Phase 2 of 2-D Gel Reproducibility Study Demonstrates Inter-Lab Reproducibility


Equips Proteomics Researchers with Gold Standard to Validate Experiments

Hercules, CA — November 13, 2009 — Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a multinational manufacturer and distributor of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that of the 17 labs participating in phase 2 of the 2-D Gel Reproducibility Initiative, 10 ran gels of the same sample and generated images with a 95% confidence level.

"The large number of study participants who were able to replicate the reference gel with a high level of confidence demonstrates that inter-lab reproducibility of 2-D gels can be achieved," said Kumar Bala, Marketing Manager, Bio-Rad. "By validating their own 2-D skills using the study's gold standard reference material and method, 2-D users can be more confident in the reliability and interpretation of their experiments."

Phase 2 was coordinated by representatives from Bio-Rad, CilBiotech, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research—members of the Fixing Proteomics Initiative, a campaign that encourages proteomics scientists to produce reproducible data. Results of phase 2 will be submitted for publication to a peer-reviewed journal.

Completed deliverables of phase 2 include a standard sample (HeLa cell lysate), a vendor-independent protocol for running the gels, and a reference master gel image. Labs can use the sample and standard protocol and refer to the standard image to validate the performance and reproducibility of their 2-D process. Details can be found at and

"The study provides members of the 2-D gel community with a reference standard so researchers can ascertain whether or not they have performed their experiments correctly and reproducibly," said study participant Maxey Chung, an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the National University of Singapore. "Once they are satisfied with the runs with the standard sample, they can run their samples with confidence that any issue that may arise is due to the sample rather than the 2-D technique itself."

As part of its global campaign for 2010, Bio-Rad plans to conduct wet lab clinics for its customers to point out potential pitfalls and recommended solutions for reproducible results. According to Bala, there were three main takeaways from phase 2 of the study:

  1. Complex proteomics methods such as 2-D can benefit greatly from the availability of reference materials.
  2. Users can gain confidence in being able to generate reproducible data based on peer-to- peer review and feedback. An iterative approach will help reduce potential issues.
  3. Availability of reference images for intra- and inter-lab studies could reduce bias.

Proposed next steps for this project include:

  • Recommending standard protocol to validate performance
  • Distributing test standards and kits
  • Creating a central image repository
  • Providing global education to produce high quality and highly reproducible data
  • Expanding the study under more stringent conditions

Bio-Rad coordinated the participants' involvement in phase 2, including qualifying and enrolling labs and supplying reagents for 2-D gel experiments based on requests from participating labs. The labs completed their 2-D gel experiments on their own platforms with reagents from multiple vendors and a common HeLa cell lysate prepared by CilBiotech. Nonlinear Dynamics, developers of software for reproducible quantitative proteomics, analyzed the participants'

2-D gels using SameSpots software and determined the 95% confidence level using Principal Component Analysis (PCA).

In the first phase, Dr Hans Voshol of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research demonstrated the intra-lab reproducibility of 2-D gels. The completion of phase 2 was the result of a one-year effort by the Fixing Proteomics Initiative following the 6th HUPO Annual World Congress in October 2007.

About Bio-Rad
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) has remained at the center of scientific discovery for more than 50 years manufacturing and distributing a broad range of products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. The company is renowned worldwide among hospitals, universities, and major research institutions, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for its commitment to quality and customer service. Founded in 1952, Bio-Rad is headquartered in Hercules, California, and serves more than 85,000 research and industry customers worldwide through its global network of operations. The company employs approximately 6,300 people globally and had revenues approaching $1.5 billion in 2007.

For more information contact:
Kumar Bala
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.

Ken Li
Chempetitive Group