The following article originally appeared on July 20, 2022 in Biocompare here.
Consistent and reproducible pipetting is vital to cellular assays, but the high cost and large footprint of many automated systems often force labs to rely on unreliable and time-consuming manual pipetting. But a recent launch from Corning—the Corning® Lambda™ EliteMax Semi-automated Benchtop Pipettor—aims to make automated liquid handling a staple in every lab setting by offering an accessible price point and compact design.
Weighing just 44 lbs. and measuring 20.5 x 11.3 x 14.2 in., the Corning Lambda EliteMax Semi-automated Benchtop Pipettor easily fits in biosecurity cabinets while at the same time accurately and precisely transfers liquids and compounds between microplates for purification, isolation, and extraction assays. It comes with dual, single, and 12-channel heads, and speeds are adjustable depending on the liquid being transferred. Plate filling from reagent reservoirs boosts efficiency, and the ability to perform serial dilutions, plate-to-plate transfers, tube-to-tube transfers, and plate replication provides flexibility for any number of experimental designs. For high-traffic labs, multiple user accounts can be set up for the system to store user preferences, protocols, and methods.
A blowout feature helps to dispense all excess liquid that may remain in the tip after the dispensing process, five deck positions and the option to pipet in rows or columns allow for increased experimental complexity. At the back end, a USB flash drive port supports data exchange and backup files.
In a recent Application Note, the Corning Lambda EliteMax Benchtop Pipettor was used to automate liquid handling of spheroid assays—an application requiring precise height and speed control due to the risk of damaging spheroids not attached to a surface. The Corning Lambda EliteMax Pipettor software allowed the user to easily control the dispense/aspiration rate, height, and volume while operating, thus preventing disruption of the spheroids in culture. The findings showed spheroid liquid handling with the Corning Lambda EliteMax Pipettor resulted in consistent luminescent signal across each plate and between plates, demonstrating consistent cell numbers within each well. Additionally, CV values under 13% and Z’ values above 0.6 highlight the robustness of the assay.
The findings highlight the potential for labs to trade the low-quality data, sample loss, and manpower constraints associated with manual pipetting for the reproducibility, efficiency, and flexibility of automated systems.