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TEMPLATE DESIGN © High-Throughput Non-Contact Acoustic Liquid Dispensing Systems New Challenges in Automation and Implementation in the Work Flow Christine S. Chan Agilent Technologies Automation Solutions, 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, CA ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION The collaboration of Agilent Technologies Automated Solutions, EDC Biosystems, and Pfizer satisfied a business need wherein compound plate handling and automation was required. The solution included robotic compound storage system, robotic plate processing BioCel and True Non-Contacting TM acoustic liquid dispensing. Automation and throughput requirements demanded that workflows account for manipulation of samples in a wide variety of plate formats, such as 384-well, 1536-well, and 3456-well. Agilent Technologies Automation Solutions continues to leverage their experience with liquid handling integration to create highly complex plate storage and processing solutions for lab automation. Agilent’s VWorks, EDC Biosystems’ ATS-100s, and Hamilton Storage Technologies’ asmStore and asmServer were the key components for the automation and high throughput for Pfizer’s lab needs. The overall objective was to achieve an automated compound plate management solution for screening and developmental assay plates. The goal was to reduce human manual steps while increasing the capacity and turn around time of laboratory workflow processes. Agilent Technologies Automation Solutions provided the unique software, VWorks Automation Control, and their high-performance equipment to create and to develop unique and personalized high- throughput protocols. EDC Biosystems’ ATS-100 Acoustic Transfer System provided the precise acoustic liquid handling. The ATSs supported the high- throughput demands and cost reduction in laboratories drive the use of density 384, 1536, and 3456 well plate formats. Hamilton Storage Technologies provided the plate management all within an inert, temperature-controlled environment. Materials & Methods Agilent Technologies Automated Solutions’ BioCel (Figure 1) with the Hamilton Storage Technologies’ Plate Management System (Figure 2) with their unique SealTite TM (Figure 3) and EDC Biosystems’ ATS-100s (Figure 4). Agilent VWorks Automation Control software is customizable and designed to be configurable with third party devices to generate reliable and efficient automation protocols. VWorks supports branching, conditional execution and it’s functionality can further be leveraged through the use of task level Java scripting which allows for additional customization and unprecedented control. All integrated components had intuitive and user-friendly front-end applications, and could be driven independently or together as an integrated system. In the following compound workflow, VWorks supports the full automation of the sampling process for Pfizer (Figure 5). Overall System Requirements: Intuitive and customizable user interface and software to drive the protocol and devices. A centralized plate storage unit with plate management system. Dispense any liquid ranges from 100% DMSO to aqueous buffers, accuracy and precision dispensing, and real-time measurements. Ensure sample integrity and accessibility Have the appropriate capacity and throughput with possible upgrades such in hardware and software EDC Biosystems ATS 100 – Acoustic Transfer System EDC Biosystems has developed a steady-state process equipment, ATS-100, with new and exciting approaches to low-volume liquid handling. ATS-100 defines True Non-Contact Technology TM where the movement of liquid from a source to any destination without the use of pins, tips, or any other capillary device. The transfer is direct and without cross-contamination or carryover. Hamilton Storage Technologies Plate Management with asmStore ST and asmServer ST The active sample manager ST or asm ST from Hamilton Storage Technologies is a compact, modular, localized storage system for secure compound management. The asm ST provides flexibility, speed, throughput in various configurations to meet the BioCel’s demands. The asm ST with SealTite technology enables fully automated and repeated sealing and unsealing of the microplates with no heat and adhesive to contaminate compounds in storage. Materials & Methods cont. DISCUSSION CONCLUSION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The use of EDC Biosystems True Non-Contact Technology in an Agilent BioCel system enables a new level of automation for high throughput technology. The True Non-Contact Technology acoustic liquid dispensing has been proven to be accurate, to preserve and conserve compound library stock, and to provide reliable high quality data. We have implemented a BioCel 1200s system for the Pfizer Animal Health division that has precise dispensing from the EDC Biosystems’ ATS-100s, a new driver for remote control of EDC Biosystems’ software through VWorks, and compound handling with the Hamilton Storage Technologies’ Plate Management into an automated configurable work flow. The flexibility of the EDC Biosystem ATS-100 combined with Agilent Automation Solution’s robust BioCel platform and VWorks ability to use conditional execution while easily integrating with a wide range of third party devices has resulted in a versatile compound management system that can be quickly reconfigured to keep up with Pfizer’s rapidly changing needs. Figure 5 Eric Nordby of Pfizer’s Animal Health of Kalamazoo. Robert Brown of Hamilton Storage Technologies. Tim Donohue, Humphrey Chow, and the engineering team at EDC Biosystems. The establishment of the BioCel with Pfizer will be a unique and valuable tool in drug discovery. The combination of fully integrated compound management and acoustic liquid dispenser with a fast automated Biocel will allow for high-throughput samples. The integration of environmentally controlled plate storage with sample processing ensures that the compound integrity is maintained without being compromising flexibility for the protocols. Agilent Technologies Automation Solutions BioCel – Plate Processing Automation Solutions BioCel has a proven track record in the field of compound handling. The use of high-quality devices placed around the very high-speed 3-axis radial robot allows for fast and precise processing of the plates supplied by the plate storage units. Two ATS – 100s acoustic dispenser provides non-contact, very low volume dispensing capability on. Other equipment on the BioCel included VStack Labware Stackers, teleshake station, barcode reader, Lid Store Hotels, Microplate Centrifuge, and Plate Hotels Figure 2 Figure 1 Figure 3 Figure 4
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