Enhance genomic research with an all-in-one, compact liquid handling system.

The firefly impact

Multiple technologies are combined in a single compact design for more effective library and sample preparation workflows and maximum output. firefly®, powered by sophisticated, user-friendly software, unleashes the potential of automation for anyone to advance genomic research.


firefly streamlines genomic liquid handling procedures by merging pipetting, dispensing, incubation, and shaking technologies into a clever all-in-one solution.

Genomic compact liquid handling with firefly

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Compact design

The compact, streamlined form of firefly enables smart use of valuable laboratory footprint, allowing users to conduct more genomics research in less space. The best things do come in small packages.

Genomic compact liquid handling with firefly

Image Credit: SPT Labtech


Through a first-of-its-kind peer-to-peer cloud-based network, firefly connects researchers and inspires greater breakthroughs. To improve collaboration and expedite invention, share customized protocols, and quickly access validated tools.

Genomic compact liquid handling with firefly

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Intuitive, powerful software

firefly sets the standard for powerful liquid-handling software. Its easy-to-use interface unveils the potential of automation for all, placing the user in control of the workflows without the need for complex programming.

Genomic compact liquid handling with firefly

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Field application scientists

Working to advance genomics research

SPT Labtech technologies revolutionize how researchers work in genomics with solutions preferred by leading academic centers, biopharmaceutical companies, and technology partners worldwide. The expert team of application scientists collaborates directly with the user to guarantee that the protocols for the applications are scientifically sound, allowing the user to confidently apply innovative genomic liquid handling workflows.

Boost efficiency and flexibility with novel dispensing technology

firefly uses revolutionary dispensing technology to reduce tip use, reagent dead volumes, and protocol miniaturization, allowing users to maximize their research output. For maximum dispensing speed and flexibility, three or six dragonfly tip choices in any combination can be used.

Genomic compact liquid handling with firefly

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Setting a new standard for software

With a highly accessible user interface, log-in access control, and presumed “intelligence,” firefly establishes a new standard in liquid handling software, easing automated procedures. The potential to author on any PC maximizes efficiency in the lab, while full version management ensures a full audit trail.

Genomic compact liquid handling with firefly

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Shaping a new era of genomics research

Regardless of liquid viscosity or environmental conditions, the liquid handling portfolio ensures accurate and repeatable nanoliter to microliter pipetting and dispensing every time.

SPT Labtech uses cutting-edge technologies to improve workflows and expedite research. The products are robust, dependable, and simple, allowing researchers to focus on the best science possible.


System architecture

The firefly has a 384 pipetting module and three or six dispensing heads to enable flexible high-performance methods for various applications, such as NGS library prep and PCR setup. An innovative two-tier moveable deck system with an additional sub-deck layer for accessories packs much functionality into a small footprint.

Pipetting heads are available in three sizes: 384, 96, and columns of 16 (384 format) and 8 (96 format) from 0.5 µL to 125 µL (extending to 500 µL with an optional adapter). Uses dependable and proven air displacement technology with disposable tips and various tip kinds, including sterile and filtered alternatives.

Dispense heads come with three or six positive displacement syringes for non-contact, liquid-independent reagent dispensing. For speed, syringes can dispense various reagents individually or in parallel (any combination).

In conjunction with the pipetting head, the gripper module can move labware between decks and sub-deck levels.

Optional application accessories like magnetic plates, cooling and heating tiles, and shakers increase walk-away capability.

The safety enclosure shields users from moving parts while shielding samples and reagents from contaminants in the air. A big interlocking door allows for safe and easy system loading.

World-class user interface

With an intuitive user interface, secure log-in and audit trails, numerous user levels, and intelligent programming, firefly sets a new benchmark in genomics liquid handling software. firefly software makes automation available to every lab user with cloud-based sharing and the ability to author on any PC.

The graphical interface is exceptionally user-friendly and suitable for all skill levels. Researchers may create new protocols fast on any Windows PC or compatible device, even in a coffee shop.

Simple drag-and-drop allows for quick protocol setup with access to complex options for precise tuning by advanced users. Protocols can also be restricted and customized to enable the easiest setup for each user with clear running instructions, making the system accessible to everybody in the lab. Powerful audit trails and user access also protect processes and provide tools to aid compliance in regulated environments.

The embedded tablet allows firefly to be programmed and protocols to be executed at the instrument. The program can also be installed on external Windows-based devices to enable protocol writing away from the system. Share protocols with the instrument over a cloud connection, network, or USB stick for maximum flexibility and simplicity.

firefly software enables cloud access to a user community, allowing users to share protocols and gain access to SPT labtech-certified protocols and tools.

Pipetting head

The pipetting head includes a 384 core that can pipette up to 384 separate samples ranging from 0.5 µL to 125 µL in parallel (extended to 500 µL with adaptor plate in 96 format only). Other disposable tip formats are available to support working in both 384 and 96-well labware.

Tip formats

  • 384 standard, sterile, filtered and sterile; 125 µL, 50 µL, and 15 µL
  • 96 standard, sterile, filtered and sterile; 125 µL, 50 µL, and 15 µL
  • 8 strips (96 format) standard, sterile, filtered and sterile; 125 µL, 50 µL, and 15 µL
  • 16 strips (384 format) standard, sterile, filtered and sterile; 125 µL, 50 µL, and 15 µL

Strip tips allow users to work with partial or across plates, making serial dilutions easier.

