Festo’s DHOP Advances Lab Automation with High-Throughput Pipetting with Closed-Loop Control
March 21, 2023
The DHOP seamlessly integrates with Festo’s world-class mechatronic systems
Festo’s new DHOP closed-loop pipette head for high-speed robotic pipetting applications delivers consistent volumes over a wide range of liquid viscosities. In so doing, it assures the utmost in automation flexibility, speed, and feedback where devices are frequently required to handle many liquids.
Based on Festo’s innovative air-over-liquid fluid handling system, the DHOP pipette ensures that aspiration and dispensing are independent of viscosity. Liquid aspirates into the disposable tip using vacuum and dispenses using pressure. That increases microfluidic speed and flexibility. By measuring the pressure change when a liquid is aspirated or dispensed, the device is able to calibrate for different viscosities without user input. Faster changeover between liquids leads to higher throughput and maximum device utilization.
Applications for this closed-loop pipette head, which was featured at the recent SLAS lab automation exhibition in San Diego, include pre-analytical preparation of patient samples, where liquid properties might change from patient to patient.
DHOP provides the control system with feedback on every pipetted volume for traceability and quality assurance. The internal controller adjusts the target volume and returns the achieved value to the controller. Pressure-based liquid level detection prior to aspiration ensures maximum precision. Any foam on the surface is ignored in level detection. The liquid velocity is adjusted by changing the pressure on the system; this allows for soft dispensing with sensitive media or better droplet separation with small volumes.
The DHOP seamlessly integrates with Festo’s world-class mechatronic systems, including the new EXCL multi-axis gantry, to lower engineering, acquisition, and assembly costs while increasing machine capabilities.
The DHOP also is compatible with the just introduced DHAP disposable pipette tips. DHAP tips prevent contamination when handling different liquids because a new tip is automatically used for every pipetting process. Picking, sensing, and ejecting – the complete automated handling process for disposable tips – is integrated into the DHOP.
Festo designs its components, such as DHOP, EXCL, the new PGVA-2 pressure and vacuum generator, pipettes, and other lab automation components, to interoperate, which reduces engineering and lowers risk. The DHOP integrates seamlessly with the PGVA-2 pressure and vacuum generator, a compact solution for laboratories without a central compressed air supply. A single PGVA-2, which allows the pressure supply to be centralized, can operate up to eight DHOP pipette heads.
Festo’s New Multi-Axis EXCL Gantry Breaks Price/Performance Barriers in Lab Automation
Festo introduces the EXCL, a multi-axis gantry kit that lowers acquisition, engineering, and assembly costs for automated sample handling and liquid dispensing in laboratory devices. The EXCL joins Festo’s rapidly expanding portfolio of products dedicated to applications in the life sciences, and in particular laboratory automation.
It was one of three products that had their North American debut at the recent SLAS event in San Diego, along with the DHOP closed-loop, high speed pipette head and DHAP pipette tips.