Laboratories today rely on technology more than ever before. One of the most critical pieces of technology is an automated liquid handler. Automated liquid handlers have revolutionized laboratory operations by offering numerous advantages and benefits. In this article, we will explore what automated liquid handlers are, how they work, and the advantages they provide to laboratories.
An automated liquid handler is a robotic device used to dispense and handle liquids. It automates many laboratory tasks that were traditionally performed manually. Automated liquid handlers are designed to handle a wide range of liquids, including water, solvents, buffers, reagents, and samples.
Automated liquid handlers work using a combination of hardware and software. The hardware includes a robotic arm, pipettes, and a deck for holding labware. The software controls the robotic arm's movement and the dispensing of liquids. The liquid handler software also allows for precise control of the dispensing volumes and locations.
Automated liquid handlers provide numerous advantages over manual liquid handling methods. The most significant advantages are:
Increased Efficiency: Automated liquid handlers are faster and more efficient than manual liquid handling methods. They can dispense and handle large volumes of liquids in a shorter amount of time, reducing the time required for laboratory tasks. This increased efficiency also allows for more experiments to be performed in less time, increasing the laboratory's productivity.
Precision and Accuracy: Automated liquid handlers offer precise and accurate dispensing of liquids. They can dispense liquids in small volumes with high precision, which is critical for many laboratory applications. Automated liquid handlers also eliminate the risk of human error, such as pipetting errors, that can occur with manual methods.
Standardization: Automated liquid handlers ensure that laboratory tasks are performed consistently and reliably. The software used in automated liquid handlers allows for the creation of standard protocols, ensuring that laboratory tasks are performed the same way every time. This standardization also ensures that results are consistent and reproducible.
Cost-Effective: Automated liquid handlers are cost-effective in the long run. They reduce the need for manual labor, which can be expensive in terms of time and resources. Automated liquid handlers also reduce the need for consumables such as pipette tips, which can be costly in the long run.
Automated liquid handlers find applications in a variety of laboratory tasks and experiments. They are commonly used in:
Drug Discovery and Development: Automated liquid handlers are used in the drug discovery and development process. They can dispense and handle large volumes of liquids, allowing for high-throughput screening of compounds. Automated liquid handlers also ensure that laboratory tasks are performed consistently and reliably, ensuring that results are consistent and reproducible.
Clinical Diagnostics: Automated liquid handlers are used in clinical diagnostics to handle patient samples. They can dispense and handle small volumes of liquids with high precision, ensuring that patient samples are not wasted. Automated liquid handlers also reduce the risk of contamination, ensuring that patient samples are not compromised.