Core Scientific Facilities
Microbiology Department equipped with:
We have extensive laboratory-scale equipment for microbial fermentations. We ferment microorganisms across a range of volumes from growth in 96-well plates (0.5 to 1 ml), 24-well plates (4 ml), tubes (10 ml) or flasks (50 to 200 ml). The 96-well or 24-well fermentation also permits creative high throughput experimentation with fungi and bacteria that normally is resource-limited and cumbersome in conventional shake-flask systems. However, for library construction demanding large volumes and back up extracts, tube, flask or roller bottle type fermentations are used. We can also prepare solid fermentations across the same range of scales. We are equipped with 18 Kühner ISF4 incubator shakers and 6 Kühner SBM shakers (www.kuhner.com) and various environmental chambers. For high throughput fermentation during media and strain development projects or with large strain numbers, we have extensive experience with miniaturized fermentations in multiwell plates employing the System Duetz (www.enzyscreen.com). A 20-l fermentor is planned to be operational in the near future.
We have a complete molecular biology laboratory for genetic analysis and modification of microbial strains.
Natural Products Chemistry Department equipped with:
Instrumentation for the generation of extracts from microorganisms fermented in diverse conditions and pure compound titration management. This equipment includes seven automated liquid handlers specially adapted for medium and small volumes (3x 10mL PerkinElmer MultiProbes and 2x 8-96-384 Beckman Biomek FX Stations), computer controlled freeze-dryer vacuum centrifuges (2x Genevac HT-12), two fully automated Cherry-Picking stations, 2D-Barcode readers for vials, and integrated 1D bar-coded readers for plates.
A semi-automated platform for the isolation of bioactive natural products, including medium pressure chromatographs able to perform up to 4 runs in parallel, preparative Gilson HPLC (x 2) equipped with automatic injection and fraction collection, and an Agilent 1100 LC-Bruker PROSPEKT II SPE module for the isolation of natural products at the nanomole scale.
State-of the-art technology for the structural elucidation of novel compounds: Agilent 1200 RR- Bruker maXis LC/MS ESI-TOF for HRMS measurements and Bruker Avance III 500 MHz NMR equipped with a 1.7 mm micro-cryoprobe (30 mL of sample volume), ideal for the structural determination of compounds isolated in mg to ng quantities.
Screening and Target Validation Department equipped with:
The group is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment which is used in the different steps of the screening and target validation process, such as 10 different HTS liquid handling workstations for dispensing samples or reactives: Biomek FX, Packard EP3 and Tecan Aquarius (with dual arms 96/384 for dispensing and Span8 and stackers for sequential processes or carrousels for random plate access), several units of Thermo Multidrop, 1 unit of FlexDrop and 1 unit of Tecan Genesis with 8 tips.
In addition, the HTS laboratories are fully equipped with a semi-automated platform for screening read-out, which covers all the most common assay types (colorimetric, luiminiscence, fluorescence, HTRF, High Content Screening, immunofluorescence, radiolabeled ligand binding, etc), with laboratory automation for 96-well and low volume 384-well microtitre plate formats. That equipment includes several units from Packard Topcount Wallac Victor II, VIPR-II, FLIPR, TecanUltra, Spectrafluor, Typhoon, image analyzer, electrophysiology: Patch Clamp, High Content Screening (Arrayscreen, Pathway BD), Cedex, fluorescence and confocal microscope.
Fundación MEDINA has a completely automated cell culturing robot, Select T, making it possible to maintain a large number of cell lines in parallel to be used in different assays.
Additional instruments used in drug discovery programs are also available: plate washers: HydroSpeed Tecan, Bioteck Izasa and 2 units of mass spectrometry: API4000, Micromass Quatro.