Fluent® Automation Workstation

Tecan has reshaped liquid handling and process automation with Fluent, an exceptional instrumentation concept providing a choice of workstation capacities, and robotics, liquid handling and application options to suit the process-specific needs of your laboratory.




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Tab 01 / Overview
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Fluent offers new opportunities to laboratories looking for state-of-the-art automation to:

  • Increase productivity
  • Streamline workflows
  • Optimize assay precision and consistency
  • Relieve operators from repetitive tasks

The system’s fully modular, open architecture allows each instrument to be individually configured with robotic arms for pipetting and labware movement, helping laboratories to meet throughput, cost saving and productivity targets.

Working in a regulated environment?

Extend Fluent with the Fluent Gx Assurance software. Fluent Gx offers the advanced process security features required to support compliance in clinical, GMP and QC facilities.

Play video
Fluent  instrument

Fluent highlights

Increase productivity, extend functionality and optimize walkaway times

Make better use of the space in your lab.

  • Increase throughput and productivity per m2
  • Compact design fits more functionality into less space
  • Maximize unattended running with:
    • Exceptional on-deck, in-deck and below-deck capacity
    • Easy device integration
Show more

Fast and streamlined performance

Maximize the execution of your workflows by selecting up to three independent, task-specific arms.

  • All arms can move and perform their tasks in parallel
  • Effectively combine pipetting, detection, separation and logistics steps
  • Fast arm speeds and efficiently planned moves increase overall throughput

Optimize walkaway times

Enjoy true walkaway operation with large batch capacities and seamless integration of complementary peripherals, all fully managed by FluentControl™ software.

  • Accommodate six microplates or tip boxes in the worktable depth
  • Use stacked or nested tips to increase on-deck capacity
  • Integrate multiple devices on the worktable, around the periphery or below the deck

Versatile tube and plate handling with a Robotic Gripper Arm™

  • Handles a variety of labware types, such as plates, tubes and pipette tips
  • Provides smart interfacing between the worktable and integrated devices
  • Works interdependently, without interrupting pipetting processes
  • Has a unique Finger Exchange System™ to further extend the range of labware formats and devices that can be accommodated

More functionality in less space

In addition to its extensive deck capacity, Fluent offers expanded functionality and device integration without extending the instrument footprint.

  • Flexible access to devices and storage below the workdeck for cabinet-based instruments
  • Unique double deck allows tall devices to be placed in the deck, reducing their profile and allowing pipetting access, even for benchtop systems
  • Eccentric Robotic Gripper Arm fingers extend peripheral access at the edge of the pipetting area

Measure and improve liquid handling efficiency

Use cloud-based Introspect™ dashboards to get a comprehensive overview of when and how your connected laboratory automation systems are used, with real-time data on instrument uptime, consumables consumption and run success.

The drug disposition and safety department from Roche said:
Automation frees us to focus on the areas where we add most value – analyzing data and designing experiments to answer specific project questions.
Read more in "A flexible lab for the future"

Easy to use – every day, for every operator

Combine intuitive operation with the flexibility to automate complex processes.

  • Standardized touchscreen operator interface
  • Guided start-up and workflows
  • Ease of programming and teach-free set-up
  • Extensive error handling options and unique Method Recovery function
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Exceptional ease of use

  • Built-in touchscreen for daily operation
  • On-screen information guides users for fast, consistent operation
  • Easy set-up, with drag and drop script development, smart wizards and real-time simulations
  • Teach-free set-up of standard labware formats and deck layouts

Easy programming and effortless operation

FluentControl™ software simplifies even extremely challenging applications

  • Simple drag and drop interface
  • 3D graphics for real-time simulation and offline visualization
  • Smart Commands for standard actions, such as ‘distribute reagents’ or ‘transfer samples’

Flexibility to deal with the unexpected

  • Active Stop and Resume function allows instant access to the workdeck during a run
  • Method Recovery allows runs to be continued if interrupted, eg. after power loss
  • Extensive error handling during live processing, eg. insufficient sample volume detected

Create wizard-like interfaces

  • Embed photos, videos and SOPs to inform and remind users
  • Create interactive interfaces with the Application Toolkit to further simplify everyday operation

3D simulations

  • Easy development of new assays in FluentControl, with offline visualization
  • Test new assays without using reagents or consumables
  • Estimate timings accurately and precisely, with real-time functions

The Institute for Product Quality (ifp) said:
It is also very quick and intuitive to use; new operators find it incredibly easy to learn , and we were able to use it in production just a day after it was installed!
Read more in "Faster food testing"

High performance pipetting

Fluent offers exceptional liquid handling performance.

  • Freely combine high precision single and multiple tip formats
  • Non-contact dispensing, even below 5 µl
  • Chose the right pipetting technology to match your application
  • Fine tune critical pipetting positions with Zero-G teaching
  • Chose disposable or washable fixed tips to suit your application and budget
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Choice of powerful liquid handling technologies

Fluent's Flexible Channel Arm™ provides outstanding flexibility by offering a choice of air- or liquid-displacement pipetting technologies.

