Cellomics is coined to mean the study of cells and their function. With the further use of live cells, a wide variety of assays can be automated in the cellular environment. Cell-based target validation, secondary screening, lead optimization, and structure-activity relationships are now being replaced with the advent of High Content Screening (HCS). Automated HCS platforms interface fully automated fluorescence microscopy, plate-handling automation, and seamless image analysis.
HCS is a drug discovery method that uses images of living cells as the basic unit for molecule discovery thus increasing the need to grow, maintain and harvest mammalian cells cultures.
Automated High Throughput Cell Distribution
High Throughput Cell Plating System
The purpose of the High Throughput Cell Plating System is for the exceptionally reliable, fast, flexible, and efficient automation of plating out multiple cell lines cell. The system can accommodate for deepwell cell line reservoirs and transfer each cell line into multiple 96 or 384 well covered plates. The liquid handling robot system is equipped with dual incubators so both cell line reservoir and destination plates are continually kept in a CO2 incubated environment. The system is set up for extremely high throughput and process 250 destination plates from 50 cell line reservoirs in less than two hours. The liquid handling robot system can be configured to have as any number of destination plates, from single cell lines to single destination plates to all 250 plates containing the same cell line.
Automated Cell Maintenance
Dynamic Devices automated cell maintenance systems solve the daily issues of growing enough cells needed for automate cell based assays. Since the amount of cells is ever increasing, such daily tasks as exchanging spent media for new, splitting cells at certain concentrations to promote further growth and plating cells for assay preparation can be fully automated. By either using a stand alone workstation like the DDi Oasis platform, or a fully integrated DDi liquid handling robot system containing a liquid transfer device, incubators, gripper tools and readers, we can perform some or all of the daily maintenance required for cellular growth to increase a output functions of the lab.
Automation platforms can be configured to reduce manual intervention of the processes such as:
- Cell harvesting, dilution and splitting
- Cell counting and media exchange
- Incubation with monitored and recorded conditions
- Consistent sample preparation
- Cell-based assay with internal process control technologies
An example of a cell-based assay workstations based on the DDi Oasis Liquid Handling Robot Platform can be configured with the following:
- Oasis Pipetting Platform with disposable tip head, integrated gripper tool, incubation positions and integrated HEPA filter hood.
- Integrated CO2 incubator with different storage capacity units ranging from 6 to 500 plates to maintain a stable temperature and CO2 level environment.
- Integrated plate reader, various detectors and imagers can be integrated based on the type of reading required for the assay.
- Graphical user interface software based on easy to enter variables for each cell type or line.
An example of a cell maintenance system based on an integrated DDi System can be configured with the following:
- Oasis Custom Pipetting Platform with disposable tip head, integrated gripper tool, incubation positions and integrated media extraction/fill arm.
- Media refrigeration and heating unit to ensure proper storage of the media and heating station to properly deliver the media at a temperature suitable for the cells.
- Integrated CO2 incubator with either microplate format or roller bottle type containers to maintain a stable temperature and CO2 level environment.
- Optional print and apply barcode printer for customized bar codes containing specific information for each microplate or tube processed.
- Bio-contaminate HEPA hood encompassing entire system with interface to large external incubator.
Cell Harvesting Workstation – BioCell Workstation
- OASIS LM 1201 Liquid Handling Robot Base Unit
- Dual Function Tool for Oasis Base Unit; Cap/De-Capper, Cell Culture Aspiration & Transfer
- 20 Position Integra Bioscience Media Bottle Rack
- Disposable Tip Storage Rack
- Disposable Cell Suspension Tube Rack
- Custom Robotic Aluminum Profile Table
- Biological HEPA Filtered Instrument Cabinet
Large 5 ml Volume Sterile Tips – Flask Based Interface
Automated High Throughput Cell Harvesting System Components
Custom OASIS Model LM 1201Base Unit (Cell Harvesting Station): The standard LM 1201 liquid handling robot base unit is a powerful & flexible pipetting workstation for the automation of liquid handling operations. The LM 1201 model is a single arm unit with typically either a 96 or 384-Tip pipette head on the gantry style robotic platform. However, the use of custom tools or end effectors is also quite common. The gantry robot offers a sophisticated linear motor motion control technology for the high-speed & precise movement in the X & Y axis of the robotic end effector(s). For this application the standard liquid handling pipette head has been replaced by a customized two function tool. The two function tool offers rapid capping/de-capping of bottles, as well as the aspiration & transfer of cell harvest. The aspiration tool utilizes an exchangeable disposable tip for either transferring from or to the media bottle. The Capping / De-Capping operation is capable of capping or de-capping a single bottle at one time and maintains the cap within the tool during subsequent aspiration/transferring operations before replacing the cap and moving onto to the next media bottle. This customized two function tool is specially designed for use with the Integra Bioscience Media bottle. The system can accommodate up to 20 media bottles within a single operation.
