Following the successful launch of the Fluent cell-based assay workstation in summer 2014, this second application-oriented system is designed to simplify and improve the productivity of compound management and assay plate generation activities. The compound management workstation is ideally suited to drug discovery laboratories and centralized compound library facilities, offering a host of features intended to streamline day-to-day activities such as daughter plate generation, plate reformatting, hit picking and serial dilutions.
Liquid handling versatility has been increased with the introduction of washable fixed tips for the instrument’s Flexible Channel Arm. Complementing the existing disposable tip options to provide cost-effective reagent and compound distribution – as well as cap piercing capabilities – the new fixed tips are also available in a low volume option, offering reliable pipetting below 0.5 µl to help minimize compound consumption and enable effective serial dilutions. This increased flexibility is complemented by the ability to use DMSO – the solvent of choice for most compound libraries – as the system liquid, allowing fast, efficient plate filling without the need for a bulk dispenser module.
Labware logistics have also been enhanced with the addition of a tube handling option for the Robotic Gripper Arm (RGA), and a Stacker module. Compatible with a wide range of common tube formats, the tube gripper can be manually exchanged with the RGA’s existing microplate gripper, allowing efficient transfer of tubes and simplifying barcode scanning. The Stacker – which is compatible with SLAS-format consumables – is ideally suited to high capacity tip storage, allowing up to 40 racks of Nested LiHa disposable tips per stack for increased walkaway times.
These new hardware options are fully supported by the platform’s updated FluentControl™ software, which also includes a number of new applications and pre-programmed ‘Smart Commands’ for common activities such as plate replication and reformatting. To streamline integration with upstream and downstream processes, the software will also support both worklisting and 2D barcode scanning, ensuring the Fluent Laboratory Automation Solution for compound management fits seamlessly into even the most demanding of workflows.