The mosquito HV Genomics represents the next generation of liquid handling for genomics. Gone are the days of molecular biologists carrying ice buckets with samples and reagents around the lab.
The mosquito series of automated liquid handlers from SPT Labtech (formerly TTP Labtech) have become extremely successful due to their robust design, high precision delivery and zero cross contamination. Researchers involves in DNA and RNA sequencing have been wanting a liquid handling system with these capabilities that alleviates bottlenecks with sequencing operations such as cost, scale up of sample numbers and NGS sample preparation. Now, genomics researchers can enjoy the benefits that drug discovery and protein crystallography researchers have enjoyed for over a decade.
Working with Genomics Researchers
Having identified a market niche that could benefit from an automated liquid handling solution, SPT Labtech worked with a number of genomics customers. Through conversations with them, SPT Labtech’s product development team identified key areas where they could add useful functionality for these applications and improve usability. This resulted in prototypes and beta testing in 2019, resulting in a product launch in November 2019.
What’s Different About the mosquito HV Genomics?
The new mosquito Genomics model features both hardware and software upgrades to suit the needs of genomics researchers.
In terms of new hardware features, the mosquito HV Genomics includes:
- Cooling block – cleverly engineered to achieve a high cooling capacity in a low profile format that adds flexibility to the set-up process, giving peace of mind when working with sensitive samples or reagents
- Magnetic plate – for ease of use and secure locating
- Bead clean-up protocols – producing excellent yields and successful clean-ups even with highly miniaturised protocols
The new design comes with a touchscreen and new software where researchers can choose between the traditional interface and the set-up “wizards” that simplify and standardise popular protocols. By working with beta testers, the wizards benefit from many years of hands-on experience. From a useability perspective, the designers have made it easy as possible to set up miniaturised protocols in just a few clicks. This makes the system ideal for NGS core facilities as well as shared facilities with multiple users of with various levels of experience.
In terms of pipetting specifications, the new system utilises their unique and proven positive displacement technology that maintain accuracy regardless of liquid viscosity or liquid class. Experienced users may notice that the new instrument is quieter and slightly faster. There is also an improved status lighting on the instrument and a few changes to the design resulting improved ergonomics.
Applications throughout Genomics
The new cooling block will be advantageous to anyone who works with either single cell or bulk RNA, or with sensitive enzymatic reagents. Keeping plates cool during set-up adds peace of mind and produces more consistent results.
The new bead clean-up process will also be helpful in single cell RNA-seq and bulk library preparation workflows. SPT Labtech is also validating the process with the Nextera Flex, Illumina’s latest on-bead library prep kit. The improved handling means that users can get up to speed even faster by running protocols with little or no training. Overall, SPT Labtech is making automation and miniaturisation more accessible to scientists in genomics
Benefits for Other mosquito Users
These upgrades address common applications in molecular biology and genomics and are relevant across the spectrum, from academic research to industry. This benefits existing mosquito HV users as the newly introduced cooling blocks fits all mosquito decks and the magnetic bead clean-up process is also compatible with existing mosquito HVs. There will also be an upgrade path for the software on the HV which will require minor upgrades, but will extend its versatility.
The new design features incorporated into the new mosquito HV Genomics culminate in a user-friendly instrument with high levels of automation and accuracy making it your perfect lab partner. The new cooling block and protocol wizards give you access to a wealth of knowledge, accelerating the miniaturisation of your workflow. The system also enables you to achieve your goals of producing more quality data using less of your expensive reagents, increasing the efficiency of your lab.