  • Eight pipetting channels with individual liquid level detection
  • Channel spacing can be automatically adjusted on-the-fly to access microplate wells, sample tubes or reagent bottles
  • Optimize volume ranges from <500 nl to >5 ml using fixed or disposable tips
  • FluentControl™ software offers robust default liquid definitions, and makes it easy to change parameters for any fluid

Next generation process control

Fluent’s unique teach-free deck gets you up and running quickly.

  • Zero-G teaching allows fast fine-tuning of critical pipetting positions
  • Accurate positioning to support 384-well, 1,536-well or similar plate densities
  • Path Finder™ move optimization technology ensures fast, adaptive movement throughout the work area

Save sample and reagent volumes

Fluent's new generation Adaptive Signal Technology™ liquid level sensing enables the detection and use of smaller sample volumes.

  • Detect down to 2 µl of aqueous solution, or 10 µl of ethanol
  • Receive warnings and error handling support for low sample availability
  • Minimize the risk of transfer errors using aspiration and dispense monitoring
  • Liquid arrival check matches liquid and destination for ultimate process security

Play video

Multiple Channel Arm – 96- and 384-channel formats in one head

The Multiple Channel Arm has 384 pipetting channels, and can change between 96- and 384-well formats on-the-fly.

  • Change between labware formats in <5 seconds
  • Swap between disposable and fixed tips in <5 seconds
  • Extend the flexibility of plate format usage within or between each assay workflow
  • Offers row, column, quadrant or single disposable tip handling

Up to 16 individual pipetting channels

Dual Flexible Channel Arm configurations offer 16 individual pipetting tips for more speed.

  • Dual arms operate in parallel for twice the throughput
  • Each channel offers individual liquid level detection and monitoring
  • Optimize pipetting range and combine pipetting technologies, or fixed and disposable tips, within a single process

The Novo Nordisk Research Bioanalysis Department said:
We were immediately able to achieve very low CVs for 1μl plasma transfers into dry 384- well plates.
Read more in "Flexibility for speed"

Enhanced process security and simplified regulatory compliance

Ensure that each and every run is performed exactly the same way, and delivers consistent, high quality results with:

  • Advanced in-process monitoring
  • Labware and sample identification
  • Multi-level operator security
  • Built-in SOPs
  • Fluent Gx software tools to support regulatory compliance
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Simple and safe sample tracking

  • Fluent ID™ enables high capacity sample identification and tracking
  • Scalable and upgradable identification module supports up to 768 sample tubes per batch
  • Limitless batch reloading
  • Efficient, user-centric ‘load-and-go’ operation
  • Immediate feedback on barcode reading performance

Next Generation liquid sensing and monitoring

  • Detect varying volumes of sample reliably with Fluent's Adaptive Signal Technology™
  • Receive and log pipetting information and error handling actions
  • Ensure even small sample volumes can be handled
  • Confirm liquid transfers

Play video

Enhanced compliance with Tecan consumables

Tecan offers a broad portfolio of high quality consumables, including disposable tips, reagent troughs and microplates.

  • Available in three purity levels: Tecan Standard, Tecan Pure and Tecan Sterile
  • Every product undergoes stringent testing to ensure reliable automation
Read more

Simplify regulatory compliance

The Fluent Gx Laboratory Automation Workstation offers specific tools to meet the needs of regulated laboratories.

  • Advanced process security features required for applications in clinical, GMP and QC facilities
  • Includes software features needed to comply with stringent regulatory requirements, including FDA 21 CFR Part 11
  • Fluent Gx Assurance Software extends all the liquid handling and workflow benefits of Fluent

Regulatory support

Need help implementing Fluent Gx in your laboratory? Unsure which regulations affect your laboratory automation? Tecan’s experienced global regulatory team is ready to help.

Read more

The Fraunhofer IME. said:
So far we haven't found anything it can't do.
Read more in 'Confidence in drug discovery'

Flexibility for today and tomorrow

Future-proof your investment and ensure that the system won’t become obsolete as your automation needs change over time with:

  • Freely configurable Dynamic Deck™ worktable
  • Straightforward device integration
  • On-the-fly configuration changes for pipetting and labware handling
  • Field upgrades for all arms and options
Show more

Versatile tube and plate handling with the Robotic Gripper Arm™

  • Fast delivery of labware to the instrument's pipetting arms and integrated devices
  • Works without interrupting the pipetting processes
  • Unique Finger Exchange System™ is a field-upgradable option to further extend the range of labware formats and devices that can be accommodated
  • Long Z axis option to access devices or storage below the workdeck

Patented Dynamic Deck

  • High capacity worktable that can be freely configured and reconfigured in seconds
  • Lower deck level allows tall devices to be integrated, including benchtop systems
  • Allows access to devices below the deck for cabinet-mounted systems

Easy programming and operation

Open architecture FluentControl™ software can easily accommodate even extremely challenging application protocols.

  • Drag and drop development interfaces
  • 3D graphics and Smart Commands for easy visualization and rapid implementation
  • Program and maintain your own scripts as assays and projects change over time
  • Simple copy and paste functions to replicate and accommodate small changes

Third-party device integration

  • Straightforward integration of third-party devices, with access around or below the workdeck
  • Ever-increasing library of device drivers for FluentControl
  • SiLA device driver
  • Zero-G one-touch teaching to simplify hardware interface set-up

* Picture shows the Alpaqua® Magnum FLX® (Alpaqua Engineering LLC) and BioShake® ELM series shaker (Q Instruments GmbH)

Simple plate moves with the Flexible Channel Arm™ Gripper

The Flexible Channel Arm Gripper option can perform simple microplate moves within the worktable area, linking pipetting sequences together to enhance walkaway times.

