds at pt.cyanamid.com
                               Phone: (609) 716-2905
                               Fax: (609) 275-3521

< pending approval >
Using A Zymark Robotics System For The Identification Of Agricultural
Leads: A "Medium" Throughput Approach
Sharon Reed
Crop Protection Discovery
American Cyanamid Agricultural Research Center
Princeton, NJ

With today’s emphasis on high throughput screening, it became necessary at
American Cyanamid’s Agricultural Research Center, to re-examine our
screening techniques, and develop a strategy that would optimize our lead
identification potential. In response to this challenge, we implemented an
automated "medium" throughput screen which significantly increased our
throughput, while maintaining our ability to use traditional screening
methods and targets.
This talk will give an overview of our Zymark system, a description of the
challenges we encountered while implementing our automated procedures, and
an explanation of how we use it to maximize our in-vivo screening capacity.
In addition I will focus briefly on the versatility of our system and how
we plan to use it to meet the changing needs of our screening program. 

You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks -- Or Can You? Maximizing Assay
Capability Of Older Robotic Systems By Incremental Introductions of New
Technology To The Screening Laboratory
M. Elizabeth Miller
Sr. Scientist
Agricultural Discovery Dept.
Rohm and Haas Company
Spring House, PA

The Agricultural Discovery Department at Rohm and Haas Company has used a
Zymark robotic workcircle to perform fungitoxicity screening in microtiter
plates for about 9 years. At the time of delivery in 1988, the system was
considered state-of-the-art for handling microplate assays, and was
comprised completely of custom-designed stations, as microplate-handling
devices were almost unknown in those days. Since then, microplate handling
on integrated robotic workcircles has become routine, and a variety of
‘off-the-shelf’ plate handling stations are now available from different
vendors, obviating the need for custom stations in many cases. In light of
new developments in screening technology, do older integrated robotic
systems still have a place in the laboratory? Depending upon the demands on
the laboratory, the answer can certainly be yes. We are still using our
original workcircle with custom stations, with only some minor upgrades
made very recently to the system. In order to accommodate newer assay
procedures however, we have added two stand-alone Packard Multiprobe liquid
handling workstations to the laboratory, which are used for a variety of
reagent additions not manageable on our Zymark system. This combined
approach of using an integrated workcircle in concert with stand-alone
units has been a very cost-effective way of enhancing our screening
capabilities while continuing to make full use of our investment in our
original robotic system.

Using New Technology To Make Microtiter Plates Of Pooled Samples
Mark Dembowski
Senior Biologist
Discovery Research, Agricultural Products Group
FMC Corporation
Princeton, NJ

Our objective was to increase the number of samples tested without
increasing the handling of materials. By running pooled samples we were
able to achieve our goal. A new software package, Packard MPTable (tm),
which overcomes current robotic limitations by allowing total control over
pipetting sequences and operations, along with instrument optimization
parameters, contributed to the program's success. The minimal handling
increase allows a higher throughput while not affecting laboratory
scheduling. The direct result is an increase in productivity without
increasing staff or automation.

Members interested in presenting a poster are encouraged to do so. Please
contact any of the LRIG officers. Open career positions at your company may
be announced or posted at the meetings. 

The LRIG web site is growing! Check us out at http://lab-robotics.org 
We offer meeting announcements, a message board, and career opportunities.
There are also many links to industry related meetings and conferences,
automation web sites, newsgroups, manufacturers, consultants, and our
members’ companies. Email is becoming very important to us as we try to
keep mailing costs down. If you have an email address, please either log on
to the web site and leave us a message or send email to
zaayenga at lab-robotics.org

Directions to American Cyanamid, Agricultural Research Division, Princeton,

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