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Liquid handler information

Reference information for users who need information on the overall structure and default configuration for liquid handlers as represented by their drivers

Who should read this

Anyone debugging liquid handling based protocols may need this information

Things you'll need

  • Liquid handling planner documentation

What you'll learn

  • characteristics of liquid handling platforms assumed by the system
  • default preferences for liquid handling drivers currently supported

Pipetmax driver

Position preference information

Positions are labelled using the convention position_n where n is 1-9. Positions start in the top-left corner of the tray and are ordered left-right then top-bottom (see diagram).

Tip preferences: 2,3,6,9,8,5,4,7

Input preferences: 4,5,6,9,8,3

Output preferences: 8,9,6,5,3,1

Tipwaste preferences: 1,7

Waste preferences: 9

Wash preferences: 8

Constraints on deck layouts

While there are no constraints on accessing any position with any part of the head (cf Felix) for single-channel access note that tip loading may result in collisions when loading from a position behind a full tipbox. Hence it is important to ensure tips are used front-to back where it is necessary to position them this way.

Volume and flow rate limits

There are two currently supported head types: high and low volume. Both have 8 fused channels in vertical format at the 9mm SBS format pitch

High volume head limits

Volume min,max: 10,250 ul Flow rate min, max: 0.5, 2.0 ml/min

Low volume head limits:

Volume min,max: 0.5,20 ul Flow rate min,max: 0.1,0.5 ml/min

Cybio XML Driver (Felix)

The Felix has three decks in two vertical layers. The lower deck has six positions while the two upper decks have three positions each. To access the lower decks they move apart and the head drops down between them. See diagram for details of deck labelling. Positions are referred to as position_n where n goes from 1-12. Positions start on the bottom deck at the top left and run left-to-right,top to bottom. Following this positions on the upper decks are addressed in the same fashion.

Position preference information

Tips: 1,3,5 Inputs: 9,8,2 Outputs: 7,8,2 Wash: 4 Waste: 6 Tipwaste: 2,4

Constraints on deck layouts

The physical construction of the Felix means there are several constraints on deck layouts, in general this necessitates user control over deck layout

Tip boxes can only be placed on the lower deck as the force required for tip loading is too great for the upper decks

The head cannot access all positions on the liquid handler with all channels. This situation is very complicated. Essentially the main constraint is on single-channel operation: with an 8 or 12-channel adaptor on a head it is necessary to do single channel operation by picking up only one tip. However the range of motion of the upper decks precludes accessing all rows with either the top or bottom channels. Only the top row of deck C is accessible with the topmost channel, similarly only the bottommost row of deck B is accessible with the bottommost channel. The same constraints apply respectively to the two rows of deck A.

The upshot of this is that tip boxes need to be placed appropriately to allow loading a tip onto the correct channel for accessing the wells required - the top row for single-channel access to plates on deck B, the bottom row for single-channel access to plates on deck C. This does not apply when troughs are used, although it restricts access to only a single location within the troughs.

It is also not possible for tip boxes to be located in the same column unless only 8-channel access is used for that tip box, since this will lead to collisions.

Finally, only the first third or so of plates in the right-most area of deck A is accessible under any circumstances, making these positions essentially usable only for wastes or tip boxes which will not be used beyond this point (columns 1-3).

Volume and flow rate limits

The only head type currently supported is the Choice head. This has a number of adaptors available for single and multi-channel use. Presently the only supported choices are low- and high-volume 8-channel adaptors.

Head limits:

Volume min,max: 0.5, 1000 ul Flow rate min,max: 0.1,0.5 ml/min (!!)

Adaptor limits:

High volume adaptor

Volume min,max: 10, 1000 ul Flow rate min,max: 0.5,2.0 ml/min (!!)

Low volume adaptor:

Volume min,max 0.5, 50 ul Flow rate min,max 0.1,0.5 ml/min

Cybio XML Driver (Gene Theatre)

Tecan Evo