FORMULATRIX® is proud to be collaborating with research labs around the world in this fight against the SAR-CoV-2 virus.
During these uncertain times, we have put in place safety procedures and protocols to ensure continued operations here at FORMULATRIX. We remain committed to providing the scientific community with our automation solutions and continued service to aid in the global effort against the SAR-CoV-2 virus.
We also have compiled a list of resources for researchers studying SARS-CoV-2 organized into sections by scientific application.
The Structural Biology laboratories and facilities listed below have each compiled resources for researchers working on SARS-CoV-2. Some such as the Diamond Light Source in the UK are offering priority remote-access to their facilities for researchers. Others such as the Thorn Lab have made resources and information publicly available for scientists working on SARS-CoV-2. You can visit each site to learn more about these facilities and the services they offer.
HWI Crystallization Center – Hauptman-Woodward Institute High-Throughput Crystallization Screening Center Crystallization is conducting multiple screening projects around COVID-19. Rapid, efficient, mail-in screening.
(Buffalo, NY - USA)
High-Throughput Crystallisation (HTX) Lab – The EMBL High Throughput Crystallisation laboratory is offering remote access to its fully automated protein-to-structure pipeline.
Diamond Light Source – Has an urgent proposal call to researchers working on SARS-CoV-2 structures for remote access to their instruments. The Diamond Light Source also has a resource page for Scientists and information on the XChem & Main Protease Structure. Martin Walsh also gave a detailed overview of their work on the SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease structure on Twitter.
Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) – SLS and SwissFEL – Priority access call for groups requiring rapid access to beamtime for work on combating SARS-CoV-2. The institute has also gathered together a Pandemic Resource Page including physicists, molecular and structural biologists, chemists, and beamline scientists.
SPring-8 – Is accepting rapid access proposals for COVID-19 drug-discovery related research to access the SPring-8 PX(/MX) beamlines
HEC BioSim - The High End Computing community has pulled together a thorough resource page to help coordinate efforts in the pandemic response. This includes ongoing projects, resources, and statistics.
Francis Crick Institute – The COVID-19 resource page on the Crick website provides updates on their efforts to address the ongoing pandemic, including information about the origins of the virus, diagnostics, and how the crisis is affecting other areas of health such as cancer treatment.
RIKEN – RIKEN Team uses a supercomputer to explore the molecular dynamics of the new coronavirus.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
The following list includes links to some common kits being used for testing the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. Examples of the PCR methods used with these kits include RT-PCR and qPCR.
Due to the high demand for reagents, such as Master Mix, and tips to set up reactions for analysis, many new and current customers have turned to our MANTIS® and TEMPEST® liquid handlers for COVID screening. Since the MANTIS and TEMPEST are contact and consumable free, as well as precise for miniaturization of reaction volumes, they are ideal for not only cost savings but also allows for higher testing throughput with less reagent. You will find links to some of our customers using our MANTIS and TEMPEST liquid handlers for COVID screening and SARS-CoV-2 analysis below.
COVID-19 SCAN molecular workflow - Open access protocol, University of Washington, Lea Starita. Available at Protocols.io
Realtime SARS-COV-2 Assay - By Abbott, an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) test authorized by the U.S. FDA for use by authorized laboratories, using real-time (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
TaqPath™ COVID-19 Combo Kit - By Applied BiosystemsTM, a multiplex diagnostic solution that contains the assays and controls needed for the real-time PCR detection of RNA from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
CRSP SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Assay - Protocol published by the FDA, and created by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the SARS-CoV-2 in upper respiratory specimens.
Government Resource Links
CDC Biosafety guidelines - Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel - a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens
MANTIS, TEMPEST Liquid Handlers and Customer Examples
Broad Institute - As part of the "Stop the Spread" initiative, the Broad provides free COVID-19 testing for designated health care sites and mobile testing vans in those communities of Massachusetts. The TEMPEST liquid handlers are used during the testing process, which involves processing approximately 300,000 tests at a rate of several thousand per day.
Weatherall Institute, University of Oxford, UK - Neil Ashley the manager from the Single Cell Genomics Facility highlighting how for qPCR during COVID tests, “.. little clever machines [MANTIS] can easily beat big impressive-looking robots…”
Biogazelle, NV - A CRO specialized in RNA analytics in Belgium, has developed and validated a high-throughput and scalable RT-qPCR workflow for sensitive detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (A video highlighting their work features the MANTIS being used in their workflow during RNA extraction; 0:15 & 2:03 times)
Mirimus, Inc - Mirimus, Inc. uses MANTIS in the workflow for screening COVID-19 samples from recovered patients.
Tackling the Challenge of Limited Resources During a Pandemic - As laboratories around the world tackle the challenges of screening large numbers of samples for SARS-CoV-2, the managers of these labs have turned to the use of automation to address some key concerns. In this article read the stories from three laboratories who have utilized low-volume, non-contact dispensing technology to ensure continuity of their research and testing work, despite the scarcity of resources such as pipette tips and reagents.
MANTIS Liquid Handler - A compact personal pipetting instrument ideal for working inside biological safety cabinets or PCR hoods. Capable of precise dispensing of multiple reagents into 96, 384, and 1536 well plates, and replacing the tedium of error-prone manual pipetting steps. The perfect solution for assay development and complex plate setup.
TEMPEST Liquid Handler - Building on the flexibility and precision of the MANTIS, but with higher throughput, the TEMPEST gives you the power to ramp up your workflows with ease. With integrated plate stackers for throughput, capable of dispensing 12 separate reagents, or quickly dispense single bulk reagents (at a bulk dispense rate of 10 µL into a 384 well plate in under 10 seconds), the TEMPEST will be your Covid-19 workhorse. Enabling higher throughputs at greater levels of precision while drastically reducing consumption of disposable pipette tips.