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Screening and lead optimization

When you need to screen a library of thousands or millions of compounds to discover the most effective molecule, confidence in your automation system is a must. Tecan has years of experience in high throughput automation of cell-based and immunoassays, and offers two highly flexible and scalable liquid handling systems with the capacity to integrate third-party devices, providing throughput, speed and traceability for your screening tasks.

Tab 01 / Assay set-up and analysis


Automation sounds complicated, but with our solutions it is not. Process set-up is simple, with an easy to rearrange deck layout, dedicated software and automated sample tracking.

Key benefits

  • Integrated or hand-held barcode readers to ensure process security
  • Automated sample tracking to trace compounds, plates or tubes throughout the process
  • Scalable deck capacity to match your throughput needs

The Department of Molecular Microbiology of the University Konstanz said:
"We developed a screening assay in 384-well microplates, using 80 µl of cell suspension per well. This small reaction volume is ideal for screening applications – allowing large-scale studies to be performed cost effectively"
Read more in "Nanoliter liquid transfers aid search for new antibiotics"

Robust, flexible, proven – Freedom EVO®

Optimize assays on one liquid handling platform and then scale up as needed from low to high throughput.

  • Change between 96- and 384-adapter heads on-the-fly
  • Combine multiple workstations to build your ultra-high throughput paradise
  • Full sample tracking
  • Scheduler for complex workflows
Read more

Efficiency, capacity, speed – Fluent®

Take laboratory automation to a new level of intelligence and speed.

  • Increase productivity per square meter of lab space
  • Unmatched deck capacity and storage options provide longer walkaway times
  • Get more done in less time, with parallel arm movements
  • Below deck integration of instruments to save lab space
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The Discovery, Alliances and Technologies Department of MorphoSys AG said:
"It [D300e] has also extended the experimental window for many investigations, as the increased dispensing accuracy – particularly at very low volumes – has improved data quality"
Read more in "Step-by-step automation"

D300e Digital Dispenser for IC50/EC50

Start using digital dispensing to set up your IC50 assay plates, and stop wasting precious samples, plates, consumables and diluents.

  • No edge effects, carry-over or pipetting errors
  • Optimized enzyme profiling
  • Easy set-up of complex assay profiles
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On-board detection

Use Tecan’s Spark® multimode reader to perform absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence measurements or integrate a high content reader to complement high throughput screening with optical assays.

  • QuadX Monochromators™ technology
  • Unique Te-Cool™ module allows the reader temperature to be set below ambient for comparable data every time
  • Integrated microscope for accurate cell counting and determination of confluency for live cell imaging
Read more

Tab 02 / Screening-cell-based and biochemical


Simplify the handling of precious samples and seamlessly integrate cell biology devices, automating your complex assays for greater productivity and confidence.

Key benefits

  • Reproducible data – day in, day out
  • Less hands-on time
  • Comprehensive automation solutions

The ScreeningPort of the Fraunhofer IME said:
"Our major strength lies in target-based assays – both biochemical and cell-based – but we also perform a large number of phenotypic assays, so need the flexibility to quickly switch between various assay formats to meet the timetables and demands of each project."
Read more in "Confidence in drug discovery"

Cell-based and biochemical screening

With a broad range of features specifically designed to optimize the performance of cell-based assays, Fluent enhances throughput, streamlines workflows and delivers more precise and reliable results.

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  • Make your PathHunter® β-arrestin GPCR assays more robust and reliable
  • Take the complexity out of your HTP epigenetic assays
  • Process 10 compound plates and 20 thrombin assay plates in less than five hours
  • Discover how to automate library screening and dose-response curves for high density data

Monitor cell migration

Abnormalities in cell migration are associated with various diseases – including cancer, atherosclerosis and arthritis – and so understanding cell migration and the biological events that trigger the movement of cells from one location to the other is a key focus of cell­based research. Discover the Spark® multimode reader’s imaging capabilities for the monitoring of cell migration..

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Label-free and real-time

Real-time, fully automated monitoring of biomolecular interactions in a high throughput format. Tecan and Pall FortéBio have come together to automate Dip and Read™ biosensor assays based on the Octet® platform, integrating the system on the Freedom EVO® platform.

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Tab 03 / Immunoassays

Power up your ELISAs

With more than 20 years of experience in the field of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), Tecan continues to offer one of the most powerful system on the market. Freedom EVOware® Plus dynamic scheduling software enables hands-free automation, from distribution of the sample to detection of the assay signal.

