Dolomite is delighted to announce its collaboration with
Emerald BioSystems in the development of the Microcapillary Protein
Crystallization System (MPCS) Plug Maker. The Plug Maker has just won a coveted
"New Product Award" at LabAutomation 2010 (Palm Springs, CA). This novel touch
screen instrument enables low-volume crystallization (5-10nL
protein/experiment), for the production of diffraction-ready crystals with no
The MPCS Plug Maker is ideal for applications such as ligand screening,
hybrid screening and microfluidic seeding. The Plug Maker is a self-contained
unit operated from a built-in touch screen control unit, taking up less than two
feet of bench width.
Dolomite carried out all elements of the Plug Maker system design and
development, creating an easy-to-use system based on Emerald's core science. The
Plug Maker automates well-validated Emerald technology, rapidly creating a
series of 10nl plugs of protein and precipitant samples in a plastic
CrystalCard, which are then allowed to crystallize. This revolutionary
performance was made possible using Dolomite's ultra-smooth pump technology,
coupled with its world-beating expertise in microfluidics and engineering.
Dolomite added further value by completing the entire instrument design
(including a vision system, fully automated liquid handling system and touch
screen control software). The development took just 18 months from first concept
to launch at LabAutomation.
Fine gradient optimization and sparse matrix screening can be performed
simultaneously to identify optimal crystallization growth conditions.
Experimental conditions are easily optimized with the ability to form on-chip
gradients, with only
22µl of protein needed. In addition, the ability to
perform up to 800 experiments per chip maximizes throughput for a highly
Lance Stewart, CEO, Emerald BioSystems commented, "Dolomite has delivered a
world-class product in the Plug Maker. Using Dolomite's microfluidic expertise,
we have rapidly been able to take the product from initial concept and proof of
principle to full instrument manufacture." Dolomite is subsequently supplying
manufactured units solely to Emerald BioSystems and has agreed to collaborate
with them on any further developments to the instrument.