Bio-Logic and Hinds Instruments have introduced the EKKO®; the first high-throughput circular dichroism (CD) microplate reader. It can screen a 96 well plate in under two minutes, as opposed to several hours for a traditional CD spectrometer linked to an auto sampler. The device is also more cost-efficient, using 10 times less nitrogen than a standard spectropolarimeter with an auto sampler and 4 times less sample at a comparable light path. It is able to identify enantiomeric excess (ee) rates as well as yield, resulting in data that can prove highly beneficial to the screening process.
While CD instruments have been available for many years, they are designed to measure the CD of a single reaction product at a time. The EKKO can rapidly determine the enantiomeric composition of 96 reaction products in a standard laboratory micro well plate, equating to thousands of readings per day. The device can therefore help reduce bottlenecks in the drug discovery process and is suited to parallel/combinatorial synthesis techniques, where more test combinations can be carried out in less time. Although designed with evaluating enantiomeric excess in mind, the device is flexible, and its optics enable the device to work down to the far-UV at 185 nm, making it suitable for the determination of secondary protein structures, for biotherapeutic development or formulation optimisation.