Liquid handling robots are automated machines that are used in scientific laboratories for testing liquids. These devices work by dispensing a sampling liquid into a tube or microplates which can then be tested.
Uses for liquid handling robots
These liquid handling robotics are valued in laboratories for their quality of testing and speed and high precision of results. This is due to the time that manual testing can take, where much time is spent on processes like:
- Weighing liquids
- Preparing samples
- Throughput sequencing and screening
Functions of liquid handling robots
While there are different kinds of liquid handling robots, they all have the same core of functions which include:
- Dispensing heads that eject the sample liquids.
- A washing station that makes sure the sample remains uncontaminated.
- Sensors that ensure the quality of the sample dispensation. This works hand in hand with the motherboard.
- A motherboard, or control centre that is responsible for the programming and execution of the robot.
Some types of robots are built for single function, while others can produce multiple samples at one time. The price for these robots varies depending on the capacity required.
Sample capacity, or volume, is the main thing that is considered when on the market for a liquid handling robot. The amount of liquid that can be handled commonly ranges to anywhere from 0.5 µl to 5 L.
Academic research and liquid handling robots
Common areas of research that liquid handling robots are applied within are:
- Genetics and epigenetics – this has contributed to increased speed of disease examination.
- Pharmaceuticals – this industry employs 1/3 of these robots.
- Molecular biology assays – this research includes crystallography, antibody assays and molecular assays.
- Biological research – drug development laboratories and biological research are prioritised here.