Trophos SA (Marseille, France) launched the new generation of its fluorescence fast plate imaging system, the Plate RUNNER HD(R). The company originally developed the Plate RUNNER HD(R) to speed up its own screening campaigns for drug discovery and development. The improved version offers much better resolution and allows imaging of the 7mm well of the standard 96 plate in matrices of up to 8192 x 8192 pixels. This positions it as an alternative to the traditional automated microscope in a wider area of cellular and small organism imaging applications such as neurite outgrowth or C.elegans screens. The Plate RUNNER HD(R) is protected by patents granted in the USA and Europe.
"The Plate RUNNER HD(R) has now reached both a performance and an operational level that allows it to be widely used in various imaging platforms," said Damian Marron, CEO of Trophos. "We have optimized it by regular use in our screening and research platforms. Use in other labs such as the Neuronal Cell Biology & Pathology research unit directed by Dr Christian Neri at the Inserm Psychiatry and Neurosciences Centre (Paris, France) and the Laboratory of Motor Neuron Biology directed by Dr Alvaro G. Estévez at the Burke Medical Research Institute (NY, USA) has confirmed its performance."
The Plate RUNNER HD(R) fills the gaps between the low sensitivity/low resolution/cell consuming fluorescence plate readers, the high sensitivity but non-imaging flow cytometer, and the slow, poorly automated and small field fluorescence microscope. It does this by allowing whole well/full plate imaging in just 2 minutes 40 seconds for 96 images of 1024 x 1024 pixels, 8 minutes at 4096 x 4096 resolution and 25 minutes at the extremely powerful 8192 x 8192 resolution. The maximum resolution gives details as fine as 1 micron, which covers the vast majority of cellular imaging applications.
"The instrument is not only the source of our pipeline - nearly 1 million compounds screened in eight years - but also an everyday research tool that does in two minutes a job that usually requires a week manually," said Pierre Delaage, Head of Development of Trophos Instruments. "Using exclusively open data formats, the Plate RUNNER HD(R) integrates smartly and smoothly with all existing imaging and data processing environments with no hidden extra costs. It is also a "green product" using at least ten times less electrical power for illumination than its competitors. It has the important advantage of having a lower price and TCO than the traditional microscope-based instruments."
Dr Christian Neri, Research Director at the Psychiatry and Neuroscience Center of Inserm in Paris, stated "We have been using the Trophos screening system since its first commercial version; it allowed us to simply and rapidly automate our screening protocols on C.elegans worms and on cells. To move further in C.elegans screens we needed a far higher resolution without sacrificing light, sensitivity and field. We have now seen that Trophos' latest instrument meets perfectly our very stringent requirements."
"We continue to directly sell and support the Plate RUNNER HD(R) and are now looking to set up a commercial and industrial partnership to address more widely the global market opportunity," added Marron. "The Plate RUNNER HD(R) offers unique performance and can be a great fit for imaging solutions manufacturers and vendors, to exploit opportunities for example in the area of small organism or angiogenesis screens as well as cellular screens."