  • Gripper fingers picked up by any Flexible Channel Arm using disposable tips
  • Can be picked up and put down between pipetting steps
  • Field upgradable option
  • Extends walkaway times for predominantly liquid handling processes, eg. genomic extraction protocols
  • Can work in parallel with a Robotic Gripper Arm for more complex process automation

Ncardia said:
With three independant arms it offered us the potential to significantly accelerate the process while still being a very versatile platform.
Read more in "Redesigning the drug safety workflow"




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Tab 02 / System modules
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Fluent offers automated solutions to suit everything from straightforward simple liquid handling workflows to total automation of complex processes

All Fluent workstations provide a choice of robotic arms, a freely configurable workdeck area, a choice of cabinet or benchtop mounting, and flexible device integration.

Show more

Fluent 480

  • Deck accommodates 30 SLAS-format microplates or disposable tip stacks, or up to 960 tubes, plus waste station and reagent positions
  • Occupies just 1,150 x 785 mm of bench or floor space (excluding PC controller)
  • Can be fitted with one or two independent robotic arms
  • Compact workhorse ideal for smaller laboratories and single liquid handling workflows, such as extraction, NGS library preparation, sample transfers and dilutions, reformatting, or colony picking

Fluent 780

  • Deck accommodates 48 SLAS-format microplates or disposable tip boxes, or up to 1,600 tubes, plus waste station and reagent positions
  • Occupies 1,650 x 785 mm of bench or floor space (excluding PC controller)
  • Can be fitted with up to three independent robotic arms
  • Flexible, mid-size system ideal for complete process automation with integrated devices, or high batch capacity liquid handling activities, such as high throughput extraction, cell-based assays, compound management, or plate reformatting and stamping

Fluent 1080

  • Deck accommodates 72 SLAS-format microplates or disposable tip boxes, or over 2,000 tubes, plus waste station and reagent positions
  • Occupies 2,150 x 785 mm of bench or floor space (excluding PC controller)
  • Can be fitted with up to three independent robotic arms
  • Unique high capacity system ideal for complete process automation or high batch capacity liquid handling, with peripheral device integration

Ambry Genetics said:
...it allows new chemistries and assays coming onto the market to be explored without major time and cost implications
Read more in "Taking a Fluent Approach to screening"

Creating a new system or upgrading an existing system is simple with Fluent's outstanding modularity

Flexible Channel Arm™

  • Eight independent pipetting channels with automatic span adjustment between 9 and 38 mm, for fast liquid transfers between tubes, plates and reagent troughs, or full random access sampling for activities such as in hit or colony picking
  • Individual liquid detection, pipetting evaluation, error handling and piercing for each channel
  • Choice of air- or liquid-displacement pipetting
Show more

Air Flexible Channel Arm (Air FCA™)

  • Air displacement pipetting from 500nl, with contactless free dispensing
  • Use of 10, 50, 200, 350 and 1000µl disposable tips in trays, boxes or nested stacks
  • Tip cones can accommodate all tip sizes, for massive dynamic range and precision optimization
  • Ideal for cell-based and genomic applications

Flexible Channel Arm (FCA)

  • Liquid -displacement pipetting from 200nl to >5ml
  • System liquid can be primed for fast dilutions or large volume dispensing
  • Uses disposable or washable fixed tips, or a combination of both, to suit your application and workflow
  • High definition Cavro® cXP pumps offer double the pipetting resolution compared to previous products, expanding the usable volume range
  • Ideal for compound management and a wide variety of liquid handling protocols

Adaptive Signal Technology™

  • Minimizes dead volumes by detecting down to 2μl of aqueous solution or 10μl of ethanol
  • Adapts to different liquid types
  • Automatically adjusts sensitivity according to remaining liquid volume
  • Determines if sufficient liquid is present before aspirating
  • Allows pre-scripted or user selectable actions for handling errors, such as ‘No liquid’ or ‘Not enough liquid’
  • Aspiration monitoring and liquid arrival checks

Fast tip pick up

  • Fast tip pick up by the Fluent Flexible Channel Arm.
  • Each channel can pick up tips ranging from 10μl to 1000μl or 5000μl.

Dual FCA

  • Combine Flexible Channel Arms to offer 16 pipetting channel flexibility and speed.
  • Combine air and liquid displacement pipetting.
  • Combine fixed and disposable tips.
  • Optimize the pipetting range.
  • Both arms work in parallel making this ideally suited for hit picking applications or high throughput tube to plate transfers.

Piercing plate seals and caps

  • Both fixed and disposable tips can pierce most standard plate seals and cap mats to access liquid.

Flexible Channel Arm Gripper

  • Gripper finger set picked automatically by pipetting channels that use disposable tips.
  • Moves plates between pipetting position, shaker or magnet for walkaway automation of extraction work flows.
  • For complete process automation and interface to wide range of devices use the Robotic Gripper Arm.

