Using Bluetooth Electronic Pipettes for Repeatable and Traceable Results

Thomas De Witt Talmage famously once said, “The pen is the lever that moves the world.” If that is indeed true, then it may also be the case that the Bluetooth electronic pipette is, ‘the fulcrum upon which modern biological research is made.’

Applications of Electronic Pipettes

Pipettes are designed to fulfill a number of different requirements, and so may vary greatly in size, shape and technologies within the design. The advent of electronic pipettes was perhaps the most significant advancement in the field of late, revolutionizing the processes of liquid handling and bringing numerous benefits. These include that the pipettes permit reagent to be added rapidly to the wells of a microtiter plate without compromising on accuracy; a reduction in risk of repetitive strain injury thanks to improved ergonomic design, and a greater accuracy, thanks to a digital design and electronic piston.

The Andrew Alliance Bluetooth electronic pipette has been manufactured by the global market leader Sartorius at its cutting-edge facility based in Kajaani, Finland. The pipette’s true advantage is not only its lightweight model, but additionally its ‘connection’ to Andrew Alliance’s browser-based software environment, OneLab.

The system is collectively referred to as ‘Pipette+’.

Advantages of OneLab Software

Pipette+ easy pipetting system

Pipette+ easy pipetting system

Now let’s consider the software and its benefits for the user:

Though OneLab can be made available on a private server, it is conventionally cloud-based and freely accessible.  OneLab permits the creation of a wide range of pipetting protocols, assuming that they do not previously exist, without requiring previous programming knowledge. The user can just ‘drag and drop’ their requirements from a tablet, laptop or desktop PC.  These protocols can be easily and simply shared with colleagues and can be used for training purposes, whether for serial dilution, normalization, qPCR or indeed, multiple other workflow applications.

OneLab can the remotely set-up the pipette.

OneLab lab automation software for design, execution and sharing of protocols

OneLab lab automation software for design, execution and sharing of protocols

Imagine a future in which pipetting is automated. The user no longer has to struggle with the small and complex buttons on the pipette: instead, they can simply pick it up when ‘illuminated’, dispense/aspirate, and replace on its smart stand. The smart stand, incidentally, can provide both storage and charging, and comprises an embedded PC with the capacity of two-way communication between pipettes (Bluetooth) and OneLab (Ethernet/Wi-Fi). The design is both immensely practical and visually attractive – making it a great addition to any lab bench.

This connection with OneLab offers several key advantages over conventional pipettes. The first of these is the reduction in likelihood of human error and user-to-user variability, thanks to the automated process meaning that data and results become much more reproducible. The second of these is the increased ergonomic process for scientists, as the connected pipette requires much less hand movement and effort than liquid handling tasks with a manual pipette. Thus, the experience is smooth and efficient, which maintains and even increases accuracy and precision.

Pipette+ smart stand identifies, charges and communicates with pipettes

Pipette+ smart stand identifies, charges and communicates with pipettes

The user also has complete traceability. This stems from the relaying of step-by-step data to OneLab, as well as details of the last time and place the pipette was calibrated. This offers a complete auditability of the pipetting workflow, which is crucial in regulated laboratories. In addition, it offers the potential to troubleshoot pipetting problems and identify cause.

Challenges Faced in Research

The crisis of reproducibility in research is in no small part related to the lack of repeatability in pipetting, a problem that also negatively impacts the progress of ring trials as well as resulting in enormous waste of public sector research funding, and the advancement of new life saving therapeutics through the drug discovery pipeline.

Sartorius’ famous Picus design is the basis for the pipettes themselves, which continue to demonstrate world-leading liquid handling performance as well as superior ergonomics.  They have a full range of single and multichannel versions, which can dispense volumes ranging from 0.2 μl to 10 mL. Their technical specifications are displayed in the table below. These pipettes automatically pair with and are automatically identified by the smart charging stand.

Bluetooth electronic pipettes

Bluetooth electronic pipettes

Andrew Alliance single and multichannel Bluetooth electronic pipettes

Andrew Alliance single and multichannel Bluetooth electronic pipettes

Conclusion

Every year, the New Product Award is presented to three companies demonstrating new products which are to be commercially available either 90 days before or after the conference, at the Society of Laboratory Automation and Screening International Conference and Exhibition. The products on offer are evaluated by a judging panel onsite, and winning products are provided with the New Product Award designation for a year. The winner of the New Product Award in February 2019 was Andrew+.

About Andrew Alliance S.A.

Andrew Alliance is an independent, privately financed company, based in Geneva, Boston and Paris. The company was created in March 2011.

Andrew Alliance is dedicated to advance science by working with scientists to create a new class of easy-to-use robots and connected devices that take repeatability, performance, and efficiency of laboratory experiments to the level required by 21st-century biology.

Start with meeting customer needs, end with customer feedback.

Andrew Alliance delivers solutions that are focused on customer needs, both today and in the future. Our products are manufactured to the highest standards, using a range of carefully selected, proven, and sustainable technologies, that ensure both high performance and reliability. We actively seek continuous customer feedback, in order to guarantee the best possible design outcomes.


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Last updated: Jul 22, 2019 at 8:02 AM

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