dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler

Manufacturer TTP Labtech
4.5
/
5.0
  |  28 reviews


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Average Rating: 4.5
28 Scientists have reviewed this product

5 out of 5
Ease of use
5 out of 5
After sales service
4 out of 5
Value for money


Great instrument and service, precise pipetting
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area: X-Ray Crystallography and Structural Biology

"I am always very cautious using multichannel pipettes to mount precipitation plates for optimization screen and I try to make sure they are well calibrated. However, precise pipetting with viscous reagent like PEG is painful and not very accurate in reality. Indeed, reproducible optimization plate is invaluable especially when you need it close to the synchrotron beam time! I have been using the dragonfly for almost a year now to mount precipitant plates for optimization screens and find it very reproducible, easy to use and reliable. No problem at all even to dispense PEG400. Also, I save time because I do not have to look at my plates during the pipetting process so I can do something else. The service is good as once, as we ran out of reservoirs the TTP representatives put their demo stock together to save us while we were waiting our order to arrive. I will not forget that one. I could not comment about repair service or calibration problem because we never have to ask for it. Dragonfly just work well each you need it. It does the job and I use it as much as I can. "

Review date: 15 Jan 2016 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2015

  • Organization: UC San Francisco



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:Crystal Screen Optimization

"We decided to purchase the Dragonfly in part because of the exemplary service we've received and the quality of workmanship on our two Mosquitoes. The Dragonfly is another instrument that does its job and does it very well. The ten head system allows us to set up complex crystal screens in a fraction of the time that it took on our old instruments or by hand. Furthermore, the ability to set up a single plate over a deep well block saves not only time, but also reagents and costs. The ease of use of the Dragonfly Designer software to customize our screens in a matter of minutes without dealing with complicated spreadsheets makes it simple for new users to become proficient over a short period of time. We highly recommend the Dragonfly as a necessary component to any lab. "

Review date: 06 Oct 2015 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:Using to make bespoke optimisation screens for protein crystallisation trials

"A breath of fresh air in the world of crystallisation hits optimisation! The machine provides a combination of highly intuitive and easy-to-use graphical user interface coupled with a unique dispensing method of crystallisation agents. This allows to easily design optimisation screens of any complexity (one can even setup 4 (!) four-corner grid screens on a single (!) plate) and to quickly dispense them into the crystallisation plates (takes about 5-10 min for the 96-well plates). The machine does not require system liquid and has a small footprint. As a whole package, the machine has good value-for-money aspect. It saved me time and helped to achieve high quality results in a couple of projects, i.e. to obtain bigger and better diffracting crystals. It is also extremely reliable and rugged; “savvy” scientists won’t be able to quickly break it. The after sales are top notch and the company is prepared to go an extra mile to help and satisfy the customers. Without a doubt, I would hi"

Review date: 05 Jan 2015 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    4 out of 5
Rating: 4.3

  • Application Area:For setting up crystal screen optimisation plates

"The Dragonfly seems well-built, with an easy-to-use GUI and an intuitive workflow. It takes 5-8 minutes to set up a simple 96-well plate with perpendicular gradients. A separate shaking device ensures mixing. Some minor niggles: At present, the Dragonfly does not appear to be able to generate pH gradients based on known buffer pKa(s) and concentrations, though this is a software feature that may be added in future. While the software does provide a progress bar, it doesn't give a 'time remaining' countdown clock - developers should consider this addition, for the benefit of those trying to multitask! Larger volumes must be split across multiple tips, which seems a bit of a waste of plastic but probably saves time. Finally, it is a shame that the device cannot aspirate from standard 50-ml tubes - instead, stock solutions must be placed small, bespoke plastic trays. Again, a bit of an unnecessary waste of plastic, but it does reduce the complication of potentially covering the entire tip in stock solution. All in all, a nice time-saving device for those trying to optimize crystal hits."

Review date: 26 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler

Manufacturer's Response

“Thanks for the valuable feedback.

