Using Illumina Infinium Microarrays in flowbot® ONE

In Poland, a high-tech lab is performing genotyping of cattle for the Polish Federation of Cattle Breeders and Dairy Farmers with Illumina Infinium microarrays – a tool for analyzing genetic variations.

This allows farmers and breeders to use the cattle with the right genomes and, consequently, get better results with fewer resources.

To optimize the process, they are preparing the microarrays with the flowbot® ONE.

A much needed automation solution

We first met Lab Manager Marta Gozdek last year when she was looking into automating the liquid handling involved.

In collaboration with Alab, the distributor of flowbot ONE in Poland, and Flow Robotics, they got a customized solution that enabled them to prepare the Illumina Infinium microarrays in flowbot ONE.

“I wanted to automate the process to increase efficiency and throughput. Compared to other solutions, the flowbot ONE is much more affordable, and it offers just as much,” says Lab Manager Marta Gozdek and adds; “Both the flexibility of the flowbot ONE and the helpfulness of Flow Robotics enabled us to make this special application.”

With flowbot ONE as their trusted lab partner, the lab can process 1600 samples per week with each sample taking 2-3 days to process.

Lab Manager Marta Gozdek estimates that it is twice the amount they would manage if they were to pipette manually, and that their throughput has doubled after implementing flowbot ONE.

“What makes flowbot ONE so great for this job is its very high precision and accuracy as well as how user-friendly it is. We spend only one day learning how to use it and creating our own protocols. That is very impressive for a pipetting robot in such a complicated workflow,” she explains.

In a production lab like this, they run the same protocol day after day.

“In this scenario, the most important thing is that it is a reliable and easy-to-use instrument. We found that in the flowbot ONE,” adds Dariusz Kamola from Alab, who was also working at the project at the time.

Every human mistake generates high costs in terms of lost samples and arrays. With flowbot ONE we can keep our timelines and the clients can rely on our services

Marta Gozdek, Lab Manager

A reliable instrument for a complicated protocol

Preparing microarrays for multiplexing includes an extremely extensive pipetting process, and it takes a lot of time and effort.

To prepare the samples, the flowbot ONE transfers them to the Infinium microarrays with an 8 channel pipette module. The microarrays are then placed vertically into a rack chamber to perform an Illumina Infinium XT protocol. In the protocol, the flowbot ONE adds antibodies and dyes on top of the now vertical arrays, using a 1 channel pipette module.

“Handling microarrays is not easily done manually. It’s very prone to human mistakes as both the volumes and distances between the wells are extremely small. Every human mistake generates high costs in terms of lost samples and arrays. With flowbot ONE we can keep our timelines and the clients can rely on our services,” she finishes.

Meanwhile, in the background, the flowbot ONE has finished preparing the samples and started adding antibodies on the arrays – thus, securing accurate and fast results.

biobanking with liquid handling robot flowbot ONE


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