With liquid handling options spanning the range from a basic pipette to a full-scale, multifunction workstation, picking the ideal system for your application could be mind-boggling. Automated systems can be optimized for various techniques, including ELISA, time-resolved fluoresce, PCR setup, nucleic acid preparation, TLC spotting, SPE, next-generation sequencing for some genomic research, or liquid extraction.
The kinds of liquid handling equipment include micropipettes and pipettes, both electronic and digital, with some fixed or disposable tips. These include microplate or microtiter plate dispensers, handlers, stackers, washers, and various automated robotic systems. Some standard multichannel pipetting configurations incorporate different channels. Volume ranges can go from the now commonly-used microliter volumes down to the nanoliter and picoliter levels, with the femtoliter dispensing more interest for usage in microarray applications too. Read on to learn more!
How Do I Pick a Liquid Handling Device?
The choice begins with the level of automation that is desired. Can a case be made to extend your budget to include semi or full automation or upgrade your existing system? Keep in mind the high costs of reagents and operator hours that will be saved by you doing this. While shopping for a manual device, consider the importance of solid ergonomic design. Ask yourself:
- How many plates will be processed daily, and which precision, speed, volume, and accuracy levels will be needed?
- How versatile and straightforward to use is the software?
- Carefully consider the system’s upgradeability if you anticipate any increased requirements.
- Is there much room in the lab for your proposed system? Manufacturers take note of reduced lab sizes and offer instruments with more compact footprints.
Trends with Liquid Handling
A serious trend focuses on using semi-customized systems for bringing automation to labs that don’t have the budget for start-to-finish automation. These systems offer push-button operation and incorporate flexibility – a big-time compromise between a manual pipettor and a completely automated system. Software updates permit any further customization of procedures transfer volumes, and full traceability. These improvements give rise to easy and quick learning curves since existing and new users want a user-friendly interface without sacrificing capability. There is also a new focus on process security features to help handle increasing regulatory requirements, including the capability of working with some cell-based assays.
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Lab People Inc. is a trusted provider of laboratory equipment, services, supplies, and rental equipment for you and your laboratory. As an ISO 17025 accredited service organization, we stand behind our services with 100% satisfaction guaranteed for all our customers. We offer on-site and off-site calibration services for balances, pipettes, moisture analyzers, force measurement, test weights, and more. Services include preventative maintenance, SQ-Min, IQOQ, repairs, legal for trace/placed in service, verification, and more.