Assisting leukaemia research at the UCL Cancer Institute

Researchers at the Cancer Institute, University College London (UCL), are using INTEGRA’s electronic pipette range to simplify workflows. Yvette Hoade (pictured), a research technician in the Payne Laboratory, Department of Haematology, is investigating mutations associated with various blood diseases such as bone marrow failure and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), both of which are age-related disorders that greatly increase the risk of developing leukaemia.

 Yvette explained: “We’ve started a new DNA extraction project with the aim of quickly going from blood to genotype for 6000 samples. The multichannel VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipette and ASSIST PLUS pipetting robot are a fantastic combination, performing hands-free transfer of blood from collection tubes to 96-well plates, saving hours of time and reducing the risk of cross-contamination. We have three different sizes of pipette – covering volumes from 0.5 to 1,250 μL – so we can use the ASSIST PLUS system throughout our workflow, from DNA extraction to next-generation sequencing (NGS) library preparation. The system is also easy to program, making automation accessible to all members of the laboratory.

“This automation has improved our throughput, gives us the confidence that the level of accuracy is high, and cuts out the inevitable repetitive aspect of work that comes with handling such large sample numbers. The ASSIST PLUS is the ideal laboratory partner – it’s a solid member of the team now.”

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