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Pressure-controlled liquid handling systems: A simple & cost-effective solution

Author : Paul Kendall, Industry Sector Manager – Lifetech

31 July 2020

Infectious diseases are an ever-present threat to our society – as evidenced by the current coronavirus outbreak. Today’s laboratories are increasingly reliant on automated liquid handling systems rapidly to develop and produce new vaccines.

(Image: Shutterstock)
(Image: Shutterstock)

These systems are also critical in the life sciences industry where advancements in genomics research are owed, in part, to automated liquid handling systems which are accelerating the discovery of safe and effective drugs.

The advantages of automated liquid handling systems are well known. They increase throughput, drive efficiencies and improve standards of accuracy in pharmaceutical and biotechnology processes. However, these systems are a significant investment for a laboratory. Furthermore, they often come with a host of features that are surplus to the requirements of many applications – and features that are not beneficial can only be a cost.

There is a more cost-effective alternative in these situations: pressure-controlled liquid dispensing systems. They provide a simple and quick way to dose nanolitre- to millilitre-scale volumes of fluid with precision, reliability and scalability.

Delivering liquid samples into microplates and other small vessels is no easy feat because fluid properties and compositions vary widely. For example, viscosities can be as thin as alcohol or as thick as honey. Fluids can be highly corrosive, acidic or basic. To complicate things further, these fluid properties can change depending on temperature, dispensing speed, and applied pressure. Additionally, dosing these costly – and sometimes highly reactive – liquids often requires elaborate cleaning procedures between batches to minimise contamination, which further drives up costs and downtime.

Read the full article in the August issue of DPA.

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