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Laboratory Automation


these issues, SPT Labtech’s dragonfly® discovery is not only equipped with positive displacement dis- pensing technology but also several onboard tim- ing-management features for time-course reagent additions, as well as per-plate incubation steps, providing tighter control without the reliance on robotic integration schedulers,” said Joby Jenkins at SPT Labtech. “Our vision is for a liquid handling technology


to be used right the way through the drug discovery process – from assay development and validation through to HTS and into the lead optimisation stages – eliminating transition pain points and ensuring that screening data is as robust as possible. This was not an option with earlier instrumenta- tion, but the next generation of low-volume liquid handlers, such as dragonfly® discovery, are enabling users to realise this vision,” added Jenkins.


Commercially-available automated liquid handling systems The latest advances in automated liquid handling systems are driving ever-greater precision in low- volume liquid handling and expediting HTS work- flows for drug discovery. Summarised below are some of the most innova- tive systems available on the market today:


Agilent Bravo automated liquid handling plat- form: Agilent’s Bravo is a highly-flexible automat- ed liquid handling system that fits easily on a small benchtop or within a laminar flow hood. Positive displacement syringes allow for ultra-precise pipet- ting of volumes ranging from 300nL to 250µL in 96-, 384- and 1536-well microplates. Extensive protocol optimisation is possible with the plat- form’s ability to pick up tips using a single barrel, row, column or array of barrels. The Bravo plat- form is designed for user-friendly interaction, which facilitates rapid and intuitive creation of automated assay protocols. Complementing the Bravo Platform is Agilent’s


BenchCel Workstation, a compact, automated microplate handler to facilitate more efficient bar- code labelling, sealing and centrifugation. The workstation boasts a rapid eight-second stack-to- instrument transfer time and can handle up to 60 standard SBS microplates per rack for expedited microplate set-up and management (Figure 1).


Analytik Jena CyBio FeliX: Analytic Jena’s CyBio FeliX is a fully-automatic, multi-channel pipetting system designed to optimise liquid handling proto- cols. With the system’s unique compact design fea- turing 12 positions across two platforms, the


Drug Discovery World Winter 2019/20


Figure 1: The Agilent Bravo automated liquid handling platform can be used to easily automate a wide range of sample preparation protocols, boasting an extensive selection of accessories and intuitive VWorks control software


Figure 2: The Cybio FeliX automated liquid handling robot is built to optimise work processes, with a unique double platform design to save valuable laboratory space


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