The STAR liquid handling workstation supports the chain of custody in every aspect of pipetting, labware handling and sample tracking:
When the autoload option is used, the barcodes of all tips, labware, and carriers can be read as they are loaded. This confirms the correct items are loaded in the correct spot. A record of all loaded items can be stored and used to control the pipetting process. Barcode data sets can be compared to worklists from LIMS, exported as data files, or printed.
Total Aspiration and Dispense Monitoring (TADM)
Each channel has its own pressure sensor to monitor pressure in the pipette. This data is monitored and stored in real-time. This provides independent evidence that the pipetting operated within standard conditions or not. Under pressure or over pressure conditions experienced during specific times of the pipetting cycle can reveal if a clog, foam, insufficient sample or improper dispense occurred.
Tip Type Detection
Each tip has a unique size and is physically different at the tip attachment site so that the tip channel can sense which tips is attached. The workstation automatically checks type with the tip size called out in the application script. A record of this data can be stored.
Labware Grip Sensing
Hysteresis in both the CO-RE grippers and iSWAP articulating labware gripper motors are monitored and recorded during their use. This data is used to confirm if a labware was picked-up or not during labware transfers.
The STAR can monitor and record the hysteresis on the z-drive (up/down) of the pipetting channels. This information can be used to determine if labware is present or not prior to pipetting further confirming that the method executed correctly.
Liquid Level Sensing
The STAR pipetting channels are equipment with capacitive and pressure level sensing and recording functions. These techniques can be used to check or confirm the liquid level in an individual well prior to or after pipetting.
The STAR's VENUS software offers seamless sample tracking over single runs, multiple steps or even multiple runs.