Multiple Channel Arm 384/96

  • 384-channel head for volumes from 250nl to 125µl
  • One arm for 96- and 384-well formats
  • Automatic switching between head adapters in seconds
  • Can also swap between disposable and fixed tip manifolds automatically
  • Compatible with 1536 well plates
  • Pipette directly to/from Fluent Carousel™ or Fluent Stacker™ modules
Show more

Longer walkaway times

  • 96-channel extended volume adapter for handling volumes up to 500μl
  • Nested disposable tips enhance work area capacity

Greater pipetting flexibility

  • Pick rows, columns, quadrants or single tips for fast serial dilutions or specific plate layouts
  • Create custom multi-tip layouts

Cost-effective processing

  • Fixed tips avoid the costs and logistics associated with disposable tips
  • Wash station option cleans tips between pipetting actions

Ambry Genetics said:
The Multiple channel's Arm ability to switch pipetting heads on-the-fly ... combined with the large deck capacity tripled our throughput for these assays
Read more in "Taking a Fluent Approach to genetic screening"

Robotic Gripper Arm™

  • Provide swift transfer of labware between the pipetting area and other devices for storage, detection or processing
  • Can access peripheral devices and below the deck to enable a huge array of process automation possibilities
Show more

Access between deck and periphery

  • 360° rotation
  • Choice of gripper fingers for microplates, tubes of bottles:
    • Eccentric fingers extend reach beyond the pipetting area, to access devices and for storage in hotels or incubators
    • Centric fingers increase the accessible depth
    • Tube fingers for 8-60 mm tubes
  • Payload of up to 450 g

Access below the deck space

  • Extended Robotic Gripper Arm option adds 300 mm of vertical reach, allowing access to additional devices below the deck
  • Accommodates all gripper finger types

Finger Exchange System

  • Gripper fingers can be exchanged on-the-fly within a run
  • Enables tubes and plates to be handled with the same gripper arm during a run
  • Increases the number of devices that can be integrated
  • Available on both standard and Extended Robotic Gripper Arms

Finger Exchange System

  • Gripper fingers are coded to confirm type and correct pickup.
  • Custom gripper fingers can be available via Tecan Labwerx.

On the fly Barcode reading

  • Barcode scanner for 1D codes mounts on the regular or Finger exchange gripper heads.
  • Reads barcoded microplates on the deck or in hotels.

Dynamic Deck™

  • Massive capacity of 6 plates or 32 tubes in the depth of the worktable
  • Load labware quickly and easily
  • Reconfigure the deck in seconds
  • Accommodate labware and devices on and below the deck
Show more

Dynamic Deck

  • Highly flexible and robust deck concept
  • Patented locking mechanism to critically position and reposition segments in seconds
  • Supports access to lower deck and below deck space
  • Variety of standard deck segments available for tubes, plates and troughs
  • Easy development of custom deck segments and layouts via Tecan Labwerx™

Double Deck

  • Unique double deck supports modules below the worktable, even in benchtop systems
  • Easily recess tall devices – such as shakers, water baths or thermal cyclers – into the lower deck to reduce the height

Easy and flexible integration of devices via Grid Adapters

  • Locate to any grid pin on the deck, on the periphery or on the below-deck shelves
  • Accommodate device feet securely, while still allowing easy removal
  • Easily reposition devices as plans change – avoiding the costs of designing new adapter plates

Monash Antibody Technologies Facility said:
The Fluent has been configured to give us maximum flexibility; it is slick, smooth and very easy to teach. The way the deck is configured is ideal for us; we can add or take away modules, carriers or other pieces of equipment very easily.
Read more in "Building functionality into the antibody supply chain"




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Tab 03 / options
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Fluent and FluentControl™ support an extensive range of optional devices designed to enhance complete automation of your applications.

Ncardia said:
We had already had a positive experience working with Tecan… so we were confident in both the service and support the company offers.
Read more in "Redesigning the drug safety workflow"

Process security through barcode scanning

  • 1D and 2D barcode scanners available
  • Can read sample tube and microplate barcodes
Show more

Safe, secure and swift sample identification

With Fluent ID™, you can load and read 96 samples in less than 30 seconds.

  • Accommodates different sized tubes
  • Scalable solution for up to 768 tubes per batch
  • Immediate read effectiveness feedback

On-the-move barcode scanning

Barcode scanner mounted on the Robotic Gripper Arm™ scans microplate codes in situ on the deck or in hotels.

On-the-fly identification

Fixed position barcode scanner can read 1D or 2D barcodes on plates or tubes presented by the Robotic Gripper Arm.

2D barcode identification

Ziath flatbed scanner* for 2D codes on mini-tubes.

  • Read all 96 or 384 codes in a few seconds
  • Robotic Gripper Arm moves plates between the scanner and the work area

* Product shown from Ziath, Cambridge, UK

Built-in barcode readers

Fluent Stacker and Fluent Carousel have an optional built-in 1D barcode reader.

Logistics on Fluent

Fluent enables a constant supply of plates and tips to suit your application.

