Your Guide To Pipetting Robots
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Published On: April 27th, 2021Categories: Articles, Liquid Handling

The art of pipetting precise amounts is a skill that is prized by many scientists, but it is, in fact an art that can be turned into science through the use of pipetting robots.When used as part of a more complex automated liquid handling system, pipetting robots can measure up reagents much faster than any skilled scientist can, and this can immensely increase the output in your life science laboratory.

Processes That Integrate Pipetting Robots

Pipetting robots can be easily integrated into workstations that carry out the following life science processes:

  • DNA extraction
  • Oligo pooling and purification
  • Gene assembly
  • Plasmid preparation
  • Colony picking and plating
  • Protein binding, expression, and purification, and more.

Pipetting robots can be combined with an automated reagent dispenser and a microplate washer for a complete automated liquid handling workstation regardless of the process you want to carry out.

How Does A Pipetting Robot Work?

There are various types of pipetting robots, but the fundamentals of how they function are generally the same. Once set up on a benchtop, pipetting robots need to be configured via software to perform the actions desired. Most come with multiple tip configurations, through which staff can adjust output and accuracy as per a process’s requirements. For example, the SOLO Liquid Handler has an 8-tip or 12-tip pipette head, though users can also opt to use only one tip from either one of those heads.

Many pipetting robots can send notifications to users when a run is complete or even if there is an error. Detecting errors early is crucial to ensure that reagent is not wasted and trigger manual measures if operations cannot be halted. Once these robots have completed a programmed run, the microplates or test tubes they dispensed into can be moved on to the next stage of the process, ideally via integration to microplate handling systems or other robotic arm components.

Pipetting Robot Capacity & Features

Capacities vary between different systems, but to give you an idea of what’s possible, here are the features of our SOLO Liquid Handler pipetting robot:

  • Pipetting ability – Aspirate and dispense as little as 2 uL to as much as 1000 uL, depending on the pipette head used. A bulk dispensing pump assembly is available as an option.
  • Plate capacity – Available in 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 microplate positions.
  • Size – a 4-plate microplate position SOLO measures a space-savvy 24×29.5×19.5 inches; the size increases with the number of microplate positions.
  • Precision – The SOLO Liquid Handler has a high-resolution and high-precision motor, dispensing as low as 2uL with an average CV below 2% (for pipette rated 20-200 uL).
  • Speed – For filling each well in a 96-well plate with 5uL of reagent, the SOLO Liquid Handler takes about 1 minute 43 seconds to complete when aspirating from a reservoir, and about 6 minutes, 18 seconds when copy plating well-by-well with no tip changes. The speed to complete the plate reduces to 29 minutes, 4 seconds when the tip is changed each time when copying plate to plate.

While the SOLO Liquid Handler pipetting robot is just one model of many, it’s enough to show you how a simple, small machine like this is enough to increase output massively in the lab when compared to pipetting manually.

Contact Hudson Robotics today to schedule a call and learn more about the SOLO Liquid Handler or other automated liquid handling systems available.