Illustration of water drop and robotic arms for article on liquid handler add-ons.
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Published On: December 20th, 2022Categories: Articles, Liquid Handling

Liquid handlers are powerful multitasking lab tools that enable precise and efficient handling of liquid samples. Integrating liquid handlers with add-ons can further enhance these powerhouse tools for an optimal workflow in your lab. Automating liquid handling increases throughput, minimizes human error, provides an audit trail and reduces waste.Read on to discover how colony picking robots, PCR robots, and robot handlers can supercharge your lab’s liquid handler.

The Perks of Colony Picking Robots

Colony picking robots select and transfer specific colonies. Image processing allows these lab tools to choose optimal colonies after imaging colony growth plates. Colony picking robots can reach impressive speeds of 1-1.5 colonies per second or 2400 colonies per hour. Not only can colony picking robots increase lab throughput, they can also increase inoculation rates. In addition, colony picking robots pair well with liquid handlers. The colony picking robot can quickly and accurately select colonies of interest inoculating plates or petri dishes into which the liquid handler has already dispensed the appropriate amount of growth media.

What is Transformation in Biology?

In synthetic biology, cell transformation is the process of integrating synthetic DNA into a cell. With the rise of synthetic biology, even greater precision in colony picking is necessary. Single-cell colony picking is the process of choosing just one cell from bacterial colonies. Specialized colony picking robots and other automated single-cell separation robots have been designed for single-cell colony picking.

PCR Applications and Covid-19 Testing

PCR is a lab technique that acts like a photocopier for DNA. PCR is used in applications ranging from Covid-19 testing to crime scene analysis. PCR robots can reduce biohazard risks and increase sample purity, PCR robots are lab equipment systems used to automate PCR. Liquid handlers are a key component to PCR automation systems. When paired with a thermocycler and an automated reagent dispensing system, liquid handlers help fully automate the PCR procedure.

DNA Extraction

Prior to amplifying DNA fragments with PCR, scientists must extract DNA from a sample of biological material. There are physical and chemical methods of DNA extraction. DNA is a nucleic acid, that can be separated from other parts of a lysed cell, like proteins and lipids. The most common protocol for DNA extraction requires hazardous chemicals – phenol, chloroform, and isoamyl alcohol. A liquid handling robot reduces risk to lab techs who no longer have to directly handle these harsh chemicals.

Physical DNA extraction, also known as solid-phase DNA extraction, uses a solid like silica or paramagnetic beads in a high-salt solution. The DNA binds the solid, and unwanted solutes are washed away. Finally, the DNA is released from the solids by returning it to a high-salt solution. Liquid handlers can complement a magnetic separator for solid-phase DNA extraction.

Robot Handlers as Helpers in Your Laboratory

Robot handlers are designed to move delicate items around the lab carefully. Microplate handlers can move plates between different pieces of lab equipment, which helps protocols run overnight. The most common type of robot handler in biology labs is a microplate handler.

Investing in add-ons like PCR robots, colony picking robots, and robot handlers help your lab get the most value out of your liquid handler. Need help designing the best workflow for your budget and space? Contact Hudson Robotics for a detailed quote.