At Compounds Australia, when it comes to microplates we have all the equipment needed on our systems, to ensure automated processing, including microplate movement around the decks, centrifugation, sealing and even automated seal removal. The integrated equipment minimizes the need for human intervention, and ensures that all plates are handled uniformly, and in the most efficient and timely manner.
Member provided assay-ready microplates need to be setup on each of the robots and equipment to ensure safe handling and compatibility.
A full listing of assay-ready microplates is available under Member Resources.
Each of our processing systems contains a centralised robot to enable movement of labware around the system. At Compounds Australia we have 2 types of plate handling robots:
Direct Drive Robot (DDR): The DDR is the newer style of centralised robot and is in place on Compounds Australia's Plate and Half Height/Companion Processing systems. The DDR has the ability not only to move plates throughout the decks, but also to grip labware in both landscape and portrait orientations. This newer style robot has the addition of a wrist movement, which also allows for the equipment on the decks to be in any configuration, rather then having to be radial to the centre.
Asyst Robot: This was in place in the first Compounds Australia BioCel system (installed in 2007) and remains in the Rack Processing System. Unlike the DDR this robot does not have the ability to perform wrist movements, and can only grip labware in the landscape orientation.
Microplate Sealing, Seal Removal and Centrifugation.
Our processing systems are equipped with specialised equipment which allows for automated running in Compounds Australia.
Automated Plate Sealing: Agilent PlateLoc Systems, installed on our Plate and Rack Processing BioCels, add aluminium seals to the microplates utilising heat. Each new plate type entered into the QCL systems will need to be configured with the PlateLoc to identify optimal sealing parameters.
Automated Seal Removal: The Plate Processing System is fitted with a Brooks XPeel, for automated removal of seals from microplates. This minimizes human error during seal removal processes, and also enables microplates to be centrifuged prior to seal removal. This was a new addition to Compounds Australia in the 2012 upgrade.
Plate Centrifugation: Microplates are centrifuged during processing at Compounds Australia to ensure that liquid remains at the bottom of each individual well – eliminating air pockets that can be introduced. Air pockets can cause issues with the liquid handling equipment, both when using the acoustic (non-contact) liquid dispenser (Echo), and the Vprep and Bravo Platforms.