96-Well Microplate Dispensing Solution with Drying Tunnel

Ginolis has designed and manufactured a desktop solution for the high precision dispensing and drying of standard 96-well microplates. The automated solution utilizes Ginolis’ Delilah robotic platform, Piezo Motor Actuated Bellows (PMB) pumps and intelligent conveyor system.

The Solution Setup

The automated solution consists of intelligent infeed module, Delilah robot, dispensing station and drying tunnel. The compact Delilah robotic platform provides high quality automation within a small footprint.

The dispensing station consists of four Ginolis PMB 1500Se pumps, multi-source wash solution input, washing station, ionizer and degasser. For process and quality control, cameras, sensors and Ginger software provide positioning data, barcode reader and monitor the available reagent volume in reservoir vessel. The drying tunnel utilizes Ginolis’ intelligent transfer unit for transferring well plates through climate controlled and adjustable channel.

Dispensing Process

The dispensing process begins with the intelligent infeed module. Well plates, in stacks of six, are loaded onto pallets, which transfer the stacks to the Delilah robot cell. The intelligent feeder can hold ten separate stacks for a total of 60 well plates. The entire infeed module is covered to preserve cleanliness and reduce contamination risk.

When the well plate stack arrives at the Delilah unloading area, a Scara robotic arm with product specific gripper removes well plate and reads barcode. Based on user defined parameters, erroneous test plates are placed in reject area for operator removal. Accepted plates are positioned under ceramic tips for dispensing.

The dispensing system is designed to be flexible. The system can dispense from 200 nl to 1 µl droplets with dead volume of 50µl. The dispensed volume and droplet location within well is adjustable by operator, as well as how many and which wells are targeted. The system is designed to serve both production and R&D needs.

A multi-solution washing function can be modified by the user. Number of washing liquids and sequences can be programmed. Once a preset or user defined sequence is selected, the dispensing system automatically performs washing procedure. Dispensing tip inner and outer surfaces are cleaned during this procedure.

After dispensing process is complete, the well plate and barcode data is transferred to the drying tunnel and the Scara robot continues with next dispensing cycle. The dispensing system includes automated priming functions that can be modified by the user. To minimize wasted reagent volume, the system includes a separate vessel with camera monitoring for volume levels.

Ginolis PMB Pump Specifications

CV Values
– Without air gaps<2 % (>50 nl)
<5 % (<50 nl)
– With air gaps<5 % (400 nl)
Dead volume50 µl
Bellows materialCoated with Parylene
Bellows housingPEEK

Upon arrival at the drying tunnel, the test plate with dispensed reagents is placed on pallet, which moves it through seven drying positions in tunnel. The drying tunnel utilizes HEPA-filtered, temperature and flow controlled air to dry reagents on well plates. Ready microplates exit the drying tunnel and move to front transfer unit for unloading by operator. The following parameters are adjustable in drying tunnel parameters: drying time, well pate position, temperature and airflow/pressure. The humidity inside tunnel is also monitored.

The entire automated dispensing line is operated using Ginger, Ginolis’ software platform. The intuitive user interface is easy to use and manage. Ginger provides real-time updates and alerts for the operator to effectively manage the entire automation line. A SQL database connection is used for batch tracking. It stores individual well, well plate and batch based information about selected parameters and live conditions/robot actions during the process. Maintenance and troubleshooting can be performed remotely. The equipment surfaces are made from glass, polycarbonate, stainless steel and anodized aluminum, to make the system easy to clean and hygienic. The desktop solution is designed and manufactured to be easy to use, easy to clean and easy to maintain.

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