Fundación MEDINA improves transference of MEDINA’s Microbial Natural Products extracts using the Labcyte Echo® Liquid Handler

Fundación MEDINA improves transfer of MEDINA’s Microbial Natural Products extracts into assay plates using the Labcyte Echo® Liquid Handler.

Natural products and derivatives are at the origin of a broad range of drugs developed to fight major diseases that threaten the human population worldwide. Due to their high structural diversity and biological activity together with the technical advances in diverse scientific and therapeutic areas, natural products are currently considered an important source of chemical novelty for the development of new and more effective drugs.

Fundación MEDINA owns one of the largest and historically most diverse microbial natural product libraries that has contributed to the discovery of more than 100 new products, many of which have been patented and commercialized. The miniaturization of high-throughput assays using the Echo 550 Liquid Handler (powered by acoustic droplet ejection) has enabled the maximization of the use of natural product extracts by transferring ultra-low volumes, allowing the miniaturization of the assay reactions, thereby reducing costs when testing large libraries of natural products extracts.

Despite the numerous advantages provided by the Echo Liquid Handler, the use of natural product extracts containing 20% or lower concentrations of DMSO, and the broad ranges of viscosities of these samples, raised initial challenges in terms of sample transfer. It is known that the Echo Liquid Handler was originally developed to be used with pure compounds in 70-100% DMSO. In collaboration with members of the European Labcyte Team, Fundacion MEDINA has developed a new source plate type that allows a better transfer of samples in DMSO ranging from 5% to 70% and with high variety of viscosities, typically present within source plates containing natural product extracts.

The nL volume transfers of the Echo 550 systems enable direct dilution of concentrated compounds – eliminating workflow steps and ensuring a low concentration of DMSO in the final assay. Results of the study clearly demonstrate the ability of the Echo liquid handler to successfully transfer natural product extracts in low percentages of DMSO, allowing the transfer of ultra-low volumes and maximizing the use of these samples.