CRS Robotics to install new proteomics research platform at Lunenfeld Research Institute

Burlington 10 September 2001CRS Robotics Corporation has successfully completed its customer acceptance regimen for an advanced proteomics research system that the company has developed in collaboration with the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. This system will be used for high throughput protein expression and cell-based analysis of protein-protein interactions using magnetic bead technology.


Included with the integrated platform is a cell culture operation optimised for protein expression, a magnetic bead based protein purification system, and a multi-functional optical detection system. The system utilises CRS' POLARA software architecture to co-ordinate and control the various sub-systems. The multi-tasking architecture of POLARA will allow the researchers to run multiple processes simultaneously, thus accelerating the pace of their proteomics research efforts. This project has been under development for the last six months and is being readied for installation at the Lunenfeld Research Institute.

Established in 1985, the Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital is a University of Toronto affiliated research centre that is widely recognised as one of Canada's premier research facilities committed to excellence in biomedical research and in the training of young investigators. Programmes concentrate on basic research with a primary focus on molecular biology and the genetic basis of disease and embryological development. Strong interactions with industry and the clinical programmes of Mount Sinai Hospital ensure the application of scientific knowledge to the promotion of human health.

Front Line Strategic Management Consulting Inc. of Foster City California, in a recently published proteomics market and technology assessment, stated that the proteomics market will experience a compound growth rate over the period 2000 to 2005 of 38 percent. The report further stated that the proteomics market is expected to grow rapidly throughout the next five years, reaching a value of nearly $3 billion by 2005. CRS has specifically targeted the proteomics market and has already installed several integrated systems at leading research organisations.

CRS is a pioneer in the use of magnetic bead based separation technologies. By applying this technology to protein purification, researchers can avoid cumbersome gel-based separation techniques which are one of the critical bottlenecks in high throughput proteomics research. CRS estimates that its technology will increase the productivity over traditional methods by a factor of 10 or more. CRS' automation also plays a critical role during the cell culture, protein expression, and purification phase by eliminating human intervention. This minimises the risk of contamination that can easily destroy a vital experiment and improves throughput and reproducibility.

Dr. Al Outhouse, PhD, Senior Application Scientist at CRS noted that CRS is poised to be a leading player in the industry through its development of modular proteomics systems that can be fully integrated through the application of its enabling mover, software, and bead technologies. "Our cell culture systems, transfection and protein extraction modules as well as our unique plate mover technologies are bringing together a lot of the individual pieces that will make a highly integrated system achievable", Dr. Outhouse stated.

CRS has been acknowledged as one of the few companies on the forefront of laboratory automation technology. Core competencies of the company include integrated lab automation solutions using advanced software in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research applications marketed worldwide. In addition, CRS manufactures and supplies robotic systems for advanced manufacturing niche markets. CRS is headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, and has subsidiaries in the United States and Europe.

Leslie Versweyveld

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