An optional adaptor plate extends the pipetting range to 500 µL (96 format only)

Dispensing module

The system has three or six dispensing heads that can be coordinated for maximum throughput or separately regulated for reagent versatility.

True positive displacement disposable syringes allow non-contact liquid class agnostic dispensing at 200 nL to 4 mL. Each syringe can be utilized as a 4 mL reservoir to multi-dispense smaller doses, allowing users to dispense to an entire 96 or 384 well plate in as little as 30 seconds.

The non-contact dispensing mechanism allows tips to be used for several operations per reagent and significantly decreases tip consumption when compared to traditional pipetting approaches. There is no need for calibration, cleaning, or maintenance, and there is no risk of blocking or clogging.

Gripper module

The pipetting head has a gripper module that can move labware between deck and subdeck levels as well as on and off functional modules, such as shakers, heater/cooler plates, and magnetic blocks.

Certain accessories, such as incubation adaptor plates, can be moved by the gripper, so a microplate kept below deck on a heater/cooler plate can be moved to deck on its adaptor plate to maintain temperature while pipetting or dispensing, before being returned to the heater/cooler to resume active temperature control.

For greater workflow efficiency, the gripper can move labware with pipette tips in place; alternatively, tips can be removed before working with the gripper. It moves in unison with the pipetting head in terms of Y and Z movement, with an additional Z motion to reach down below the pipette tips to grip the labware. The grip mechanism can be programmed to choose and put ANSI/SBS labware.

The video reveals the story behind firefly, SPT Labtech introduces the team behind this revolutionary platform and their objective to speed up NGS library prep for everyone.

Igniting a brighter future of genomics liquid handling

We are excited to have created firefly, marking a step change towards a brighter future of genomics liquid handling. By democratizing access to intuitive, multi-functional automation, we will empower laboratories to drive even bigger genomic breakthroughs.

David Newble, CEO, SPT Labtech

Technical specification

Source: SPT Labtech

. . . .
Instrument variants firefly 3 and firefly 6 Pipetting module 384 pipetting core capable of loading 384, 96 or columns of 8 (96 format) or 16 (384 format)
Pipetting range and performance 0.5 uL to 125 uL, extended to 500 uL with 4in1 adaptor (96 format only) <3%* cv at 1 uL and above; +/- 2%* error at 1uL and above *Based on QC performance checks using aqueous reagents and specific microplates Particle sizes less than 0.032" diameter to prevent tip blockage
Tip options (NS = Non sterile, S = Sterile, FS = Filtered and sterile) 384 tips 125 uL 125-384-EZ=NS/S/FS
50 uL 050-384-EZ=NS/S/FS
15 uL 015-384-EZ=NS/S/FS
96 tips 125 uL tbc
50 uL tbc
Strip tips 384 format 125 uL 125-016-EZ-NS/S/FS
50 uL 050-016-EZ-NS/S/F
Strip tips 96 format 125 uL 125-008-EZ-NS/S/FS
50 uL 050-008-EZ-NS/S/FS
4in1 adaptor option p.n. Tbc converts 384 core to 500 uL core (96 only) Tips 500 uL 550-096-EZ-NS/S/FS
250 uL 250-096-EZ-NS/S/FS
Gripper Module Compatible with most SBS/ANSI labware Dispense Module  
Dispense volume range 200 nL to 4 mL Bulk dispense speed starting from 30 seconds per 96 or 384 well plate
Dead volume 30 uL or 200 uL recoverable dead volume depending on reservoir type Reservoir options Standard and low dead volume disposable troughs
Auto feed reservoirs
Primary SBS/ANSI plate formats 96, 384 and 1536* well labware including deepwell blocks and 96 format tubes up to 45mm in height. (*1536 is compatible with dispensing module and a limited range of pipetting options) Optional accessories Microplate cooler/heater block
Microplate shaker
Microplate cooler/heater/shaker
Dispense module reagent cooler/heater
4in1 pipetting adaptor
Dimensions (W x D x H) 660 mm x 560 mm x780 mm Weight 100 kg


Application ready

With pre-validated protocols for library preparation kits NEBNext Ultra II DNA; NEBNext Ultra II FS DNA; NEBNext Ultra II RNA; and Illumina DNA Prep, the firefly is fully application ready, with a rolling pipeline of new validated protocols in development. firefly’s capabilities in the lab are expanded by accessories, such as heating, cooling, and shaking, as well as magnetic blocks.

Genomic compact liquid handling with firefly

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Accurate and precise pipetting for genomics research

firefly provides highly accurate and precise air displacement pipetting in the 0.5 µl to 125 µL range, which is compatible with a number of 96 or 384 well plate designs. Automated tip loading speeds up time-consuming processes, and variable column loading allows researchers to manage partial plates or plate partitions more easily.

Genomic compact liquid handling with firefly

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

firefly+: Maximize walkaway time with complete hands-free NGS library preparation

firefly+ expands on the current liquid handling capabilities of firefly with an integrated thermocycler and additional labware capability, all while maintaining our commitment to usability and compact design. firefly+ grants genomics researchers the ability to run completely automated NGS library preparation, giving even more time for critical thinking tasks like data analysis and experiment design. 

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

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