|Genome Sequencing Technologies and Resources
DOE Human Genome Program Contractor-Grantee Workshop
25. Prep Track I - A Dynamic Approach to Liquid Handing Robotics
D. Humphries, M. Pollard, J. Bercovitz,
C. Reiter, and B. Gray
Prep Track I is a modular liquid handling robot that was developed at LBNL for the Human Genome Project. This machine has been in productive operation for more than a year. The basic function of this machine is to process solutions in micro-titer plates that are removed from input cassettes and fed to two conveyor belts where various liquid processes are performed by 96 syringe multi-dispensers or hydra heads. After processing, the plates are automatically loaded into output cassettes. The hydra heads of each module have access to automated wash and rinse baths and, for some modules, a cold plate and rinse bath system. Production activity on Prep Track I has indicated a need for increased capability and flexibility in the physical infrastructure of the device. Towards this end, innovations from the newer Prep Track II are being applied to Prep Track I to allow a flexible three bath system with an interchangeable cold plate arrangement. A programmable valve manifold and multiple reservoirs will allow rapid reconfiguration of the bath/supply system by simply changing protocols and in some cases switching the physical order of baths and cold plates. The detail design process for Prep Track I is in turn feeding forward into Prep Track II to increase its capability and flexibility.
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