  • Sequential delivery of labware using Fluent Stacker™
  • Random access to labware using passive hotels or Fluent Carousel™
  • Increased on-deck capacity with nested tips and plate stacking options
Show more
  • SLAS-format labware cassettes support:
    • A variety of microplate formats (up to 200 microplates per Stacker)
    • Nested disposable tip racks (up to 40 tip racks)
    • Disposable tip boxes
  • Labware can be moved to another cassette after use, or disposed of directly via the optional waste chute
  • Stackers are easily removed for reloading

Fluent Stacker has optional barcode reader to identify labware on the delivery slide.

  • Ensures fast transfers, independent of arm movements
  • Positive identification before entering the process
  • Pipette directly to or from plates on the slide

Fluent Carousel

  • Fluent Carousels can be located to the left and/or right of the deck
  • Supports a variety of labware types, sizes, etc.
  • Accommodates over 200 plates
  • Available for benchtop and cabinet-based solutions
  • Custom mounting positions – eg. at rear – also available via Tecan Labwerx™
Show more

Random access storage

Delivery slides can be individually positioned on the deck to allow access for:

  • Pipetting directly to or from plates
  • Direct pick-up of tips, without the need to transfer
  • Transfer to the deck by the Robotic Gripper Arm™

Built-in barcode reader

Fluent Carousel has an optional barcode reader to identify labware on the delivery slide.

  • Ensures fast transfer independent of arm movements
  • Positive identification before entering the process

Hotels

Flexible storage hotels for disposable tips, 9 standard microplates or 5 deep-well plates. Can be conveniently placed:

  • At the rear of instrument
  • In side wall spaces
  • Below the deck

Heating and cooling

Fluent supports a wide arrange of low and high capacity heating and cooling devices:

  • For labware on the deck during processing
  • For incubation or acclimatized storage
Show more

Six-slot MIO™ (Monitored Incubator Option)

Suitable for standard microplates with/without lid

  • Operating range from ambient +5 °C to 53 °C (with shaking) or 63 °C (without shaking)
  • Electronic logging and tracking of temperature
  • Accessed via Robotic Gripper Arm™ with eccentric fingers
  • Multiple units can be freely located at rear or sides of workdeck to extend capacity or range of environmental conditions that can be applied

Four-slot MIO

Suitable for microplates with/without lids up to 35 mm high, eg. cell plates with filter insets or half height deep-well plates

  • Operating range from ambient +5 °C to 53 °C (with shaking) or 63 °C (without shaking)
  • Electronic logging and tracking of temperature
  • Accessed via Robotic Gripper Arm with extended eccentric fingers
  • Multiple units can be freely located at rear or sides of workdeck to extend capacity or range of environmental conditions that can be applied

Te-Shake

  • Robotic shaker with heating option from ambient +5 °C up to 80 °C
  • Adapters for various plate types available to optimize heat transfer
  • Multiple Te-Shakes can be mounted on, at the sides, or below the workdeck

Heating/cooling deck segment

  • Temperature controlled by external circulating device
  • Can accommodate 4 microplates
  • Multiple segments can be freely placed on deck
  • Adapters for various plate types available to optimize heat transfer

Thermal cycling

  • For genomic applications, thermal cyclers* can be integrated:
    • On the worktable
    • On the lower deck, to lower overall height
    • Below the deck, for space saving with cabinet-based systems
  • Automatic loading and unloading using the Robotic Gripper Arm

*Product shown from INHECO GmbH, Germany

Third-party devices

Fluent and FluentControl already support a broad range of third-party devices. For alternative devices, please contact your local sales representative or find out more about Tecan Labwerx.

Containment solutions

Fluent offers both off-the-shelf and custom containment solutions for cellular and genomic applications. Scalable solutions available for:

  • All instrument sizes
  • All arm configurations
  • Benchtop or cabinet-based systems
Show more
  • Delivery of clean air to maintain sterile environments
  • Suitable for many genomic applications and cell-based assays
  • Laminar flow, providing clean air according to ISO Class 5
  • Ramp-up protection during door opening (allowing manual access during a run)
  • Audible and visual warning of potential compromise to environment
  • UVC light for between-process sterilization

For product and user protection solutions for Fluent, please contact your local sales representative or find out more from Tecan Labwerx.

Top cover

  • Prevents dust/debris falling onto the system, depending on the working environment
  • Available for all system sizes and configurations

The Stem Cell Institute said:
We designed the system to suit our meet needs including integrated HEPA filter hood to create a sterile environment.
Read more in "Keeping an eye on stem cells"

Detection instruments

Fluent enables integration of numerous detection devices.

  • Standard integration of Tecan readers
  • Off-the-shelf integration of selected detection devices
  • Custom integration of devices via Tecan Labwerx
Show more

Spark® series readers

Scalable, modular multimode reader series. Can be integrated as standard:

  • At the rear or sides of the deck
  • Below the deck
Read more

Infinite® 200 PRO series readers

Scalable, multimode monochromator- or filter-based readers. Can be integrated as standard:

  • At the rear or sides of the deck
  • Below the deck
Read more

Third-party devices

Fluent and FluentControl already support a broad range of third-party detection devices. For alternative devices, please contact your local sales representative or find out more about Tecan Labwerx.

Separation technologies

Fluent allows integration of numerous separation technologies and devices.

