Trouble with a Millipore "Expedite" Oligonucleotide synthesiser

Greg Reynard reynard at accord.caltech.edu
Tue Aug 1 21:48:01 EST 1995


We've been using a Millipore Expedite Oligonucleotide synthesizing system for
about a year and a half.  All of a sudden, it became non-functional.  The
trityl reports show a rapid dropoff of efficiency and syntheses were
terminating aberrantly due to the dropoff.  Millipore's repair tech came
out and attempted repair over a period of three days.  After this wasn't
effective, the recommended "solution" was to return to the old chemistry,
where removing the oligo from the column must be done overnight at 55
degrees C, rather than room temp for 1.5 hours.

First of all, the solution of returning to the outdated chemistry hardly seems 
acceptable.  The system is marketed as an Expedite system, it should
function with the Expedite chemistry. This is one of the major selling
points that they have in their print ads so I think it's only fair to
expect that the machine will continue to function as advertised for longer
than 1.5 years.  And if the 
Expedite chemistry is really the problem, why didn't this show up for over a 
year?

Secondly, (CAVEAT- this is second-hand information) I was told that the
rep. said that this was a relatively common problem they were seeing in
units all over the country.  Is this the case?  Is anyone else having this
trouble?  Have you found any solution other than reverting to the old
chemistry?   

Finally, if this is in fact a widespread problem, I think that it's
dishonest for Millipore to market it's system using claims that it knows
aren't valid in the long term.  

-Greg



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