Discover the benefits of Maurice

Maurice made its debut at the WCBP conference in Washington in January 2016. Bio-Techne was thrilled by the positive response from attendees and its instant success. The pioneering success of the iCE280 and iCE3 was the basis for the Maurice instrument platform, which was designed with additional advantages and capabilities. This article discusses the background and benefits of Maurice.

Maurice serves as the model for future investment and further capabilities. Numerous new features were added, including native fluorescence for improved IEF sensitivity and CE-SDS for purity confirmation, as well as Empower and Chromeleon drivers. Recent innovations include a fractionation feature, allowing users to collect fractions for mass spectrometry analysis, and a Turbo CE-SDS cartridge to shorten size analysis by approximately 80%.

Maurice was designed to provide excellent usability and to significantly minimize the amount of user interface. This saves cost and time while increasing throughput and productivity.

These objectives were achieved using microfluidics (all solutions are in the cartridges). The cartridges replace multiple components of the iCE3 fluid path, including the 4-port switch valve, associated transfer lines and port fittings, the waste line and tank for bulk, the waste vial for the capillary, and the electrodes. Maurice further reduces expenses as less sample material is required.

Significant Maurice time savings on startup and shutdown

Source: Bio-Techne

Parameter Maurice iCE3
Instrument setup* 5 minutes 5-10 minutes
Cartridge install* 2-3 minutes 20-30 minutes
Software setup* 5 minutes 5-10 minutes
Cartridge Clean-up* 5 minutes 15-20 minutes
Total 17-18 minutes 45-70 minutes
Average 17.5 minutes 57.5 minutes
Savings per batch 40 minutes  
Savings per cartridge
(assumes 5 batches/cartridge)
200 minutes
(3 hours, 20 minutes) = $333
 

 *depends on pipetting speed & user

Ease of use, safety, and operational benefits of Maurice

  1. Ease of use. The system is truly ‘plug and play.’ All the additional components make it exceptionally user-friendly. No extensive training is required to operate Maurice, so scientists and technicians of all levels can effectively use it. Senior scientists are then free to design experiments and interpret results. This results in increased job satisfaction, which reduces staff turnover and its associated challenges (such as delays, hiring costs, and loss of productivity).
  2. Time savings. There are notable reductions in training, troubleshooting, and instrument adjusting and cleaning, resulting in substantial time savings.
  3. Less troubleshooting. Maurice removes the possible dead air issue experienced when the iCE3 finger-tightened port adaptors are incorrectly tightened. This causes peak shifting and the potential loss of the pI marker and basic peak in the window. ‘Finger Tighten’ is subjective and frequently interpreted differently by researchers. Removing this step with Maurice results in reduced troubleshooting, saving between 15 minutes and several hours.
  4. Save bench space. The autosampler is integrated into the Maurice. This minimizes bench space by approximately 20 %, saving space for other important laboratory equipment and supplies. Not to mention the ability to run CE-SDS assays on the same machine, saving the need for a separate CE instrument.
  5. Enhanced safety. Hazardous samples, such as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), viruses, or other toxic materials, can be handled more safely using the waste contaminant provided by Maurice. Clean-up is not required for the waste and plumbing vial, and the cartridge can be disposed of in a special disposal bin. A closed door contains the reagents and cartridge. There are, therefore, no exposed moving parts, removing a possible safety hazard.
  6. Superior software.
    1. Maurice utilizes Compass for iCE software with an incorporated data analysis function. Compared to ChromPerfect, this software is more intuitive and easier to learn.
    2. The Maurice Empower Control Kit is equipped with a driver that allows Maurice to be controlled by Empower software. This minimizes software qualification requirements, improves data integrity, and removes the need to learn another software platform. It also creates more flexibility for researchers using Empower to review data and system performance remotely.
    3. Maurice’s Compass for iCE software can be networked so that multiple systems can be operated by a single PC, which saves space and resources in the laboratory. 
    4. No third-party interactions are required when conducting software updates or changes, as the Compass for iCE software is developed and maintained by ProteinSimple.
  7. State-of-the-art cartridges. Maurice cartridges have numerous features designed for unmatched robustness and usability.
    1. Maurice cartridges have a 'self-seating’ design, which is quicker and removes the necessity for precise alignment/installation, unlike the iCE3 cartridge.
    2. The cartridges can be filled with electrolytes on the bench so that everything is ready to go when utilizing an instrument in a different laboratory.
    3. Maurice cartridges feature RFID tags, which facilitate tracking of cartridge usage. This ensures that the cartridge is not utilized past its maximum usage, guaranteeing data quality and integrity.  
    4. Automatic cleaning of the Maurice cartridge at the end of each run reduces variability in data quality between cartridge preparations.
    5. At the start of the run, Maurice cartridges are pre-checked for clogs so the user can troubleshoot early and avoid wasting time and samples.
  8. Enhanced detection. Maurice offers Native Florescence with an increased sensitivity of approximately four times compared to absorbance. This facilitates the removal of excess time needed to concentrate and buffer exchange low-concentration samples.  Native Fluorescence can also be beneficial when troubleshooting spurious peaks that were occasionally observed with the iCE3 because of air bubbles or particles. This removes the need to prepare and run multiple batches due to spurious peaks.
  9. Built-in automation. Maurice has onboard mixing incorporated into the system with pre-defined volumes and mix parameters. Onboard mixing can be helpful for samples that may not be stable in the ampholyte master mix, helping to improve automation and throughput. Pre-defining volumes and parameters eliminate time-consuming optimizations and improve usability.
  10. Self-test capability. Using Maurice's self-test function, the operator can conduct a system hardware test. This guarantees proper system operation before beginning a run and can be helpful when troubleshooting issues with the technical support team.

Cost savings on drug samples

Maurice utilizes less sample volume, which saves money and is crucial for samples with reduced availability:

Sample volume per Injection:

Maurice 6-8 uL

ICE3+Alcott 15-20 uL

ICE3+PrinCE 8-12 uL

Compared to iCE+Alcott and iCE+Prince, Maurice saves 9-12 uL and 2-4uL, respectively.

About Bio-Techne

Bio-Techne Corporation is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-quality purified proteins - notably cytokines and growth factors, antibodies, immunoassays, as well as biologically active small molecule compounds - which are sold to biomedical researchers and clinical research laboratories; these operations constitute the core Biotech Division, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Protein Platform Division manufactures innovative protein analysis tools under the ProteinSimple brand name that greatly automate western blotting and immunoassay practices. The Diagnostics Division manufactures FDA-regulated controls, calibrators, blood gas, and clinical chemistry controls for OEM customers and clinical customers. Bio-Techne products assist scientific investigations into biological processes and the nature and progress of specific diseases. They aid in drug discovery efforts and provide the means for accurate clinical tests and diagnoses.

With thousands of products in its portfolio, Bio-Techne generated approximately $563 million in net sales in fiscal 2017 and has approximately 1,800 employees worldwide.


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Last updated: Jan 8, 2024 at 12:48 PM

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