The pH gradient feature is in development and will be available soon. A re-aspiration feature will also be added in the near future as an alternative to splitting large volumes across tips. 'Timed progress' is a great idea, and has been requested before – it’s definitely something on our radar.

The plastic reservoirs/trays have several advantages. They ensure the tip is minimally submerged and enable a slower rate of level drop when aspirating which means the liquid is drawn from the outside surface of the tip very effectively. They also avoid potential contamination of and evaporation from your master stock tubes.”
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    3 out of 5
    Value for money
    2 out of 5
Rating: 3.0

  • Application Area:First try today aiming to create concentration gradients for better crystallization conditions.

"This device is so easy to use. The design of the software enables everyone to understand it in a few minutes. I find this technology particularly helpful when aiming to achieve new experiments on a 96 well plate. And thinking of the engineering behind makes it even more impressive!"

Review date: 21 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler


  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    3 out of 5
Rating: 3.7

  • Application Area:Dispensing optimisation screens for protein crystal hits

"The Dragonfly Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler makes it much easier and less time-consuming to dispense 96-well crystal optimisation screens. The software package is easy to use, and I was able to operate the instrument after a brief introductory session. The software package supports a wide range of gradient options. I would recommend its use in combination with the plate mixer, to ensure solutions are mixed following dispensing. One thing I would like to see implemented is the ability to aspirate directly from falcon tubes, without the need for special liquid holders (this would reduce consumables costs). While the software package is easy to use, I feel there are elements that could still be streamlined to reduce user intervention. Overall, the Dragonfly is a useful addition to our Structural Biology facility."

Review date: 21 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    4 out of 5
Rating: 4.3

  • Application Area:Crystallisation optimisation

"I found the Dragonfly extremely easy to use. The software was highly intuitive and allowed straight-forward design of complicated optimisation protocols. The Dragonfly itself was very simple to use, leaving very little scope for human error. The plates were prepared in a few minutes and the accuracy in dispensation of very small volumes was evident in the resulting screens. In summary the Dragonfly made the tedious and time consuming process of crystallisation optimisation rapid and simple. "

Review date: 20 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    3 out of 5
    Value for money
    4 out of 5
Rating: 3.7

  • Application Area:To optimise crystallisation conditions of proteins, which are low yields

"Dragonfly is a well designed robot for optimising crystallisation conditions. It has a user friendly interface, which does not need much expertise. Since the proteins that I have been working on do not have high yields, it is always my first option to use 96-well plates to optimise crystallisation conditions. However, the preparation of custom 96 well-plates is time consuming and sometime in accurate. Dragonfly can solve these problems and save time to do other experiments."

Review date: 20 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 4.7
"The product is user-friendly and easy to use. It speeds up the process for preparing grids for crystallisation."

Review date: 20 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    3 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    3 out of 5
Rating: 3.7

  • Application Area:Create crystallisation screens

"I like the speed of setting up plates and the ability to handle fairly viscous agents quite reliably - even at small volumes. Resalable (and bigger) reservoirs would have been nice though, to minimize manual handling. The software interface lets you customise most settings, but interoperability with other systems is still somewhat limited. "

Review date: 12 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:Crystallization optimisation

"I found the software to control the Dragonfly straightforward and quick to use, even as a completely inexperienced crystallographer. The hardware seems robust and is simple to set up."

Review date: 12 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:Screen Optimization/Customization

"The dragonfly is a very user-friendly instrument to use and ideal for producing custom crystallisation trays. It makes an ordinarily very tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone manual process a fully-automated breeze."

Review date: 10 Nov 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    3 out of 5
Rating: 3.7
"I have been able to learn quickly how to use this product. I would recommend this product to others as well."

