Hamilton Robotics and Storage Technologies has delivered an integrated system for compound storage and screening to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the University of North Carolina.
The system, for the NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program, was delivered to the UNC Department of Pharmacology and the Division of Medicinal Chemistry.
This is the first installed system of its kind, providing C compound library storage with an automated liquid-handling platform for screening assays.
The system integrates a Hamilton ASM sample management system with two Microlab Star liquid-handling workstations, one with a 96-channel head and the other with 384 channels, using the Hamilton Rack Runner robot for tube transfer.
The new system can store up to 100,000 compounds in 0.5ml screw-cap microtubes.
Hamilton delivered the system within three months of the order and a factory acceptance was successfully completed immediately prior to delivery.
The NIMH program at UNC is funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and provides screening services to academic investigators, focusing on central nervous system receptors.
Professor Bryan L Roth is the principal investigator for the programme, which screens novel compounds for pharmacological and functional activity/selectivity at cloned human CNS receptors, channels and transporters.
'The NIMH-funded screening centre at UNC will be able to reduce assay time requirements by as much as 75 per cent and to run assays unattended,' said Matt Hamilton, vice president for Hamilton Storage Technologies.
'This installation is a perfect example of how we can bring our liquid-handling workstations and automated storage systems together and integrate them seamlessly.' The NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program at UNC has previously discovered the mechanism of action of the hallucinogen Salvia divinorum as well as how the diet drug fenfluramine induces valvular heart disease.