Biological HEPA Instrument Hood: Biological instrument hood that provides class 100 HEPA filtered air down across workstation within a plexi glass enclosure. The plexi glass enclosure includes doors that can be opened for convenient user access to workstation. The biological hood sits on the table top of the robotic table and encloses the entire workstation. Non-critical items such as the peristaltic pump and media bags can remain outside hood area with only sterile tubing running inside the biological chamber.
High Throughput Cell Based Screening System
The purpose of the High Throughput Cell Based Screening System is for the exceptionally reliable, fast, flexible, and efficient automation of testing of compounds in cell based assays. The liquid handling robot system can accommodate screening in 96 or 384 well plates as well as combination of plate types. The system offers interchangeable liquid handling tools to accommodate the different plate types and combinations. This liquid handling robot system employs existing and proven laboratory components combined with superior motion control technology to provide an extremely robust and compact ultra high throughput assay system. The system has an open, modular design to allow implementation of new assays and hardware. Additional hardware can be added to expand or change plate processing to match specific requirements. The simplistic design of the system architecture provides an ultra high throughput screening platform that is simply more reliable, easier to maintain & operate and cost efficient.
- HTS system for the screening of Cell Based Assays including flexible liquid handling robot as well as rapid plate to plate transfers in both 96 and 384 well plate formats.
- Flexible liquid handling with 16 independent air displacement pipetting channels incorporating disposable or washable stainless pipetting tips. Positive identification of compound tubes and plates. Serial dilution functions utilizing all 16 tips simultaneously.
- Rapid plate wise liquid handling in both 96 and 384 well plate formats including transfers between 96 and 384 well plate formats.
- On-line storage of 504 cell plates and any combination of 360 standard micro plate positions for dilution plate, deep well, tip boxes or any combination. Note tip boxes and deep well plates require more than one standard micro plate position.
- Additional on-line storage of up to 150 standard tip boxes.
- Accommodates screening in 96 and 384 well plates – Combinations of plate types are also possible
- Complete bar code and sample tracking at all operations
- Assay flexibility provided by open software & hardware environment
- Sophisticated scheduling and execution kernel system software with proven ease of use
- Semi-automated operation capability of system components including thermal plate sealing for partial screening operations.
- Robotic access to all system components for future assay development and operational flexibility
- Robotic access to micro plate in either landscape or portrait orientation
- Upgrade path with later investment to implement additional capabilities
Simplistic system architecture provides the following benefits:
- More Reliability
- Easier Use
- Easier Maintenance
- Compact Design
- Significant Cost Savings
- Capability to acquire duplicate or alternative screening system
Other features include:
- An End of Run Maintenance procedure will be established to provide the proper shut down of devices including rinsing lines and such for all the maintenance that can be done automatically.
- Complete process tracking via log files.
- Log files can be customized to log individual samples, devices, time violations, etc. or entire process in single file.
- The default setting is the tracking of all process operations into a single log file. This file logs all process steps including time violations for any of those operations within the process.
- Complete sample tracking, via bar-code identification. Sample tracking is also customized to the user/process requirements. A sample ID is tracked for each sample and is done at a transfer step from/to another plate or at a read step.
- Stand alone drivers for all devices within the system allowing convenient independent use or maintenance of each device.
- Data output formats, pathways, network connection can be customized for the users to maintain consistency with current database systems.
Automated High Throughput Cell Based Screening Robot System
- Mitsubishi RV-2A Six Axis Robotic System
- Staubli RX60 L Six Axis Robotic System
- Custom Robotic Micro Plate Grippers
- Cytomat Model 6000 HS, CO2, Humidity & Temp. Controlled Incubator
- Cytomat Model 6100 HS, Robotic Plate Shuttle
- T-Rx Standard Instrument Table / Storage System, 180/9
- T-Rx Additional Storage System, 180/9
- Oasis LM Series Pipettor
- Quick Deck for Oasis LM Series
- Cassette Clasps for Quick System
- Industrial Aluminum Profile Table Frame
- Polypropylene Table Top for Industrial Aluminum Profile Table
- FlexDrop Reagent Dispenser
- Microscan Model MS3 Laser Bar-Code Scanner
- Vacuum Lid / De-Lid Station
- I/O Box with Power Supply & RS-232 and RS-485 Capability
- Dell System PC and Flat Screen Monitor
- Cyclades 16-Port RS-232 Communication Port Multiplexer
- Ergonomic PC Workstation
- 2000 VA, 110 V Uninterruptible Power Supply Unit
- Disposal Shoot and Bio-Hazard Waste Container
- Velocity 11 V-spin Centrifuge
- Perkin Elmer Envision
- Perkin Elmer ViewLux