Category: Assay Development and Screening

1243-D - A comparison of dispense performance of manual pipetting versus automated pipetting for assay development using a novel multichannel positive displacement dispenser

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Every assay, whether for screening, hit to lead or lead optimisation, requires significant experimental optimisation for robust assay performance and assured decision making. Variables requiring optimisation can include things like enzyme and substrate concentrations, cell type and number, buffer constituents, pH, as well as a variety of incubation time points. One benefit of assay optimisation by hand pipetting is that it is easy to work with a range of liquid viscosities, from solvents to viscous protein stock solutions, which are challenging for automated dispensers. However, with a manual approach the number of parameters that can be varied is often limited due to the sheer difficulty and time it would take to dispense all components in the desired combinations, leading to long and iterative assay development cycles.

Here we assess a positive displacement dispensing instrument that incorporates the versatility of a hand pipettor, but in an automated manner to reduce assay development times from weeks to just hours or days.  The system uses up to ten independent channels to rapidly dispense liquids into high density plates, without any requirement for liquid classification. Each disposable tip has a low minimum dispense volume of 200nL and a low dead volume, which enables comprehensive miniaturised assay optimisation with precious reagents such as proteins or cells.

In this poster, we compare the performance in dispensing different liquids both by hand and by using the dragonfly discovery automated pipettor. We also highlight the benefits in its utility in running complex design of experiments leading to faster assay development, in addition to obtaining more robust assays.


Joby Jenkins

Director, Product Strategy
TTP Labtech
Royston, England, United Kingdom

Joby's role combines engineering expertise, project, product and account management to aid the design, development and sales of innovative products and solutions for healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. With a first class honours degree in product design and manufacture from Loughborough University, he has 10 years experience in industrial research and development, project management and sales and marketing. Since joining Labtech, he has been a key engineer and project leader for the development of the mosquito® range of products, which provide precise nanolitre liquid dispensing with zero cross contamination, and has been instrumental in establishing TTP Labtech as an internationally recognised provider of leading-edge technologies for drug discovery and development.