The modern world is advancing rapidly in terms of technology. As a result, the field of life sciences is expanding in a plethora of ways. One major department that is contributing to the speedy innovation in the field of molecular biology is Liquid handling.
Liquid handling is a process that is playing a pivotal role in laboratories that are working for the betterment of life sciences. In experiments that include gene sequencing, antibody testing, protein crystallization, and drug screening, researchers have to transfer liquid biosamples on a daily basis from one container to another. These storage tanks are of varying sizes and are dispensed in substrates of different nature. In order to accommodate accurate experiments in favorable conditions, it is highly critical to implement precise liquid handling procedures. (Kong, 2012, 3)
The Rise Of Liquid Handling Automation Systems
The invention of liquid handling came into existence when scientists realized the importance of keeping substrate and other storage material in safe, secure, and reliable spaces. However, when researchers found out how beneficial technology can be in making experimental procedures seamless, they never looked back. As a result, the liquid handling automation system became the modern tool to handle experiments concerning laboratory sciences.
Many chemical analytical techniques require a series of liquid handling steps that are implemented to a bulk of samples. An example of this type of experiment is solid-phase extraction. In this laboratory procedure, components of a liquid sample are separated by using columns of absorbents. For further analysis, certain components undergo extensive separation.
These analytical procedures process hundreds of samples using solid-phase extraction, where the components are subjected to repetitive steps. Consequently, there are high chances of error if researchers carry out these experiments manually. To overcome these issues, scientists have come up with advanced systems that not only reduce the manual labor, but also ensure proper and accurate handling of liquid samples. Now, automation systems are commercially used and widely popular in industrial and academic sectors as well. (Riedi, 1992)
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What is the Hamilton Automation System?
The Hamilton Company is a well-known player in the industry of microbial sciences and technology. They provide ideal, smart, and sustainable automation solutions for laboratories.
The Hamilton automation system is popular globally among medical laboratories for many reasons. A few of them are:
Accurate Sample Traceability
When one talks about liquid handling systems, it is crucial to keep in mind that sample traceability is a vital factor that ensures the credibility of the tests. A slight error and all the effort goes in vain. To avoid a situation like this, it is necessary to implement the right procedure. With Hamilton automation system, you can enjoy a variety of tracing options like barcode scanning and digital-audit trail. You can easily manage sample tracking and chain-of-custody of your essays with this streamlined automation system.
Optimum Flow of Work
In laboratories, it is crucial to maintain an optimized workflow. Without it, one can never head operations along with proper and credible results. With Hamilton’s proven pipetting solutions, integrated modules, and pliable options for lab equipment transportation, you can achieve a fully automated workflow for your laboratory.
Firm and Persistent Results
Hamilton’s automation system is known for precision and reliability when it comes to results. It is the company that put down the foundation of efficient pipetting technologies.
Types of Hamilton Liquid Automation System
#1 Microlab VANTAGE
- Accurate Pipetting.
- Simple Architecture.
- Properly Integrated Tools and Accessories.
- Robust Optimized Software.
- Sample Tracking via Barcode Scanners.
- High Standards of Information Security.
Microlab VANTAGE from Hamilton’s range of automation liquid handling systems is available in the market in two sizes.
Both of these options come with pipette channels, transport devices, arms, and integrated cabinets.
#2 Microlab STAR
- Superior Pipetting Accuracy.
- Flexible Tools.
- Efficient Software.
- Personalized Platforms.
Microlab STAR has three available sizes. These include Microlab STAR, Microlab STARlet, and Microlab STARplus.
#3 Microlab NIMBUS
- Compact and Accommodating.
- Accurate Pipetting Results.
- Broad Range of Tools.
- Complimentary Software.
- Range of Options for different Assays.
- Choice of Open or Enclosed Platforms.
The Microlab NIMBUS is one of the most popular Hamilton liquid handling automation systems. It comes in four sizes, Microlab NIMBUS4, Microlab NIMBUS96, Microlab NIMBUS384, and Microlab NIMBUS HD.
#4 Microlab Prep
- Easy Configuration.
- Modern Pipetting Technology.
- User-friendly Software.
- Camera-Identified Labware
(Hamilton Automation Systems, 2020.)
The Trends in Liquid Handling
As technology keeps getting more and more advanced, the trends in automation liquid handling are reaching the sky as well. One of the most significant trends that have been prominent in recent years is the use of semi-customized systems for labs that can not afford or lack the budget for start-to-finish automation.
These systems bring automation to labs by offering a push-button operation that provides flexibility and allows the workers a comfortable combination of a manual and automated environment.
Furthermore, futuristic software customization also makes the handling of the liquid sample easier. Other than that, as accurate results are a crucial necessity, these update automation systems give more precise and consistent outcomes.
Such improvements in the biological field provide an easy and quick learning curve. As researchers and scientists are focusing on making more advancements in the field of life sciences, they can not afford any inconsistency in results. For that purpose, they are trying to make automated liquid handling as error-free as they can. Moreover, new-age users are looking for a friendly interface that ensures no compromise when it comes to making experiments useful, beneficial, and more rewarding.
Apart from that, the researchers are also focusing on developing systems that guarantee better security features and regulations. Other than that, in the future, users might be able to work with cell-based assays. As of now, Hamilton automation system is one of the best in terms of accessibility, efficiency, and productivity.
With the way things are progressing in the field of technology, there are high chances that the world will see better, practical, and smarter liquid handling procedures in near future. (Riedi, 1992)
Hamilton Automation Systems. (n.d.). Hamilton company. https://www.hamiltoncompany.com/automated-liquid-handling#services-and-support
Kong, F. (2012). Automatic Liquid Handling for Life Science: A Critical Review of the Current State of the Art. Journal of Laboratory Automation. https://doi.org/10.1177/2211068211435302
Riedi, E. (1992, 12 4). Liquid Handling Systems. Google Patent. https://patents.google.com/patent/US5324480A/en