  • Standard integration of Tecan microplate washers
  • Off-the-shelf integration of vacuum and magnetic separation devices
  • Custom integration of devices via Labwerx
Show more

Microplate washers

  • High throughput HydroSpeed™ washer for whole 96- and 384-well plate washing
  • HydroFlex™ washer for 8- or 16-channel strip washing
  • Both systems can be integrated as standard at the rear, sides or below the deck
Read more

Vacuum solid phase extraction (SPE)

Te-VacS™ provides an automated vacuum extraction workflow for cartridge-based filtration and SPE, ideal for nucleic acid extraction and compound purification.

  • Automatic loading and unloading via Robotic Gripper Arm™
  • Two independently-controlled vacuum positions
  • Software-controlled vacuum pressure with feedback loop

Magnetic separation

Integrated commercial magnets* for magnetic separation steps typical in nucleic acid extraction and PCR clean-up workflows.

  • Free positioning of single or multiple magnets on standard deck positions
  • Fast transfer of plate between pipetting position and magnet using Robotic Gripper Arm or Flexible Channel Arm™ Gripper

* Product shown from Alpaqua Engineering LLC, USA

Sample fractionation

Te-Chrome™ module enables eluate fraction collection for bioprocessing applications.

Read more

Colony picking

Pickolo™ Colony-Picker* can specifically identify and extract colonies of interest for further processing.

* Product shown from SciRobotics Ltd., Israel

Read more

Third-party devices

Fluent and FluentControl already support a large number of third-party separation devices, such as centrifuges* and positive pressure separation devices. For alternative devices, please contact your local sales representative or find out more about Tecan Labwerx.

* Product shown from Andreas Hettich GmbH, Germany

Mixing and shaking

Fluent offers integration of numerous devices for optimal mixing reagents or assay components, or to maintain suspensions.

  • Standard integration of Te-Shake™
  • Off-the-shelf integration of BioShake 3000 series (QInstruments)
  • Integration of multiple modules on, at the sides/rear or below the deck
  • Direct pipetting to and from deck-based shakers
  • Custom integration of devices via Tecan Labwerx
Show more

Te-Shake

  • Handles standard and deep-well SLAS-format microplates, microfuge tubes and PCR plates
  • One or two positions per shaker
  • Orbital, reverse orbital or amplitude shaking
  • Heating option from ambient +5 °C to 80 °C
  • Automatic loading and unloading via Robotic Gripper Arm™

BioShake 3000 series

  • Mixing at up to 3,000 rpm for standard and deep-well microplates – ideal for 384-well formats
  • Mixing at up to 1,800 rpm for microfuge tubes
  • Electronic locking of plate during shaking
  • Heating option from ambient to 99 °C, with adapters for various plate types to optimize heat transfer
  • Automatic loading and unloading with Robotic Gripper Arm or Flexible Channel Arm™ Gripper

Tumble mixer

Developed by Tecan Labwerx for automated mixing of 50 ml conical tubes in bacterial engineering. For other custom and third-party devices, please contact your local sales representative.




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Tab 04 / Fluent control
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The Fluent and Fluent Gx Automation Workstations are powerful platforms, yet FluentControl™ keeps daily operation simple with a dedicated touchscreen interface on the instrument itself.

 

One great software, two powerful interfaces

FluentControl™ is designed to empower scientists to build, optimize and maintain their own assays, without the need for computer programming expertise. By separating the interactions of everyday workflows from the configuration of new assays, Tecan has created ideal tools for both.

 

Working in a regulated environment?

The Fluent Gx Assurance software option offers the advanced process security features that are required to support compliance in clinical, GMP and QC facilities.

Play video

The drug disposition and safety department from Roche said:
The future demands flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to embrace new opportunities – we can’t simply go out and buy a new instrument for every new assay that we need to run.
Read more in "A flexible lab for the future"

 

TouchTools™ –
for those who press go every day

  • Activities such as running assays and system care are as straightforward as using the smartphone in your pocket
  • Users intuitively know what to do next, without the need for additional explanations
Show more

Clean presentation for everyday interactions

  • Usability comes as standard
  • Optimized touchscreen for logging in and entering key values
  • Simple interface for user prompts and error handling
  • No extra programming is needed to make FluentControl user friendly

Easier than making a PowerPoint® slide

  • Customize your user interface with pictures, videos and instructions specific to your lab or protocol
  • Embed your SOPs in every run
  • Reduce the training necessary for new operators
  • Delight laboratory veterans by making day-to-day tasks easier

Simple Method Recovery, outstanding capabilities

If your computer loses power in the middle of a method, TouchTools can:

  • Guide the operator through recovering the run
  • Show what has already been done
  • Display what still needs to be done
  • Confirm where everything needs be

The Institute for Product Quality said:
[FluentControl is] very quick and intuitive to use; new operators find it incredibly easy to learn.
Read more in "Faster food testing"

FluentControl – take control

  • Simple drag and drop commands to create powerful protocols
  • Use the 3D editor to configure worktable elements and labware
  • Review scripts as they are created, using the built-in auto-context check
  • Preview the finished protocol in a 3D simulator, without wasting valuable reagents
Show more

