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Precision Testing for the Sciclone Advanced Liquid Handler Z8 Option

Jeff Cunningham and Lynn Jordan
Caliper Life Sciences, Inc., Applications Laboratory, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA

Introduction

The Z8 liquid handling device is an optional accessory to the Sciclone Advanced Liquid Handler (ALH). This device is designed to permit individually and independently controlled access to single wells or columns of 96 and 384 well microplates for purposes of liquid transfer (tertiary dispensing). It can be configured to use fixed cannulas (1-50μL) or disposable tips (1-100μL) to facilitate standard hit-picking or re-formatting protocols. Here, we discuss the optimization of liquid transfer (1, 2, 5 and 10μL) techniques in terms of precision. Moreover, we extend the capabilities of the Z8 by performing continuous low volume (1-10μL) bulk dispensing across the columns of a 96 well plate (secondary dispensing) using fixed cannulas.

Materials and Methods

Instrumentation

All testing was performed using a Sciclone ALH with the Z8 option. Secondary dispensing is achieved using a Bulk Reagent Dispenser (Sciclone option) which facilitates the continuous delivery of water across the columns of a plate. Absorbance was measured at 450nm using a Wallac Victor2 Multilabel Counter (PerkinElmer).

Reagents

Tartrazine (SIGMA) solutions are prepared with deionized H2O and degassed with Helium at 0.7, 1.4, 5.0, and 6.0g/L) and dispensed at 10, 5, 2 and 1μL respectively.

Device Purging

The Z8 device is first purged to facilitate the elimination of compressible materials or gasses as follows:

  • Prime the lines of the Z8 until the system fluid reaches the lines just past the syringes.
  • Aspirate 100μL from
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