Pipette helps HIV researchers

Integra's Voyager adjustable tip spacing pipette is supporting crucial experimental work in longitudinal HIV studies.

There have recently been tremendous breakthroughs in treatment of HIV infections, but challenges still remain. Scarlette Abbou, an engineer at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), explains her lab’s work in this field: “CD4 T-cells – among others – act as reservoirs for HIV, and are established during the earliest stage of infection. These latent reservoirs are able to survive antiretroviral therapy (ART), which allows infected cells to become reactivated and produce HIV after treatment is halted, or if resistance develops. Our team is looking at all the factors that contribute to the survival of the virus in these circumstances, which is really important for the advancement of new treatments.

“Our cohort consists of around a dozen patients, and screening multiple samples for each individual is a lot of work. We receive blood samples and extract both the CD4 T-cells and genomic DNA from the host, followed by analysis via PCR, gel electrophoresis and sequencing. We often prepare up to 20 PCR plates per patient at a time, and found that pipetting between the various labware formats was incredibly time consuming using a manual pipette. To deal with this issue, we bought two 8 channel Voyager adjustable tip spacing pipettes, and were immediately happy with how they improved the workflow! The pipette reduces the time to transfer samples from a 96 well plate into a gel from around 40 minutes to five minutes or less. I’ve also noticed a significant improvement in accuracy as I’m not having to pipette each well individually. The Voyager really has enabled my research and allowed me to get from experiment to result so much quicker.”

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