We are confident that we can help you improve your processes with our automated liquid handling services. We have the expertise and the equipment to fill any container with any solution and with exceptional precision. For the past four years we have provided pre-filled plates for some of the largest molecular biology projects in the world. We understand how the standard air displacement pipetting has multiple variables that can affect accuracy. Our automated controls and processes ensure that, month after month, we provide identical plates with unmatched accuracy. In order to achieve this level of consistency, we have had to develop techniques and tools to ensure consistent excellence. Below we share some of the key steps.
Temperature and Humidity Control
To prevent temperature and humidity from negatively impacting our pipetting, we have built an aseptic packing and filling line capable of controlling humidity to 1% and capable of dispensing at temperatures just above freezing. To specifically control humidity, we use a state of the art system which provides microdroplets of sterilized, hyperoxygenated water. We have taken this approach because we know that evaporation is directly proportional to surface area. The smaller the volume of liquid dispensed the smaller the volume of the droplet. As the volume of a sphere gets smaller, the ratio of surface area to volume increases. In other words, the smaller the dispensed volume, the more environmental factors affect the matter.
In addition to humidity and temperature controls, we take further steps to reduce evaporation of liquids during pipetting. Air displacement pipetting relies upon the creation of a vacuum to aspirate liquids, but the vacuum also evaporates liquids. By controlling the rate at which the pipettes create a vacuum, we control this variable and thereby reduce the potential errors from pipetting. For our services, we utilize a specially designed system which optimizes and controls the pipetting process and minimizes error.
Air Leak Prevention
We take care to prevent inaccuracies from air leaks during pipetting. The standard pipette tip is made of polypropylene, but polypropylene does not make an airtight seal with the pipette barrel. To rectify this, we use a specially designed pipetting system with tips consisting of two different plastics. The plastic in contact with the liquid is the standard polypropylene, while the top of the tip is a softer plastic capable of producing a tighter seal with the pipette barrel. In using these methods, we ensure the absence of any air leaks between the pipette tip and cylinder head.
There are several additional factors which impact the quality of pipetting. To ensure that the correct amount of liquid is dispensed accurately every time, we feature a gravimetric fill line in which every plate is tracked and weighed before and after filling. In addition, we track all production processes using both video and traceable processes.
For the purposes of improved sterility, we have the walls, floors, and ceilings of our packing and filling line all manufactured from medical grade stainless steel. Furthermore, all air within the working environment is replaced multiple times per minute and is filtered using the highest grade HEPA filters available.
In-Process Quality Control
In the cases where we manufacture the liquid to be dispensed, we have developed a gravimetric manufacturing process which includes in-line spectrophotometric monitoring, ion conductivity and sodium measurements. Ion chromatography and spectrophotometric equipment are also utilized for off-line QC monitoring. All parts of the process are automatically bar-coded, documented, and filmed, and all manufacturing instructions are dynamically provided to the people and/or machines involved in the process.
Finally, we have purchased laser welding technologies for sealing heat-sensitive products, as well as developing custom plate-sealing technologies and specialized liquid dispensing applications. Each of these assets further assist in optimizing the quality of our products and services.
Equipment for Automated Liquid Handling
To achieve consistently accurate results. we have the right tools and equipment, including,
- A refrigerated humidity controlled aseptic stainless steel fill lab with enclosed BLS2 space;
- An automated gravimetric solution manufacturing facility;
- Gravimetric fill line with individual sample tracking;
- In-line pH, spectrophotometric, ion conductivity and sodium measurements;
- Ion chromatography and spectrophotometric equipment for off line QC;
- Multiple different liquid handling solutions including custom technologies;
- Custom plate sealing technologies;
- Plate-based laser welding equipment;
- Multiple different types of PCR machines, microscopy equipment and custom hyperspectral equipment for both traditional and novel QC metrics;
- High speed imaging equipment to check for errors in plastics and to ensure individual wells have been correctly filled;
- Custom bar coding/labeling equipment
In summary, we are confident that our Liquid Handling expertise and equipment can help you to improve your process. Contact us today to discuss your project.