Automated liquid handling incorporates several key technologies in order to optimize performance, accuracy, and utility for the user. First, the pipettor is able to accurately determine the level of the liquid in order to pipette just above or below the surface. Aspiration must occur below the surface and sometimes on one side or the other of the interface and between two liquids, for example, in the application of Liquid--Liquid Extraction. In order to optimize results, dispensing can occur just above or below the liquid level depending on the volume, viscosity, and surface tension attributes of the liquid. Liquid level is detectable for the broad range of many liquid types (with different viscosities) possible.
Pressure based liquid level detection (pLLD) is better for non-ionic liquids. Pressure sensing can aid in monitoring the pipetting process, provide a trace file as well as allow for automatic error response and prevent drips and cross contamination. Air displacement pipetting eliminates the cross-contamination that may be experienced with system liquid pipetting techniques. In addition, the pipetting channels are intuitive enough to detect if the correct tip is attached for the pipetting settings called by the control software. The Hamilton Microlab STAR and NIMBUS bring all of these technologies together for the highest performance of any pipetting workstation on the market today. Learn more by clicking on the links below.