Review date: 28 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Amgen



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0
"The Dragonfly from TTP LabTech is my "go to" condition optimization robot. We have had one in the lab for about six months now, and are quite happy with its performance. We use it to set 48 or 96 well optimization trays (not deep well blocks), which we then transfer to a crystallization robot (the Mosquito in our case) to dispense the protein and complete the tray setup. The Dragonfly is extremely easy to use, and kit setup is very straightforward. There are no preset input component requirements. You just tell it what your starting solutions are, tell it how you want the gradient spread out over the tray and ask it to calculate. The software will let you know how much of each solution is required and you just aliquot the amount into a disposable tray. The Dragonfly uses disposable tips to pull up and dispense the liquid, so no cross contamination or washing step is required. I recommend the 10 head unit (the one we have) in order to have the space to add enough solutions to your screen; syringes only hold 4 ml, so sometimes you need to take up two positions for a single solution. The kit setup is quite quick (8-10 min for me so far), but this will of course vary depending on the number of components required to make your kit. Another plus for me is the support group at TTP. They have been extremely helpful in optimizing our setup, responsive to queries, and have even provided software tweaks for us to run the instrument in the way we want."

Review date: 28 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    4 out of 5
Rating: 4.3

  • Application Area:Set up crystallisation screens

"Very quick and easy to use. It has a nice, accurate drop dispensation."

Review date: 27 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Department of Biochemistry



  • Ease of use
    3 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 4.0

  • Application Area:Prepare Crystalization Screens

"The writing of the programs was straight forward. I was able to work through creating a program a couple of month after being show how to use it. There was bit of fiddling about to start with but once I had got use to the drop down menus, I could just work though the set up. I had trouble converting the program into a run-able program. This was because I wanted to use more liquid then the well size and couldn’t remember the fix. The pipetting has gone well and it is easy to set up and run. "

Review date: 27 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:Creation and dispensing of custom made optimization screens.

"I’m working in the structural biology field. Optimization of protein crystallization conditions is something that can consume a lot of time in a project. This robot allows the creation and dispensing of custom made optimization screens to suit your specific needs, in several different plate formats, in just a few minutes. It can dispense accurate volumes in a wide range of solution viscosities. The software and the robot itself are intuitive and very easy to use. TTP Labtech engineers have been more than willing to help us with any problems or questions that we have. It is unquestionably a very good asset for any crystallization facility. "

Review date: 27 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 4.3

  • Application Area:For setting up crystallisation screens of RNA-protein complexes

"I am happy with the low volume required for setting up screens. The machine is easy to use."

Review date: 27 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    3 out of 5
Rating: 4.0

  • Application Area:To prepare optimisation screen(s).

"I am using dragonfly for setting up crystallization condition optimization from stock, robot made my life much easier and speeded up my experiments by about two months! Effectiveness - splendid. Robot enabled high quality results to appear sooner than expected. Very straightforward and intuitive to use. I would completely recommend this product to anyone who is optimizing crystallization condition. Ease of use 5* - because it is easy to use, After Sales Care 4* - because software does not have silly user proof implementation (warnings or step by step guidance might be useful). Value for Money 3* - I do not know how much exactly does it cost so pointing star in the middle was a fair assumption. "

Review date: 27 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge / Department of Biochemistry



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:Crystallography optimization

"I used the product to set up two optimization plates. Each one had a different buffer with pH gradient across one direction and increased concentration of PEG across the other. One of the plates had to be split into two areas, one with a constant amount of salt and the other without. Designing the plates with the designer software was easy and straight forward, and setting up the plates was quick and easy. The help I received from TTP Labtech was very useful to get my head around the designing and set-up steps. Two issues I would like to mention, it would be great if there is a way to set-up a pH gradient accurately rather than mixing from two pH values. It will also be helpful if the designed plated can be forwarded directly to the set-up software. All the best. "

Review date: 23 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler

Manufacturer's Response

Thank you very much for your review! We would like to mention that we are in the process of adding pH-gradients. We will keep you updated!
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Biochemistry Department, University of Cambridge, UK



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:for protein crystal optimisation

"Easy to use, flexible to change the parameters and record the parameters."

Review date: 20 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Evotec



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    4 out of 5
Rating: 4.7
"The Dragonfly is a very user-friendly machine that is capable of accurately aspirating viscous liquids and dispensing small volumes. The after sales care is excellent, we have frequently been provided with the support we need."

