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Small Liquid Handler, Big Benefit

Dr. Stefanie Rösel Lab Academy

  • Molecular Biology
  • Lab Routine
  • Pipetting & Dispensing
  • Automation
  • Essay

An old familiar boosted with new assets – the Eppendorf epMotion® 96 brings new progress in routine lab applications. The semi-automated small liquid handler equipped with 96 channels is an ingeniously easy to use allrounder allowing for fast and precise processing of 96- and 384-well plates. From handling medium throughput, feeding the beast, up to supporting specialized systems - let this smart companion support you in versatile applications and increase your productivity.

Laboratory routines are subject to permanent pressure for improvement. Workflows have to speed up and still generate optimal results. When throughput increases, the reach of manual pipetting with multi-channel pipettes is limited. Quick, efficient, and reproducible processing of multiple 96- and 384-well plates becomes a challenge. Routine work like plate filling, replication and reformatting overstretches or blocks valuable human resources or system capacities. How to cope with that?

Small liquid handler as “big sister” of an electronic multi-channel pipette

Eppendorf epMotion® 96 is designed to increase throughput and speed by facilitating versatile daily lab routines at low or medium throughput. Equipped with 96 channels, the helpful tool allows a synchronous pipetting of 96 wells: Entire 96-well plates can be pipetted at once, 384-well plates with an index of 4.

The semi-automated pipette is an intermediate between an electronic pipette and a fully automated system, combining the ease of use of pipettes with high precision and accuracy. Risks of time-dependent intra-plate gradients and human errors are reduced in favor of better reproducibility of results. The device scores on top with less installation effort compared to fully automated liquid handlers. With that, the small liquid handler epMotion® 96 can function as your entry towards automated workflows. You can handle increased throughput and improve efficiency, but you don't completely relinquish manual control.

Recent updates have extended the range of functions and usability. With the new column-wise pipetting technique, half plates can be handled, and dilution series created. In addition, ergonomics and user-friendliness have been improved. More intuitive handles and less operating force drastically reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury (RSI) when handling multiple plates.

Process plates 12 x faster

When a larger number of plates must be handled in parallel and multi-channel pipettes do not offer the needed throughput, epMotion 96 represents a good choice. Pipette whole 96-well plates at once, or pipette 384 wells in 4 steps: simultaneous 96-well pipetting with epMotion 96 performs 12 times faster than 8 channel pipettes. This is what you can do faster and more precise:

  • Replication and reformatting of 96- and 384-well plates
  • Sample transfer
  • Reagent and compound addition

For cell-based assays , it was shown that the usage of small liquid handler epMotion 96 saved up to 15 minutes compared to a manual 12-channel pipette. When compared to an electronic 12-channel pipette, it was still twice as quick. This valuable time can be used for other tasks and can ease your mind.
Figure 1: Hands-on time for one assay plate and in total (cell viability assay).

Feed the beast

Large automation systems are often designated to highly complex multi-step tasks, like NGS library preparation or drug candidate screening. However, blocking valuable system capacity with just filling plates with buffer is neither time- nor cost-efficient. By preparing 96- or 384-well plates with small liquid handler epMotion 96 you save capacity, time, and costs. Like this, you don’t block the beast unnecessarily and let it fulfill its actual tasks.


Support specialized systems

Prepare 96-well or 384-well plates and feed specialized benchtop devices like the Thermo Fisher Scientific® KingFisher® Flex System, which is used for extraction and purification of DNA, RNA, proteins, and cells at medium throughput.


Facilitate bead-based clean ups

Handling magnetic beads is a critical step within NGS library preparation or nucleic acid purification. The laborious procedure burdens with a tremendous number of pipetting steps in exhaustive long and complex protocols. With small liquid handler epMotion 96 you make magnetic bead-based protocols at low to medium throughput become a breeze. You reduce manual pipetting steps and hands on time and reduce the risk of bead loss and bead carry-over, which may lead to interferences with downstream applications.
Figure 2: New Feature – Work with 8, 16, 24, etc. tips for fast and easy serial dilutions.

Speed up serial dilutions

Serial dilutions are one of the most tedious routine tasks in the laboratory as it usually requires pipetting of individual volumes. Use tips column-wise (8, 16, 24, etc.) and ease serial dilutions of nucleic acids, cells, proteins, or dyes, buffers or reagents, and other applications.


Start and stop reactions without offset

Pipetting time-critical reactions with manual and electronic pipettes is almost impossible as it easily mutates into a high-speed race. By dispensing into 96 wells at once, epMotion96 allows you to initiate and terminate reactions simultaneously and without any time offset.


Wrap up

  • Easy to use semi-automated bench top system
  • For low to medium throughput, good entry to automated workflows
  • Fast high precision pipetting of entire 96-well plates (pipetted at once) and 384-well plates (pipetted at factor 4)
  • Column-wise pipetting allows handling of half plates or preparation of dilution series
  • Speed, efficiency, and reproducibility increase (compared to manual pipetting)
  • Versatile application spectrum:
    • Filling, replication and reformatting of 96- and 384-well plates
    • Plate preparation for large automation and specialized systems
    • Bead-based clean ups, preparation of serial dilutions
    • Simultaneous start and/or of stop time-sensitive reactions
  • Risk reduction of repetitive stress injury (RSI) due to intuitive handles and less operating force
  • Less installation effort compared to fully automated solution

Boost your productivity while getting better reproducibility of your results from NGS library prep, nucleic acid purification, PCR, cell-based assays, ELISA, and many other applications.
Figure 3: Eppendorf epMotion® 96 liquid handling system with 2-position slider.

Give it a try?

Request demo and you will see how easy and fast your 96-well and 384-well plates get processed!

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