PlateCrane's Applications Beyond Plate Handling in Life Sciences
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Published On: November 21st, 2023Categories: Articles, Automation, Microplates
There are many advantages and benefits of robotic automation, and automation itself has revolutionized and streamlined microbiology. The benefits are many: robotic automation is cost-effective in many ways by saving manpower and time. Automation also reduces the risk of human error and is rarely inaccurate. Lab technicians and researchers can use their skills elsewhere in the lab while technologies such as PlateCrane robotics run the show.The PlateCrane EX™ is a microplate handler, an essential tool in any microbiology laboratory. A standalone microplate handler has many uses; however, PlateCrane’s applications are more profound. This is because you can easily assemble the PlateCrane with other equipment in the lab, and it supports hundreds of other instruments.

Read on to learn more about laboratory automation, PlateCrane’s applications, and why the PlateCrane EX™ is a must-have in any laboratory.

PlateCrane’s Applications: More About PlateCrane

The PlateCrane EX™ is built tough to withstand multiple instruments and applications. It has a capacity of up to 450 microplates, and over 200 microplate-based instruments have already been integrated. The PlateCrane is universally compatible with readers, imagers, flow cytometers, pipettors, incubators, dispensers, and other instruments.

Several types of the PlateCrane EX™ are available. The most common configuration offers “top down” stacking configurations and “add on the fly” abilities to add more microplates while the system is running. The PlateCrane EX is a very capable microplate manipulator with a large work envelope, while the SciClops™ model has a 40% larger work envelop, allowing larger integrations. Both types of configurations also have a “Random Access” configuration, which allows plates to be stacked on shelves for random selection or accessing instruments that cannot be loaded “top down”.

PlateCrane’s Applications: Beyond Plate Handling

The PlateCrane EX™ is an excellent microplate handler, but it can also be the hub of your microbiology laboratory by being part of a larger microplate transportation system. You can accomplish this by linking either PlateCrane model, the EX or SciClops, with the LabLinx microplate track-based delivery system. This allows plates to be passed from one PlateCrane workcell to another, or can add storage capacity or buffering capabilities to balance throughput through a more complex integration. The LabLinx™ system can also load several instruments directly: automated incubators, robotic pipettors such as the Hudson SOLO, the Micro10X reagent dispenser, the PA1000 Microplate Barcode Labeler  and others.

There are many accessories to enhance PlateCrane’s applications, and they will be discussed in more detail below.

These applications are very important to drug discovery and the pharmaceutical industry because the device increases the efficiency of high-throughput screening. PlateCrane is versatile and versatile and can be used with ELISA, FRET, Reporter, and FLIPR assays. PlateCrane’s applications make it seamless to create an easy-to-set-up benchtop workcell.

PlateCranes can also automate the application of barcode labels to microplates and can deliver up to 450 microplates to Barcode Print & Apply devices.

PlateCrane applications are also used in DNA Plasmid Prep systems by moving microplates and filter plates in these high-throughput systems. The difference between PlateCrane and similar devices is that PlateCrane’s applications are truly walk-away. With all its compatible instruments, such as automated vacuum nests, automated dispensers, and shaker nests, approximately 576 samples can be processed per hour without human intervention.

PlateCrane’s Applications: Compatible Instruments

To form a complete benchtop workcell and to harness all of the applications, many instruments are compatible with the PlateCrane EX™ to add to its usefulness. Some of these instruments include

  • Microlate Incubators
  • Robotic Liquid Handlers/Pipettors
  • Microplate Readers/Imagers/Scanners
  • Flow Cytometers
  • Barcode scanner: Tracks and stores plate data, operates with Hudson Robotics’ SoftLinx™ software system, and includes a physical stand and communication cabling
  • Stack base: Locks into the PlateCrane baser and allows for stacking of five universal or five random-access plate stacks on each base
  • Worktables: Are custom-built to fit the user’s needs; can contain a computer stand, communication cable routing, a utility entrance, optional power management, and more

The device and the PlateCrane’s applications are specifically designed for any laboratory type, whether small or high-throughput. Its flexibility allows technicians to “set it and forget it” and is meant to be a walk-away unit. Laboratory automation is extremely cost-effective, and adding more opportunities for automation means more preciseness and effectiveness.

To learn more about the PlateCrane EX™ or its applications, contact Hudson Robotics today for a quote and to speak to a professional representative.