Review date: 09 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:Structure biology

"This product is very easy to use and the interface is well designed. The technique support we received is very good. I am sure it is going to be a very popular piece of lab equipment.."

Review date: 08 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 5.0

  • Application Area:Chrystallography

"This product is convenient to produce 96 different crystallization conditions for optimization in minutes. It is easy to use and maintain."

Review date: 07 Oct 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: University of Cambridge



  • Ease of use
    5 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    4 out of 5
Rating: 4.7

  • Application Area:Crystallography

"Saves an enormous amount of time and minimises error. Highly recommended."

Review date: 30 Sep 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Evotec



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    4 out of 5
    Value for money
    3 out of 5
Rating: 3.7
"An excellent product, it makes setting up optimisation screens very easy."

Review date: 29 Sep 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2014

  • Organization: Evotec



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    5 out of 5
Rating: 4.7

  • Application Area:Crystallography

"The user interface is very "user friendly" and very flexible. The Dragonfly works fast and so far, the accuracy of the dispensing is very satisfying, even with small volumes (30 ul final volume). The support team is very helpful and prompt to answer. Fantastic product. "

Review date: 25 Sep 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler
  • Status:

    Reviewer

  • Member since: 2008

  • Organization: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology



  • Ease of use
    4 out of 5
    After sales service
    5 out of 5
    Value for money
    4 out of 5
Rating: 4.3

  • Application Area:Liquid-handling

"The dragonfly® could be seen as an evolution of the successful technology Mosquito®. The volumes handled are simply larger (microliters). The new robot uses positive-displacement and disposable syringes for pipetting. This enables the accurate handling of viscous solutions such as glycerol at a relatively high speed. As for the Mosquito®, the robot has a small footprint and the interface is user-friendly. Finally, the robot is very robust. We have been using the first of its kind intensively for preparing crystallization screens in 48- and 96-well plates for more than a year without a glitch. In any case, TTP Labtech offers an excellent support. We are now starting to develop other applications such as high-throughput PCR in 384-well plates. "

Review date: 31 Aug 2014 | dragonfly® Screen Optimisation Liquid Handler

dragonfly®

dragonfly enhances protein crystal screen optimisation. dragonfly is the ideal system to complement TTP Labtech’s mosquito® in the protein crystallisation workflow. Once the initial crystal ‘hits’ are identified, dragonfly produces a set of optimised conditions to grow better diffracting crystals.

dragonfly combines non-contact, positive displacement pipetting with disposable tips (ensuring zero cross-contamination) to automate the screen optimisation process. Each pipette can dispense any volume (within range of 0.5 µL – 4 mL) of any liquid into any well of the plate, allowing complex assay gradients or optimisation screens to be prepared in under 5 minutes.

Benefits of dragonfly include:

  • no liquid classification – making set-up quick and easy
  • flexible automation – dispense any volume from 0.5 µL upwards, into any well, from any syringe. Independent control of each channel
  • accuracy and precision – accurate and precise dispensing of all types of liquids regardless of viscosity
  • negligible evaporation of the dispensed reagents due to minimal set-up time
  • fast – rapid completion of plate irrespective of viscosity variation in stocks (5-8 mins)
    • pour and GO – simply decant the stock volumes you need directly into the reservoirs from any bottle or tube – minimum preparation time
  • stock integrity – positive displacement technology preserves stock integrity, even for volatiles
  • optimal sample use – low dead volumes < 0.5 mL that are recoverable if required, combined with extremely accurate dispensing mean that precious samples go further and allowing more extensive screening
  • zero cross contamination – use of disposable mosquito tips and non-contact dispensing guarantees zero cross-contamination
  • ease of use – software is extremely simple to use, design and dispense
  • robust – focused and uncomplicated workflow avoids physical user errors, low maintenance (no chance of blocking or clogging)
  • screen designer software – interactive, powerful and simple tool to make set-up easier


These features allow the easy creation of even complex gradient plates.
Key application areas include:

  • screen optimisation set-ups for protein crystallography
  • biological assay development
  • formulation development