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January 13th, 2005
Micro to Nano: Liquid Handling Gets Small
It is no secret to those in drug discovery and development that bottlenecks in liquid handling can cost pharma and biotech companies time and money. The industry has looked to automated liquid handling as a solution to this problem and benchtop automated systems and sample dispensing systems have become much more common. Over the last two to three years, however, automated instrumentation capable of handling plates with 96, 384, or 1,536 wells and potentially even higher densities have entered labs. And, as the rate of throughput has increased, other tools like nanoliter dispensing have emerged that make it possible to greatly decrease the amount of reagents needed for assays.
"Advances in the nanodispensing field are probably the most innovative, the most exciting to the people in the labs. They like the idea that you'll be able to aspirate and dispense nanoliter quantities of things," says John Morin, PhD, director of high-throughput screening in the Screening Sciences Group at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Collegeville, Pa.
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