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Laboratory liquid handlers are a class of automated instruments used to dispense, transfer, dilute, or mix samples and reagents. Liquid handlers accurately handle small sample volumes, ranging from microliters to milliliters, and perform a variety of operations, including pipetting, mixing, and serial dilution.
Automated liquid handlers offer several benefits when compared with manual experimental prep.
Water purification systems remove a wide variety of contaminants from feed water (tap water or pre-treated water) to produce pure water ideal for a host of applications within the lab.
Laboratory shakers rotate in an orbital, or reciprocating, motion to ensure thorough mixing of liquid samples and reagents.
PCR thermal cyclers optimize sample conditions to empower the amplification of target nucleic acid sequences for quantitative and qualitative analysis. Thermal cyclers are designed to perform two types of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods: end-point, or standard PCR, and real-time qPCR.
Vortexers, or vortex mixers, gently agitate liquid samples by creating a vortex motion within the sample tube. Vortexers are composed of a drive shaft, oriented vertically, and connected to an electric motor, encased in a plastic or steel housing. The top end of the drive shaft protrudes from the housing and attaches to a micro-tube cup adapter or rack designed to accommodate microplates or multiple test tubes. Simple vortexers turn on automatically when a micro-tube, containing the sample, is pressed into the rubber cup. Advanced vortexers include analog or digital controllers with on/off switches, mixing speed controls, vortex timers, and alarms.
Laboratory homogenizers mix, blend or pulverize chemical and biological samples to form a uniform, homogenous suspension for further analysis. More specifically, homogenizers are used to lyse cellular structures, mill environmental samples, emulsify immiscible materials, and disperse chemical compounds by particle size.
Laboratory circulators and chillers precisely control the temperature of deionized water, bath fluid, or PH-neutral buffer for delivery to integrated or external water baths, analytical instruments, incubators, and wet processing stations.
Laboratory furnaces are composed of a heating element connected to a sampling chamber and regulated by a digital controller.
Laboratory evaporators remove solvents, such as acetone, methanol, DMSO or water, from aqueous samples for solvent recycling or distillation, sample purification, compound separation, or sample concentration.
Laboratory mixers consist of an oscillating, motorized platform, designed to hold flasks, beakers, or tubes, installed onto a stabilizing base and connected to an analog or digital controller to regulate the movement and speed of the platform.
Unlike high-speed lab shakers or vortexers, which mix samples in orbital or vortex motions, mixers gently agitate samples in linear rocking, tilting or rotating motions. Commonly used in molecular biology or biochemistry labs, mixers are ideal for gel staining, western blotting, or hybridization assays.