• What is High Throughput Liquid Handling?

Laboratory Products

What is High Throughput Liquid Handling?

Jan 20 2022

Scientific research is driven by data, particularly in sectors like drug discovery and development where a single test can require thousands of samples. High throughput screening (HTS) methods, including automated liquid handing systems, play an important role in fast-tracking research and ensuring workflows are as efficient as possible.

Automating manual tasks

Microplates are fundamental to high-throughput research and are widely used in both analytical and clinical labs. Though with some microplates featuring more than 6000 individual wells, manually filling and preparing each well sample would consumer a huge amount of time.

Instead, scientists rely on high throughput liquid handing systems. These devices can be programmed to perform repetitive tasks and carry out millions of tests without the need for supervision.

With the option of a 96, 384 and 1536 channel simultaneous pipettor, the CyBio Well vario multichannel automated pipetting system is one of the most valuable tools available to high throughput labs. The huge volume spectrum offers incredible flexibility for a range of applications, backed with impressive precision and accuracy. The system also utilises ultra-precise pipetting technology to minimise the risk of cross contamination between samples.

Fast-tracking drug development research

Drug development labs use high throughput liquid handing systems to identify antibodies, active compounds and genes of interest. Results equip scientists with the building blocks to design more targeted experiments and ultimately, develop new drugs and therapies. Without high throughput liquid handing systems, it could take years to pinpoint this initial data.

“Automated liquid handling addresses a multitude of high-throughput screening (HTS) challenges,” says Kevin Truempi, Product Manager at analytical laboratory instrument manufacturing company, Agilent. “There is an ever-growing demand to screen and collect more data over multiple timepoints, vastly increasing the sample count for processing and analysis. Automated liquid handling systems are crucial for generating reproducible data at high throughput for improved downstream analysis.”

Trends in high throughput liquid handling systems

  • The past decade has seen high throughput liquid handling systems become more compact than ever. The smaller footprint makes them available to laboratories of all sizes. The reduction in size has also made high throughput liquid handling systems more affordable, opening up exciting new opportunities for budget-conscious labs.
  • Liquid handling solutions have also ventured beyond traditional sample preparation tasks and are being used for cell-based assays, CRISPR research, phenotypic screening and other advanced applications.
  • Software integration is another trend that’s reimagined high throughput liquid handling systems. Today many state-of-the-art instruments are equipped with built-in software that makes them easier than ever to operate.

Want to know more about the role of liquid handling systems in modern laboratories. We cover a range of topics, including the history of pipettes, best-practice techniques and the all-important role of software in ‘Liquid Handling - What, Why & How?’

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Lab Asia 31.2 April 2024

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