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At present, more and more industrial laboratories and laboratories of scientific research institutes are using robots or automated instruments to carry out daily work and scientific research. Automating time-consuming, laborious, repetitive tasks has become a trend in many industries, such as food processing, drug screening, and genome sequencing. Compared with the traditional manual operation method, this kind of automation not only greatly improves the work efficiency, but also greatly reduces the possible errors caused by manual operation.

Since the mid-1990s, automated, high-throughput DNA extraction and sequencing work has been carried out in many major foreign sequencing centers. After this, the few laboratories working on bacterial typing began to try to establish semi-automated workflows. In the construction of clinical testing laboratories and human gene libraries, the degree of automation of sample processing is gradually increasing.

The DNA extraction automation handling instrument is mainly composed of a mechanical working arm, a sample workbench, various functional modules and a computer host. It realizes high-throughput automation of nucleic acid extraction and other processes by integrating various functional modules.

Ⅰ. An excellent automated liquid handling instrument should have the following characteristics

①Have standard automatic operation procedures; ②The operating system should be flexible and simple, and the software functions are powerful; ③It can be integrated with various instruments to complete various liquid transfers, and the robotic arm is compatible with a variety of sample adding systems and can integrate more accessories to provide multi-purpose customized functions for customers; ④It has good cleaning system to prevent cross-contamination during pipetting; ⑤It has sample tracking and process control system, which can accurately monitor contamination; ⑥It has accurate pipette tip positioning system and liquid transfer system, which can automatically complete sample transfer and liquid level monitoring in a high speed; ⑦ The overall molecular biology program includes excellent instruments and reagents, and the reagents are open.

In a large number of laboratories, the application of laboratory automation systems is very low, and a lot of work needs to be done manually by staff. However, in many laboratories or testing institutions, such as microbial genotyping in microbiology laboratories, a large number of samples need to be processed, and traditional purely manual operations have been difficult to meet this demand in terms of efficiency and reliability. In microbial genotyping, a large number of samples need to be subjected to PCR experiments, and manual sample addition can only use a 96-well PCR reaction system. If a 384-well PCR reaction system is used for manual operation, the error rate will be greatly increased. After using the automated liquid handling instrument, a 384-well PCR system can be used, and the experimental efficiency is greatly improved.

Ⅱ. Application of the automated liquid handling instrument

In addition to microbial genotyping laboratories, automated liquid handling instruments can also be used in food testing laboratories, forensic laboratories and other laboratories. In addition, the automated liquid handling instrument has a wider range of applications and experimental fields:

1. Quantitative PCR. Such experiments are different from qualitative PCR reactions and require higher precision and accuracy for sample processing to avoid falsely high reaction products due to experimental errors in sample addition. With quantitative PCR, the reliability of the reaction results can be guaranteed.

2. Enzyme labeling reaction. Contamination of reactants caused by traditional pipe-based dosing can be avoided thanks to the replaceable nozzle.

3. Fluorescence and chemiluminescence high-throughput detection of proteins. Combined with plate-reading fluorescence and chemiluminescence high-throughput protein detectors, proteins can be quantified more efficiently and accurately.

4. Genetic engineering, etc. For example, the desired cells or bacterial clones can be taken out from the 24 plates or other cultures, and the clones can be rearranged in the order of their own design.

5. Biologics or biopharmaceutical pilot trials. In addition to handling liquid transfer between plates, the automated liquid handling instrument can also handle special sample addition tasks such as tubes and plates, or glass test tubes and centrifuge tubes that most automatic sample adding handling instruments cannot do, so its application can involve more wide range.

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