Compounds Australia's microtube storage is facilitated by TTP Labtech ComPOUND stores each with a capacity of 100,000 1.2 mL microtubes. The ComPOUND stores are modular and scalable to facilitate capacity building. Compounds Australia currently has 4 x 1.2 mL comPOUND stores, for a total capacity of 400,000 microtubes. In addition Compound Australia also has a TTP Labtech D2 store, with the capacity to hold 200,000 0.5 mL microtubes.
Compounds submitted by chemists are initially transferred to a microtube, dissolved in dry dimethyl sulfoxide and deposited into the store for curation under a dry nitrogen atmosphere for five or more years.
Microtubes are stored in a random manner within linked comPOUND modules, i.e. the stores provide a format free zone meaning microtubes do not reside in designated locations. All tracking is done through on-board software, with 2D barcodes at the base of each microtube providing additional assurance. The format free environment facilitates cherry picking of individual microtubes for reformatting into microplates. Microtube subsets for retest or counter screens are accessed as easily as the entire set is for a primary screening campaign.
What are the samples stores in?
Polypropylene microtubes are used for long-term (5+ years) storage of samples dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at Compounds Australia. Each microtube has a unique 14x14 alphanumeric 2D barcode on its base. This matrix affords 3,600,000,000,000,000 (3.6 quadrillion) individual barcodes.
Compounds Australia utilises Abgene 1.2mL Microtubes with a piercable septum to allow for samples to be accessed without the need for decapping of the tubes. This minimizes processing headaches, as well as limiting the sample exposure oxygen and outside environmental contaminants.
For samples stored in the D2 half height microtube store, Compounds Australia utilises FluidX 0.5mL polypropylene microtubes, which need to undergo de-capping and re-capping during processing of the samples.
2D barcoded microtubes and the related minitubes are now the industry standard for long-term storage of an organisations compounds.
Microtube handling on the processing systems
Compounds Australia handles Microtubes in 96 well Microtube racks, and has various allocated storage and handling equipment throughout its processing systems to store microtube racks during processing.
72 rack Carousel: (Rack/Tube Reformatting 1800 BioCel System)
- Enables setup of large processing runs – 72 x 96 well racks will generate 18 x 384 well microplates)
- Benefit: Increases the efficiency of Compounds Australia and limits setup time for tube processing.
24 Place MiniHubs: (ComPANION & ½ Height Tube System)
- Contains 2 x Minihubs, each with the ability to store 24 Microtube racks, providing 48 rack positions.
- Benefit: Enables automated retrieval and storage of microtubes via the comPANION.
- Ability to Process 48 x ½ height FluidX tubes in one processing run
0.5ml FluidX Sample Handling
Compounds Australia utilises 0.5mL FluidX tubes for libraries stored within the D2 TTP ComPOUND unit. These tubes need to be handled and processed separately from the 1.2 ml Abgene tubes, as extra steps are needed to gain access to their contents.
The 0.5 mL FluidX tubes are sealed with non-piercable caps, which require de-capping in order for samples to be processed on the liquid handlers. All processing with these tubes takes place on the Companion / ½ height BioCel system which houses the FluidX XDC-96 capper/decapper.
The FluidX XDC-96 allows for fully automated whole rack de-capping and re-capping of caps during processing of liquid handling on the Bravo liquid handler. This minimizes human involvement with the uncapped microtubes, and minimizes consumable costs, as caps can be returned to the tubes they were removed from, rather than being discarded for new caps.