Simplifying scientific discovery: A new liquid handling solution with ease-of-use at its heart

Discover the unique features of an innovative new pipette controller and gain top tips for getting the most out of your apparatus

20 Dec 2021
Cameron Smith-Craig
Associate Editor
Scott Leahy, Director of Product Marketing Management at BrandTech Scientific
Scott Leahy, Director of Product Marketing Management at BrandTech® Scientific

Liquid handling is an essential part of any experimental work that incorporates a liquid sample, uses assays, or requires reagents that need to be added, mixed, or transferred. Consequently, choosing the right equipment can have a significant impact, both in terms of optimization and accuracy, and in reducing any unnecessary physical strain.

In this SelectScience® interview, we speak with liquid handling specialist Scott Leahy, from BrandTech® Scientific, to explore the launch of the new accu-jet® S from BRAND®and to find out how this innovative pipette controller could go a long way to providing scientists with the versatility, comfort, and accuracy that’s needed in their day-to-day workflows.

What is BrandTech® Scientific’s overall mission in the liquid handling space?

SL: Our big picture goal is to support our customers in their own mission of scientific discovery with high-quality, dependable solutions from the BRAND® Group of companies. These scientists are out there trying to solve society's problems at large, and we're there to help them and make sure that they're successful in doing that.

How does the launch of accu-jet® S pipette controller feed into this mission?

SL: I think it's a great example of the value we try to provide for scientists. The accu-jet® S builds on our very popular accu-jet® pro, in that it gives scientists an exceptionally easy-to-use and comfortable pipette controller. The new model makes scientists' work even easier than it was with the pro model as it has an integrated rest position, so you can lie it down on spec and prevent your pipette from becoming contaminated. It also has improved balance that makes it much more comfortable to work with. Overall, it's just making work a little bit easier and a little bit simpler for scientists, which lets them be more efficient, more productive, and puts them in a better position to make those scientific discoveries that we rely on them for.

Which of the new features are you most excited about?

The accu-jet S pipette controller
The accu-jet® S pipette controller from BrandTech® Scientific

SL: There are a couple of features that I'd really like to highlight. The first is the integrated rest position that I mentioned. It lets you lie the pipette controller on its back so that you can temporarily put it down between steps in your work, and it lets you do so in a way that you're not going to jeopardize the cleanliness or sterility of your serological pipette. It’s a seemingly small feature that adds a tremendous amount of convenience.

The other major benefit to the new design is the improved ergonomics. Ergonomics is something that really pervades your daily work. It's something that scientists don't necessarily think about until there's a problem, at which point they might not be able to accurately control the pipette. With the accu-jet® S, the balance is fantastic, it really feels like an extension of your hand. This controller does a great job in allowing very natural and fluid control over your pipette, which makes it just that much easier to get your work done long term.

Did you involve feedback from customers when designing the product?

SL: Absolutely, all of BRAND's products are German designed and made but with this product, the management team led a global effort to collect customer feedback. Any problems that could be solved better or any design shortcomings that were highlighted were all factored into the final design so that we could improve things for our customers.

5 DO’s and DON’TS for getting the most out of your pipette controller

DO use gravity delivery mode and a 3 micron filter with the accu-jet® S to comply with Class A/AS volume tolerance. These conditions provide for optimal precision and accuracy with volumetric pipettes.

DON’T forget to change the membrane filter if the pipette accidently becomes overfilled. This will help prevent fluid from causing damage to the pipette controller.

DO use the motor speed adjustment to set a speed that is both comfortable and effective. With the accu-jet® S, take advantage of the pressure-sensitive pipetting buttons to adjust pipetting speed as well.

DON’T forget to charge the pipette controller. The accu-jet® S is equipped with an LED charge indicator which will blinks red to indicate if the battery is running low – just plug it in and you can continue working while it charges.

DO use a 0.2 micron filter to prevent bacterial contamination of your samples.

The more modern choice of color options was particularly enjoyed by these feedback groups, especially as a feature to help separate device use in the different working areas of the lab. Battery life was also a standout factor; the accu-jet® S has up to eight hours of run time on a full charge and, in the event that you’re working an extended day or need to top up the battery, then you can even continue to work whilst it’s plugged in and charging.

What sort of support and training do you offer your customers?

SL: The design of the accu-jet® S is such that we really focus on the ease of use for the customers. It's incredibly intuitive. For example, switching between gravity delivery mode and motor power blowout is quick and easy to do. In addition, the accu-jet® S has pressure-sensitive pipetting buttons. The more you depress the button, the faster you'll aspirate or dispense – it works exactly as you'd expect. By being intuitive, customers typically find it easier to use and have fewer questions.

In terms of servicing on the device, there really isn't too much to consider. Every once in a while, you may need to change out the filter, but that is an easy operation. However, we do provide support and training to all of our customers in a number of different ways. It's very important to us as a company that customers are fully satisfied with their product experience. Our field sales team is always ready to help customers by demonstrating how to use our products or answering whatever questions they might have. We also have our technical support team and customer service team that are available to field questions that come into our headquarters in Connecticut.

How does the accu-jet® S pipette controller fit with the rest of your liquid handling lineup?

SL: I would say it's a key part of the pipetting solutions range that we offer. We have the Transferpette® S as our air displacement pipette. We also have the first touchscreen repeating pipette in the market, the HandyStep® touch, as well as the Transferpettor™, and the BRAND® LHS pipetting robot. All of these are designed to be simple and easy to use in order to help people get their work done more efficiently and more comfortably. Ergonomics is a key design point in all of these devices.

Because we have this broad range of pipetting solutions, it lets us help customers working in a wide variety of lab settings. The accu-jet® S fits neatly in the middle of our range as one of the most useful tools because pipette controllers are so commonly used, and that really helps us provide a good offering that has the necessary breadth to help our customers solve problems.

Learn more about the new accu-jet® S from BRAND® >>