Hamilton has successfully developed and produced automated solutions for our OEM partners. Examples of some of these solutions include:
Donor Blood Screening
Utilizing the Microlab STAR liquid handling workstation, Hamilton Robotics created an automation solution to process blood samples in tubes. In this case, the downstream ELISA-based assay was already automated on an older Hamilton liquid handler. Incorporating the existing automation, the new solution required the optional integration of the STAR with another existing Hamilton high throughput washer, incubator, and reader instrument.
Molecular Diagnosis of Blood
Using primarily off-the-shelf components, Hamilton Robotics rapidly assembled a prototype for blood testing. This solution included automating the sample transfer from tubes to microplates, and sample preparation protocols that required a critical heating and shaking step. Custom adapters were engineered for the customer's labware. All steps of the design went through extensive design review, risk mitigation, verification, and documentation for IVD compliance.
By adapting the Microlab STAR, a solution was created to run the manual method without any changes or modifications to the process. The covers of the STAR were customized in the customer's colors and branding. The STAR's enclosure was also extended to accommodate a third party high speed centrifuge. Finally, a custom reader using a CCD camera and imaging software were developed to read the results.
With minimal modifications, the Microlab NIMBUS liquid handling workstation was utilized to automate an endotoxin testing protocol. Custom grippers and a cassette dispenser were created to automate the customer's existing labware which was also used in POC applications.
DNA Size Selection
Utilizing the Microlab NIMBUS extended enclosure platform, this solution included customer specific lighting and cameras to dynamically image electrophoresis in plates. In this case, the customer interfaced their software to control the NIMBUS and aspirate samples at critical time periods. A custom material was developed for the enclosure of the system to block out specific light wavelengths and ensure ambient light would not interfere with imaging.
Infectious Disease Testing
Modifying the Microlab NIMBUS liquid handling workstation, we created a solution to automate infectious disease testing protocols including customization for customer specific labware. A custom deck was designed for higher density, ease-of-use, and tighter tolerances with a fixed deck layout. This solution included a custom punching device to pierce foil-sealed reagents. The NIMBUS enclosure was modified to integrate a third party microplate reader supplied by the customer.
Human Identity testing
Adapting the Microlab NIMBUS liquid handling workstation, a solution was created to automate a new, novel HID test method. Standard labware and process methods were utilized with the exception of an innovative laser reader attached to the pipetting arm in order to increase throughput and reduce cost.
Electronic Cell Monitoring
Utilizing the Microlab NIMBUS liquid handling workstation, the deck of the platform was adapted to integrate and power a microelectrode array cartridge. This NIMBUS solution included a standard HEPA filter to help maintain a sterile pipetting environment and a third party carousel incubator. Fittings and controls were incorporated into the NIMBUS to supply CO2 gas to the microelectrode array cartridge.
Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT)
The frame and functionality of the Microlab STAR workstation were modified in small but significant ways to adapt to a 30 assay menu for automated nucleic acid testing in the diagnostic industry. The CO-RE Grippers were modified for the customer specific labware. Custom carriers were also developed to handle the unique labware in a high density and flexible format. Supplying custom fittings allowed the customer to adapt their own unique enclosure to the STAR. Software control was shared with a software vendor employed by the customer enabling them to write the method, create a graphical user interface or GUI, and custom control software.
Multiplex Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT)
The Microlab NIMBUS, Microlab STAR, and Micolab VANTAGE Liquid Handling System platforms were all configured with standard components to run a collection of the customer's multiplexed NAT kits. Utilizing all three of Hamilton's platforms offers the customer a wide range of instrument throughput. For the Microlab VANTAGE, the highest throughput solution, a third-party device was integrated to further automate the complete assay workflow.