accuracy, precision, flexibility
Serial dilutions, plate replications and reformatting into higher density plates are important and often routine processes in drug discovery but, when assay volumes are miniaturised to nanolitre levels, there are some significant challenges to be met in the process of automating them.
Miniaturised assays have important cost benefits in the reduction of precious compounds and reagents required. As volumes are miniaturised, however, even small inaccuracies are proportionally magnified. It is therefore paramount to maintain accuracy and precision to ensure high quality laboratory results at these volumes or the efficiencies achieved become outweighed by the disadvantages. Miniaturising assays also allows users to draw on a range of high density plates for further efficiencies, but these can present challenges for liquid handling systems.
Other important criteria, though often overlooked, are the ease of use and reliability of the instrumentation. If a liquid handler is the key instrument in your process (which it often is) then you need it to have as little down time as possible, whether that is for re-programming, set-up changes, recalibrating or repair.
mosquito® HTS (TTP Labtech) is a nanolitre liquid handler flexible enough to automate the miniaturisation of all standard HTS assays without needing special labware or system set-up changes. It offers extremely fast and accurate plate replication and serial dilutions. It is also capable of reformatting between different plate types in the same protocol – even from standard 96-well formats direct to high density 1536-well plates