  • ELISAs
  • enzyme immunoassays (EIAs)
  • radio immunoassay (RIA) set-up
  • fluorescence immunoassays (FIAs)
Read more

Novo Nordisk in Denmark said:
"We have a total daily throughput of around 35,000 tests, and use a combination of fully and semi-automated set-ups to ensure rapid turnaround times, and to give us the flexibility to adapt to changing project priorities."
Read more in "Flexibility for speed"


  • Simplified workflow, no washing needed
  • Reduced reagent consumption
  • Common 96-well microplate format
  • Speed-up assay times 200-fold – 90 % binding in 5 minutes
  • Highly precise dispensing of low volumes – down to 0.5 µl
  • High reproducibility, due to accurate scheduling of reagent addition and incubation times

Tab 04 / protein characterization

Convenient and robust in-gel protein digestion

The Freedom EVO® Protein Digest workstation enables fully automated protein digestion for subsequent MALDI-TOF analysis, including destaining of gel plugs, reduction, alkylation, in-gel trypsin digestion, peptide extraction and spotting onto MALDI targets. The system allows up to 192 samples to be processed a day, including MALDI spotting.

Read more

The Research & Development Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific said:
"[…] it is the workstation’s versatility that is the real advantage. You can integrate all the necessary devices and labware onto the instrument’s large workdeck, providing completely walkaway sample preparation."
Read more in "Large molecule bioanalysis simplified"

Automated desalting and MALDI-spotting

Eliminating salt from peptide samples obtained from 1D- or 2D-gel protein digestion is essential for successful MS analysis. Perform fully automated peptide desalting and MALDI target spotting using ZipTip® columns (Merck) on Tecan liquid handling platforms. MALDI targets of various sizes and from different manufacturers can be accommodated, allowing high throughput, error-free spotting.

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High throughput protein crystallography can be extremely time consuming, with exorbitant costs. Automation helps to minimize consumption of scarce samples and increases the reproducibility of experimental conditions.


  • Large dynamic pipetting range (100 nl to 5 ml)
  • Superior pipetting accuracy and precision
  • More reproducible experimental conditions
Read more

Tab 05 / Literature

Application Note

This application note describes the automation of low volume, high sensitivity ELISAs using OptiMax™ plates on the Freedom EVO liquid handling platform.

Tecan Journal Articles

Seeing more clearly
[TJ 02/2016]

Degenerative eye diseases affect millions of people around the world, causing progressive loss of vision and, in some cases, complete blindness. Researchers in Australia are using stem cell technologies to investigate ways of halting, or even reversing, the effects of common eye diseases.

Antibody discovery and development company MorphoSys has a wealth of experience in designing novel assays for the screening and characterization of therapeutic antibodies. With active programs in oncology, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, the company’s Discovery, Alliances and Technologies Department relies on a variety of automated solutions to provide the throughput necessary to support its pipeline.

The direct digital dispensing capabilities of the HP D300 are helping to identify potential new treatments for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at University Children’s Hospital Zurich. By enabling picoliter drug volumes to be dispensed straight into cell-based assay plates, the system is helping researchers to rapidly test novel drug combinations directly in patient-derived leukemia cells.

Novartis’ Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) Biologics Division, based in Basel, Switzerland, has developed a flexible, fully automated workflow for blood serum sample preparation and ELISA processing by combining two Freedom EVO 150 workstations.

Researchers at Germany's University of Konstanz have established a fluorescence-based method for screening small molecules to identify potential antimicrobial agents. Using the Freedom EVO workstation’s MultiChannel Arm 384, the University’s Screening Center has developed an innovative technique allowing reliable liquid transfers down to 80 nanoliters.

Tecan’s Fluent® Laboratory Automation Solution is providing exceptional flexibility for small molecule screening at IME ScreeningPort in Hamburg, Germany. This groundbreaking system offers straightforward automation of complex assays, enabling both in vitro and cell-based assays to be performed on a single, compact instrument.

The Life Sciences laboratory of the Central Research Institute at Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd has used Tecan’s Freedom EVO 200 workstation to develop a successful automated protocol for efficient siRNA transfection, paving the way for efficient high throughput screening of small RNA libraries.

High throughput screening for drug discovery depends on reliable liquid handling, such as that provided by Tecan’s Freedom EVO platform. Chicago-based company SAMDI Tech has automated its proprietary label-free SAMDI technology on a Freedom EVO system, performing rapid and quantitative analysis of challenging biochemical targets.

Osaka University’s International Drug Discovery Incubation Group opened its doors to drug discovery researchers in western Japan in April 2011, providing access to high throughput technologies including Tecan’s Freedom EVO liquid handling workstations and Infinite® M1000 microplate reader.

Isogenica provides peptide, protein and antibody discovery and design services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and has invested in two Freedom EVO liquid handling platforms to increase its capacity for the selection of next generation molecules.

Merz Pharma has taken advantage of the greater flexibility and large pipetting volumes offered by the Freedom EVO workstation's MultiChannel Arm 384 to accelerate its drug discovery pipeline, eliminating the need for single concentration analysis in its screening processes.

Faster Pharma
[TJ 03/2010]

Tecan’s MultiChannel Arm™ 384 has revolutionized the laboratory workflow in the Division of Cancer Research at the Institut de Recherches Servier, allowing scientists to simultaneously process multiple assay plates for compound screening, as well as increasing the number of compound and enzyme combinations tested per run.

For research use only.