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CALIPER AND NASA ESTABLISH ADP COLLABORATION TO CREATE MACROMOLECULAR CRYSTALS IN SPACE USING LABCHIP TECHNOLOGY.

Caliper Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: CALP) recently announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Caliper have established an Applications Developer Program (ADP) collaboration through a subcontract with Sverdrup Technology Inc. (a subsidiary of Jacobs Engineering Corp.) to create macromolecular crystals aboard the International Space Station using LabChip technology. The goal of the collaboration is to develop custom chips and LabChip systems to facilitate the growth of macromolecular crystals in a microgravity environment. The information resulting from the subsequent x-ray diffraction analysis can be used by researchers to help determine the three-dimensional structure of a macromolecule that, in turn, may reveal details about the molecule's function and behavior in the body.

The ADP collaboration is a new proteomics initiative undertaken by NASA's Iterative Biological Crystallization (IBC) project to use LabChip technology to miniaturize, automate and integrate the processes of liquid mixing and dispensing, remote imaging and crystal growth in space. The LabChip system will be designed to enable a researcher on earth to set up experimental conditions in space, directly observe and analyze the crystals, and then identify desired changes to the crystallization solution formulas for subsequent experimental reiterations of crystal growth. Currently, when performed on earth, macromolecule crystallization is a labor-intensive, lengthy process that requires significant consumption of expensive macromolecules and reagents. Working in concert, Caliper, NASA, and Sverdrup intend to create a customized microfluidic chip specially designed for use in the microgravity environment of space. The goal of the joint development program is to provide researchers with a more stable and uniform environment in which to create higher quality crystals and develop a more reproducible process for crystallization while potentially reducing reagent consumption up to 1000-fold. Pilot studies in macromolecule crystallization recently performed by Caliper and NASA successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using LabChip technology to grow macromolecular crystals and laid the groundwork for establishing the ADP collaboration.

"Our ADP collaboration with NASA offers us an exciting opportunity to find new uses for Caliper's chips and instruments -- in this case, to facilitate the structure-aided design approach to drug discovery," said Dan Kisner, M.D., Caliper's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The essence of the ADP relationship is joint collaboration with our partners to expand the applicability and commercial value of LabChip technology, and to develop solutions to research challenges that might not otherwise be found. We believe that the combination of Caliper's microfluidic chip expertise, NASA's broad macromolecule crystallization and crystallography experience and Sverdrup's engineering support has the potential to establish LabChip technology as a platform of choice for advanced proteomics research."

The initial phase of the Caliper/NASA ADP collaboration is being formed through a subcontract with Sverdrup Technology, Inc., through their Engineering, Science, and Technical Contract with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

The Applications Developer Program (ADP) enables customers to develop the skills and proficiency to create novel chip-based microfluidic applications utilizing Caliper's proprietary LabChip technology and developmental tool set. The ADP offers customers the ability to establish their own in-house microfluidics research program and to develop specific chip-based applications that are of value to them. Caliper supplies the microfluidic tool set and training as well as chip design, fabrication and manufacturing. The ADP can accommodate the goals of end-users that intend to create new applications and use chips predominantly for their own use, as well as vendor customers that may be interested in expanding their product offering to include a chip-based microfluidic component or adapting their products to the LabChip platform.
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Title Annotation:Government Activity
Comment:CALIPER AND NASA ESTABLISH ADP COLLABORATION TO CREATE MACROMOLECULAR CRYSTALS IN SPACE USING LABCHIP TECHNOLOGY.(Government Activity)
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 30, 2001
Words:577
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