Easy to set up – even for those new to automation

  • Smart Commands allow you to quickly program common tasks – such as distributing a reagent or transferring samples in replicate – with a single command
  • Simple drag and drop functionality for all commands and deck set-up
  • Copy/paste functions for rapid duplication and editing
  • Integrated help system – simply press F1 while editing for more information

Program with confidence

  • Don’t worry if you make a mistake – simply go back!
  • Automatically create a back-up of the database with each run
  • Unlimited undo-redo list
  • Restore points ensure that, if your method was running correctly yesterday – but not today – you can simply restore it to yesterday's operating state

Reduce sample and reagent waste

  • Adaptive Signal Technology™ (AST) enables the instrument to reliably detect miniscule volumes, adapting the sensitivity threshold to allow detection of volumes as small as 2 μl of water
  • FluentControl combines AST with exceptional hardware accuracy and exact labware definitions to precisely model the interior of wells and accurately calculate the detected volume

Pass data to and from FluentControl

  • Quickly and easily move data between FluentControl and external files using the import/export variable commands
  • Worklisting even allows you to pipette directly from CSV files
  • Easy integration with other software, such as executing external applications or running customized VB.NET code
  • Built-in application programming interface allows protocols to be executed and runs to be started/stopped from your in-house software

Ncardia said:
The 3D simulator in FluentControl makes it very easy to visualize your protocols, speeding up process development.
Read more in "Redesigning the drug safety workflow"

The brain of the Fluent family

Fluent’s liquid handling arms move with speed, grace and precision, tracing the optimal paths around other modules.

  • Patented Path Finder™ technology evaluates where everything is in three dimensions, including the shapes of devices and changing height of disposable tip stacks during a run
  • The positional accuracy and precision of standard labware is Teach-free
  • Zero-G gravitational positioning system
  • Common Notification System keeps you connected and informed at all times
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Teach-free and Zero-G mean speed and reliability

After installation, default carriers and labware definitions can be used immediately:

  • No additional teaching is required to perform initial runs, thanks to a combination of the hardware's mechanical accuracy and precision and the software's carefully refined definitions
  • Zero-G positioning allows labware definitions to be optimized for high density formats, small volume liquid handling and exceptional precision

Straightforward device positioning and integration

Using Zero-G positioning, you can simply slide an arm to the desired location by hand, then click ‘transfer’ and FluentControl will know exactly where it is.

Need to control that special device? FluentControl is ready for that too. Any SiLA-ready device can be controlled by default, and Tecan has an extensive driver library for other modules. Contact your local Tecan sales representative to learn more.

Special tools for remote monitoring and troubleshooting

Tecan’s Common Notification System (CNS) informs you on your mobile device when user interactions are needed, or your instrument status has changed. CNS also offers connectivity with IFTTT allowing you to put the internet to work for you.

Snapshot gathers logs and system information when support is needed.

Remote Support allows you to connect with Tecan for troubleshooting.

Import/export method speeds up troubleshooting and allows easy transfer of methods between Fluent platforms.

Show more

Introspect™

Tecan's cloud-based solution collates productivity information from Fluent workstations and other Tecan systems to enhance instrument usage, identify bottlenecks and increase overall efficiency.

Read more

Fluent Gx Assurance Software

Maximize compliance, minimize manual input

The Fluent Gx Assurance software offers advanced features to streamline regulatory activities, helping laboratories to demonstrate compliance with minimal manual input.

  • Meets the needs of GMP facilities and supplements existing cybersecurity measures
  • Provides full user management, electronic signatures and method approval features
  • Compliance Checker provides rapid, fully automated integrity verification for all executable software components
  • Data Audit Tool performs a similar function for electronic records, ensuring data integrity
Show more

User management for controlled access

Multi-level user management allows bespoke control of access to protocols and software features.

Three default user levels – operator, application specialist and administrator – plus custom-defined roles, make it ideal for busy, multi-user labs.

User roles and passwords can be administered locally, or from the Windows® active domain.

Uncompromised security

FluentControl’s optional method approval feature offers security for regulated environments without compromising method development. This ensures that only approved and validated protocols are used for day-to-day activities, while providing application specialists with the ability to create and test new automation workflows.

End-to-end traceability

Traceability is crucial for regulated laboratories and clinical activities. FluentControl’s sample tracking add-on traces every sample, from initial identification using a handheld or integrated 1D/2D barcode scanner through to reporting of final results, including data from Magellan™ data reduction software.

A detailed, secure and audit-ready log of all actions for each sample is generated, which can be automatically uploaded to your LIMS.

Assured data integrity

FluentControl’s electronic records help laboratories to meet stringent regulatory standards for data security – such as those defined by FDA 21 CFR Part 11 – by providing protected copies of scripts, methods, carrier and labware definitions, liquid classes and system configurations.

Each file has a checksum to guarantee data integrity, and an optional electronic signatures function provides a detailed record of any changes made. For maximum process security, this feature can also be used to handle processing errors, requiring the user to approve any run that has been completed with errors or warnings.

AGRANIS said:
The user-friendly TouchTools interface... guides us through the worktable set-up step by step – where to place different elements, number of samples, etc.
Read more in "A revolution in milk sample analysis"




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Tab 05 / Applications
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Perhaps not surprisingly, the Fluent platform can be configured to deliver astonishing performance for a world of different applications across research, clinical and quality control laboratories in many industries.

