Addcare‘s range of immunoassay workstations combine all functions required to process microplate based immunoassays on an efficient, convenient and fast platform. Sample- and reagent transfer are performed by the high precision pipetting system. An array of shaker-incubators carry the microplates, assure accurate reaction temperature and efficient mixing. A high performance 96-well microplate washer module provides fast and efficient washing. The measurement module selected to match your specific assay technology ELISA, CLIA or FIA, provides reliable raw data to be evaluated and the plate transfer arm moves the plate between the modules used for each individual processing step.
The system is complemented by ADC station, a powerful PC-software providing an intuitive user interface to control all system functions, define and execute the desired processes, perform evaluation and provide access to results and process data.
Air displacement technology and disposable tips
The pipetting modules in Addcare’s assay processors utilize drip-proof air displacement pipetting with disposable tips. This technology eliminates any risk of cross contamination by carryover and prevents sample dilution with system liquid, both common in washable tip systems. Different sizes of disposable tips can be used to match the specific pipetting requirements.
Real time tip monitoring
During tip-loading, pipetting and tip-ejection the system continuously monitors the presence and proper fixing of each tip. In case of a problem the software will automatically set necessary actions, like retry loading the tips to assure continuous operation or display the related warning and ask for user intervention if necessary.
Liquid handling process monitor
During aspiration the pipetting system automatically monitors three parameters vital for accurate pipetting and reliable assay processing. If a problem is identified the system provides an alarm and the operator can eliminate the reason immediately.
Liquid level monitoring is used to detect the surface of the liquid to be pipetted, to assure identical conditions for aspiration and accurate pipetting across all channels. The pressure based detection system allows for the use of standard pipetting tips.
Clot monitoring, based on sophisticated analysis of the pressure profile for each individual channel during aspiration, is used to detect clogged tips.
Tube volume monitoring uses the detected liquid level, the sample- or reagent-container geometry- and its position data to calculate the liquid volume available in the related vessel. If the available volume is not sufficient to continue the scheduled process, the system will provide a warning and ask for user intervention.
All 8-, 4- and 2-channel systems provide the possibility to deactivate faulty channels if necessary. The system can then still be operated and continue the protocol with the remaining, intact channels until the problem can be eliminated. This feature prevents critical down time of the system while your lab is busy and gives you the chance to plan maintenance when appropriate.
Dynamic Pipetting Channel Positioning System
The automatic pipetting head allows simultaneous, independent vertical movement of each individual pipetting channel. At the same time the spacing between the individual channels can be automatically adjusted to the required, equidistant grid. This design increases flexibility and processing speed in sophisticated pipetting tasks like the parallel transfer of samples from sample tubes to the microplate or other reaction vessels.
Dispensing Modes of Aspirating Samples
Multiple Dispensing: The aspirated samples can be subsequently distributed to a number of target vessels.
Diversified Dispensing: The aspirated samples are simultaneously transferred to different target vessels.
Intelligent plate transfer arm
Together with sophisticated pipetting head, the intelligent plate transfer arm makes up the centerpiece of the Addcare assay processing platform. It can rapidly, precisely and safely pick up microplates and transfer them between the different modules on the workbench involved in the assay process. In order to increase speed and flexibility the plate transfer arm can be simultaneously positioned along the Y-axis, independent of the pipetting head. In order to increase operating safety the transfer arm will keep holding the plate even during a power failure.
The shaker incubator modules allows individual control of the required temperature setting and shaking parameters. Depending on the number of pipetting channels available on the system, the number of incubators is carefully defined to match the specific processing speed and system throughput and grouped in arrays of 2, 4, 9 or 16 modules.
Sample pipetting and reagent dispensing are performed with the plates positioned on their assigned incubator. This allows to set the target temperature after pipetting is completed to decrease time shift effects across the plate. If desired, the empty plate can be pre-incubated, resulting in a faster rise of temperature after pipetting.
If required, light protection covers may be placed on the plates during incubation.
Microplate washer modules
All Addcare immunoassay processing systems are equipped with a high performance microplate washer modules, designed to provide high throughput and consistent washing performance across the plates with a specified residual volume after aspiration of less than 2µl per well. Depending on the model the systems are either equipped with an 8 – (optionally 16- or 24) or 96-well washer module. The high throughput system ADC ELISA 1100 even incorporates 3 parallel 96-channel washer modules located between the two cabinets.
In order to process plates partially filled with strips, groups of 3 adjacent columns of the 96-channel manifold can be individually activated or deactivated. ADCstation provides full control over all relevant parameters like the selection of the wash buffer, the wash mode, wash liquid volume, overflow washing height, wash cycles, soak time and others. In order to simplify method definition wash protocols can be predefined and assigned to the related processing methods.
The plate carrier of the 96-channel washer module can hold up to three microplates at a time, so plates can remain on the washer during soak time, while other plates are processed in parallel without the need to transfer them unnecessarily. This eliminates a common bottleneck in automated immunoassay processing and significantly increases throughput of the complete system.
Different wash buffers can be held available in parallel and selected automatically. Each wash buffer container is equipped with a liquid level sensor. Distilled water provided in a separate container is used to purge the manifold and avoid clogging.
Multi angle barcode scanner. It can be used to identify sample tubes in the tube racks, distinguish between tubes with barcode, tubes without barcode and rack positions without tube. Additionally the location of reagent carriers can be identified.
Microplate Measurement Module
Addcare Immunoassay Workstations are equipped with high quality microplate measurement modules, matching the assay technology to be processed. They assure reliable and accurate measurement data acquisition. Alternatively a photometric microplate reader module (ELISA version), a microplate luminometer (CLIA version) or a fluorescence reading module (FIA version) is installed onto the desired processor platform to create a system tailored to your specific needs.
Control of the reader function as well as evaluation, validation and assignment of the results to the sample IDs is completely integrated in the processing methods defined in ADCstation.