Micro- and Nano Technologies
Laboratory automation plays a critical role for pharmaceutical research and development by enabling high-throughput quantitative assays to support projects of diverse modalities. In recent years, a number of automation technologies have emerged that may further accelerate analytical workflows. Contactless dispense technology, like the HP D300e allows for rapid dispensing of sub microliter volumes for rapid preparation of dilution curves. To achieve optimum efficiency though automation, performance bottlenecks must be addressed throughout the entire workflow process. The systems should be integrated as part of a larger platform to accommodate different assay requirements and plate capacity. However, integrated automation systems are often difficult to program, especially when supporting various projects with diverse experimental parameters.
There is a need for a fast automation platform that is easy to operate, can support diverse assays and method development. To this end, we have implemented an integrated system consisting of a Hamilton liquid handler, HP D300e nanodispenser, and a Biotek plate washer. The system operates through a graphic user interface allowing users to select custom parameters of a specific assay. LIMS systems are used to facilitate data processing and interpretation. This integrated system allows for easy job submission, rapid sample processing, and maximizing user walkaway time of up to 3 hours. The development and applications of these end-to-end integrated platforms for quantitative analytical support of small molecule PK, ligand binding assays, and metabolic stability workflows will be discussed.