Three things customers keep telling us

July 29, 2021

Biomolecular interactions are the beating heart of biology: critical for both fundamental research and drug discovery. Yet, assessing the performance of protein binders can be time-consuming and expensive. 

For researchers on a budget, the decision of which instruments to purchase can often be challenging: reliability, throughput and ease of operation must often be balanced against cost and practicalities. 

Which are the most important factors that could benefit your research and keep frustration out of the lab? These are the three points that customers emphasised:

1) Instrument ownership has clear benefits
  • It speeds up assay development
  • It limits hassle associated to sample shipping (e.g. customs and cold chain)
  • It ensures control over proprietary samples

Since quite a few customers do not have access to instruments based on bio-layer interferometry (BLI) or surface plasmon resonance (SPR), they need to outsource kinetic measurements to external labs. “We wish we could perform more testing in our own lab, to speed up our assay development”, a researcher from the Pharmacology Department at the University of Cambridge told us.

-> We think that having a compact device for label-free detection and monitoring of biomolecular interactions is preferable to outsourcing only “the best hits” for more complex analyses.  


2) An affordable, decentralised instrument could lead to better results
  • The same person who prepares the samples does the analysis
  • Less sharing means less contamination and downtime
  • More time to use the instrument can lead to more robust protocols

Expensive instruments are often shared among different research groups, meaning that each user has limited time to run experiments, and even less time to “play around” and understand the system. “Often, experiments are rushed and the protocols are not very robust. An affordable tool could eliminate a lot of these problems”, confirmed a scientist from a US biotech company. 

-> Again, it's hard to disagree with our customers. Listening to their comments and needs, we are working on a handy instrument that does not cost a fortune and is easy to use. 

3) Reproducibility, user-friendliness and reduced hands-on time are essential requirements to enable decentralised usage
  • Non-specialists could perform protein analysis with confidence
  • A simple procedure should introduce fewer handling (human) errors 
  • More flexibility in the experimental design

Clients explained to us that they need to rapidly determine whether their binders maintained or diminished their affinity. They also pointed out that immunoassays (e.g. ELISA) take time: “the immunoassays take approximately half a day, offer relatively limited data compared to newer and more expensive technologies, and need specially trained personnel” explained a researcher from a Swiss biotechnology company based in Zürich. In general, reproducibility, accuracy and robustness are absolutely critical for all our customers.

-> We believe that a tool that offers quick, real-time kon/kof measurements and other high-quality data with little setup and handling will be helpful for those who want to save time and gain confidence in their next big experiment. 

We are eager to open the discussion. Let us know what you think!