What We Do
The TAL has a state-of-the-art, custom-designed Hamilton STARplus liquid handling “biobanking” robot with a complete workflow to process human samples, isolate and purify viable PBMCs and MNCs and aliquot samples for long-term cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen for use in future research. Alongside this, we can also store plasma and manually biobank samples such as bone marrow trephine biopsy.
2. Flow Cytometry
The Flow Cytometry section is equipped with 2 Beckman Coulter DxFLEX Flow Cytometers, which are CE-IVD-approved and allow panel design of up to 13 colours. This section of the TAL is committed to the provision of a high standard, quality service, through investment in training and compliance with ISO 17025:2017 standards. This section can provide previously validated panels, as well as newly bespoke panels, as per the objectives of specific clinical trials.
3. Next Generation Sequencing
DNA and RNA Extraction:
We provide an automated nucleic acid extraction service for extracting DNA and RNA from human blood, bone marrow, and saliva samples, as well as cell suspensions, using Qiagen QIAsymphony, alongside nucleic acid quantitation and DNA quality control checks.
Automated liquid handling robots (Beckman Biomek i7) are used for a wide range of molecular assays. These feature a fully 'walk-away' solution for the preparation of sequencing-ready targeted libraries from patient DNA, as well as the set-up of PCR reactions, DNA quantitation and normalisation, plate transfers, aliquoting and dilutions and bead-based DNA clean-ups, among others.
To prevent any contamination, there is a strict separation of pre- and post-PCR areas with dedicated machines in each area.
DNA mutation fragment analysis and Sanger Sequencing can be performed using an Applied Biosystems SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer.
An Illumina NextSeq 550 Next Generation Sequencing instrument is used for various DNA/RNA sequencing applications, such as:
- Screening of patient samples for disease-causing genetic mutations using targeted gene panels
- Molecular follow-up and residual disease assessment of patient samples
- Gene expression analysis using RNA sequencing
- Testing for genetic and epigenetic biomarkers of disease severity and therapy response