Rigaku licenses ACTOR™ high-throughput X-ray crystallography technology from Abbott Laboratories

Rigaku licenses ACTOR™ high-throughput X-ray crystallography technology from Abbott Laboratories

The Woodlands, TX — July 9, 2001. Rigaku has licensed the ACTOR automated crystal mounting and data collection technology from Abbott Laboratories for the purpose of developing a commercial high-throughput crystallography system. The ACTOR technology (Structure, Vol. 8, R243-R246, December 2000) was developed by Abbott Laboratories to increase the efficiency of protein crystallographic studies, an area of research which has, until now, resisted high-throughput improvements. ACTOR is an automated system designed to store frozen protein crystals, mount them sequentially, align them to the X-ray beam, collect complete data sets, and return the crystals to storage.

Rigaku's commercial version will be developed to work at synchrotron sites as well as home labs and will be designed to interface with any manufacturer's diffraction hardware. Incorporation of ACTOR technology should improve the throughput of crystallographic systems by a factor of 3 to 5 compared to current manually operated systems and will be particularly beneficial in ligand binding studies, crystal screening and synchrotron utilization.

Rigaku has teamed with Oceaneering Space Systems (OSS), a division of Oceaneering International, Inc., to develop the ACTOR Technology for production. OSS provides a key enabling technology for ACTOR crystallography automation with the Micro-glide 3-axis crystal centering system. OSS is a world-leader in specialized robotic and automation systems for harsh environments.

In combination with Rigaku's high brilliance X-ray generator (FR-D), new high-throughput IP detector (R-AXIS HTC), and Osmic CMF optics, the ACTOR automation system will provide the world's highest performance crystallography system in terms of total flux, functionality and throughput. According to Rigaku President, Paul Swepston, "Protein crystallography continues to move in the direction of high throughput analysis. The ACTOR product that we are announcing today is only one in a series of new high throughput products that will be released this year. The whole Rigaku Group is committed to significantly improving the performance of our products with an eye towards eventual automation of the whole process."

Rigaku—Leading With Innovation

Since its inception in Japan in 1951, Rigaku has been at the forefront of analytical and industrial instrumentation technology. Rigaku and its subsidiaries form a global group focused on life sciences and general purpose analytical instrumentation. With hundreds of major innovations to their credit, Rigaku companies are world leaders in the fields of small molecule and protein crystallography, X-ray spectrometry and diffraction, X-ray optics, as well as semiconductor metrology. Rigaku employs over 1,100 people in the manufacture and support of its analytical equipment. Its products are in use in more than 70 countries—supporting research, development, and quality assurance activities. Throughout the world, Rigaku continuously promotes partnerships, dialog, and innovation within the global scientific and industrial community.

For further information, contact:

Joseph D. Ferrara, Ph.D.
VP Product Marketing and CSO
Rigaku Americas Corporation
Tel: (281) 362-2300
eMail: Joseph D. Ferrara