Mr. Mark Fischer-Colbrie, CEO of Labcyte Inc. spoke on the revolutionary approach to transferring liquids by using exclusively sound energy that is pioneered by Labcyte at http://www.bio2devicegroup.org on Tuesday, June 21st. Below is the summary of the presentation.
Labcyte was started in 2000 and first shipments of their patented Echo Liquid Handling System started in 2003. Liquid handling is a large market of over $850 million and is growing rapidly. Traditionally, a liquid handling robot is used in automation of chemical or biochemical laboratories to dispense a selected quantity of reagent to a designated container. The simplest version simply dispenses an allotted volume of liquid from a motorized pipette and more complex machines can manipulate the position of the dispensers and containers and also integrate additional laboratory devices.
There are many problems with the traditional method. Especially for handling heavily viscous liquids or for handling liquids at lower volumes, there are many challenges with precision, accuracy, clogging, contamination, plastics contamination caused due to leeching of bioactive compounds and loss of sample.
Labcyte technology uses sound energy to create a droplet to jump out of the container and it can work very accurately and precisely with small volumes and the viscosity of the fluid does not change the size of the droplet. A source plate and the destination plates are loaded in the proprietary machine, after they are deionized. After a quick audit to determine the amount of energy required, the machine is calibrated. Droplet size is calibrated through frequency in mega hertz. Higher frequency yields smaller drop and lower frequency yields larger size drop. Source plates can be reused and it can do any well to any well transfer yielding better application use. Also variety of different patterns can be done.
Labcyte technology allows variety of fluids including plasma, serum etc. and recently also they also perfected blood handling. Its zero carryover capability ensures no contamination issues and keeps the database from getting corrupted. Not only is it precise on quantity but can be super accurate on placement of a drop and place the targeted drop to within 9 microns of intended location. This technology can also be used to coat stents or any kind of material. There is no clogging and no surface chemistry problems and equipment is designed for full automation and lights out operation that can be run 24/7 without supervision. This technology also comes with fully optimized out of the box high quality robotics designed for the bench top and same powerful software developed for automated platform.
Fischer-Colbrie discussed various applications of this platform technology in genomics, proteomics, drug discovery, imaging mass spectrometry, siRNA screening, protein crystallography and so on. The session was followed by Q&A.