Life science labs are confronted with a growing need to process more samples in parallel without jeopardizing the quality of their results. At a certain point it becomes impossible to keep up the pace using traditional multichannel pipettes.
Yet, many users are hesitant to invest into automated liquid handling equipment because of the complexity and costs associated with such systems. INTEGRA’s VIAFLO 96 and VIAFLO 384 close the gap between traditional manual pipettes and robotic systems.
We purchased the liquid handler from INTEGRA Biosciences nearly three years ago and are very pleased with it. We use it to replicate collections and yeast strains and to perform genetic screens in 96 well plates. Thanks to the speed and efficiency of the VIAFLO 96 we can, for instance, replicate a whole collection of 5784 yeast strains in less than one week. Our VIAFLO 96 has proven to be a great liquid handling device not only because of the speed and efficiency but also for its practicality. Set up is simple and operation intuitive. You can set-up a repeat mixing and dispensing application as well as change the aspirated liquid volume at any time. Moreover, its compact size allows you to fit it easily into any almost any laboratory space. I would strongly recommend the VIAFLO 96 for any type of 96 or 384-well plate applications
Ewa Blaszczak, a PhD researcher at IGDR.
VIAFLO 96 is a handheld 96-channel pipette designed to fit on any lab bench.
It introduces a new concept in 96-channel pipetting, which is affordable and as simple to use as a traditional handheld pipette.
VIAFLO 384 is an enhanced version of the successful VIAFLO 96 pipette.
It offers the same intuitive operation but allows working with both 96- and 384-channel heads.
Loading 384 tips naturally requires higher loading forces.
The necessary instrument adaptions could be made without increasing the footprint or altering the compact design.
VIAFLO 96 and VIAFLO 384 are used just like traditional handheld pipettes. They are controlled by hand-eye coordination, but the movements are supported by a servo assisted steering mechanism.
This provides for an effortless workflow and enables precise targeting of the microplate wells. The unique concept was deliberately chosen so a user can intuitively operate the pipette without special training.
Achoice of ten predefined pipetting modes provides users with convenient solutions for the most common liquid handling tasks.
Standard pipetting routines, such as plate to plate transfers or multiple dispenses from a reservoir to a plate, can be executed without the need of any programming.
For more elaborate pipetting routines, up to 40 personalized custom programs can be set up and saved on the instrument.
All settings of the pipette are easily modified over the touch wheel controlled graphical user interface.
Being responsible for training of new staff, I also appreciate that the VIAFLO 96 is user friendly and intuitive to use because very little training is required.
Andreas Lehmann, an Expert Technical Assistant working in Molecular Partners 96-well high throughput expression facility
Accelerate multiwell pipetting
VIAFLO 96 and 384 offer unmatched speed when transferring 96 or 384 samples at once. It is ideal for fast and convenient sample transfers either from plate to plate, reservoir to plate or within plates.
Filling five 96-well plates is accomplished in only 25 seconds, as with an 8-channel manual pipette 165 seconds and with an electronic version 100 seconds are needed.
Space saving footprint
With its compact design the unit requires little space on a lab bench and fits into most laminar flow hoods to allow work under sterile conditions.
There are two plate holders on the instrument base to accept tip boxes, microplates or reagent reservoirs. Up to 8 microplates can be stacked during pipetting to make maximum use of the plate holders.
GripTips for reliable pipetting results
Reliable tip sealing and firm tip attachment to the pipette are essential for reproducible and error-free pipetting.
VIAFLO 96/384 features the advanced GripTip system. During loading the GripTip pipette tips are locked onto the tip fitting of the pipetting head, which guarantees that they will never accidently fall off, even when performing a tip touch on the sidewall of a vessel. In addition, the system provides a perfect sealing of every tip attached, preventing uneven pipetting or sample spillage.
The GripTips are comfortably loaded and ejected without any physical effort due to a power assisted mechanism activated by a push button. The loading procedure also guarantees that GripTips are not touched by the user and remain sterile.
GripTips are offered in non-sterile, sterile and sterile filtered configurations to satisfy all application demands. Filtered GripTips reliably protect the pipetting head against contaminations caused by aerosols.
Depending on the tip size, GripTips are packaged in two different tip boxes. Larger volume GripTips (300 µl, 1250 µl) are delivered in boxes of 96 tips.
The smaller volume GripTips (12.5 µl, 125 µl) are filled in a spaceefficient 384-fold grid in XYZ boxes. These boxes house 4 times as many tips and feature the standard SBS-footprint.
GripTips for use with VIAFLO 96/384 undergo a strict quality control to assure perfectly straight pipette tips, enabling accurate dispenses into 96- and 384-well plates.
Flexible volume range
Users can simply change the pipetting head of their VIAFLO 96/384 to guarantee optimal matching of the available volume range to the application performed. Changing a pipetting head of VIAFLO 96/384 is easy and takes less than a minute.
Each channel of a pipetting head is independent, having its own precise piston and sealing to exclude any cross-channel influences for error-free pipetting.
The VIAFLO 96 provided all the adjustment options, which we had been used to with manual pipettes, plus a specified tip immersion depth for each pipetting step. With our PCR protocol, which involves ten full liquid transfers per plate, we now only use half the amount of pipette tips as we can use the same tips for liquid addition and -aspiration in each washing step. VPV Department staff has found using the VIAFLO 96 highly intuitive and the overall time required for our PCR washing procedures has been reduced to approximately one third of the original time.
Dr. Andreas Volk, a research scientist at Octapharma Biopharmaceuticals.