The Fraunhofer IME. said:
So far we haven’t found anything it can’t do.
Read more in "Confidence in drug discovery"

Genomics

  • Fluent can boost automation of genomic applications in both research and clinical workflows
  • Simple device integration extends walkaway times
  • Uncomplicated programming enhances a laboratory’s speed and ability to adapt to new technologies and protocols in this fast moving area
  • Outstanding capacity and speed
Show more

Automated next generation sequencing

  • Exceptional pipetting precision and sub-microliter liquid handling help to reduce consumption of precious samples and expensive reagents
  • Outstanding processing speed with Flexible Channel Arm™ and Multiple Channel Arm working in parallel
  • High precision and excellent process security, contributing to first-rate results and complete confidence
NGS DreamPrep™

Automated nucleic acid purification

  • Scalable solutions according to throughput needs
  • Single-well access and 96- or 384-well formats can be combined
  • Magnetic or vacuum extraction devices
  • Effortless operation for a large number of users via touchscreen – guiding the operator through set-up and protocols
  • Protected environment with HEPA hood and UVC illumination
Fluent solutions for nucleic acid purification

Automated PCR set-up

  • Ideally suited to high throughput PCR set-up
  • Straightforward integration of one or more thermal cyclers
  • Full walkaway processing, with automatic movement of plates between thermal cyclers, shakers, heating/cooling devices and labware storage
  • Low volume and high precision pipetting help to ensure consistent results
Fluent solutions for high throughput PCR set-up

Sample aliquoting and assay plate preparation

  • Even common laboratory routines benefit from Fluent’s amazing speed, phenomenal deck capacity and process security features.
  • Fluent 480 offers a compact bench footprint
  • Fluent ID loads and tracks 96 samples in less than 30 seconds
  • Fluent Gx Assurance Software is enabling for regulated environments.

Cloning

  • Automated, reliable picking of bacteria, fungi, algae, hybridomas and mammalian cell colonies
  • Eliminate the tedium of repetitive manual processes
  • Dramatically increase throughput
  • Automate spiral plating and streaking
Read more

The Centre for Translational Microbiome Research said:
The Fluent pipettes incredibly precisely; I’ve never seen an automated platform anywhere near as accurate – it’s wonderful. This will be particularly useful for whole genome sequencing.
Read more in "What is normal? Understanding the vaginal microbiome"

Cell biology

  • Optimal solutions for cell-based assays
  • Cell protection via clean air and reduced exposure of cells to environment
  • High capacity logistics to extend walkaway times
  • Integrated, acclimatized cell storage
Show more

Cell-based assays

  • Compact solutions
  • Cell protection via clean air and reduced exposure of cells to environment
  • High capacity logistics to extend walk away time
  • Acclimatized cell storage provided

Cell line development – transfection and expression

  • Automated, reliable picking of bacteria, fungi, algae, hybridomas and mammalian cell colonies
  • Release operators from tedious and potentially error-prone manual picking
  • Automated, walkaway plating and streaking
Read more

Bioprocessing

  • Robust scale-up of protein purification
  • Outstanding speed, parallel processing and excellent precision
  • High productivity per m2 of laboratory space

Genea Biocells said:
There are things the system can do that I simply can’t do manually.
Read more in "Stem cell research offers muscular dystrophy hope"

Drug discovery and development

Get there first! Fluent’s speed of operation, flexibility to adapt and high precision and accuracy are ideal for compound management workflows, cell-based assays and ADME-Tox.

Show more

Compound management

  • Unique Finger Exchange system simplifies tube and plate handling for compound weighing and dissolution
  • Flexible, high speed Multiple Channel Arm accelerates library maintenance and assay plate preparation
  • Unmatched capacity and multi-tasking throughput for hit picking, serial dilutions and plate replication
Read more

Flexible screening and lead optimization

  • Fast reconfiguration of system between screens
  • Flexible integration of detection and separation devices
  • Sample and plate tracking via 1D and 2D barcode recognition
Read more

Cell-Based Assays and ADME-Tox

  • Scalable and configurable for a range of assays
  • Automated solutions for transporter assays, solubility studies, in vitro metabolism profiling, protein binding studies and compound characterization procedures
  • Integration of Tecan multimode readers with full sample tracking extends walkaway times
Read more

Target identification and validation

  • Fast and precise automation to optimize the investigation of molecular and cellular mechanisms
  • Scalable, walkaway solutions for nucleic acid purification, quantification and normalization
  • Speed up protein purification and cell biology applications
Read more

Clinical applications

Fluent Gx assists regulatory compliance with:

  • Electronic records
  • Audit trails and compliance checker
  • Method approval
  • User management
Show more

Molecular diagnostics

  • High throughput nucleic acid purification, quantification and normalization
  • Scalable solutions for PCR amplification
  • Compact, high capacity systems

Immunodiagnostics

  • High throughput sample tube to plate transfers and multichannel reagent addition
  • Integration of a wide range of Tecan separation, incubation and detection devices
  • Walkaway automation from sample transfer to result
  • Scalable, compact benchtop and cabinet-based immunoassay solutions

Applied markets

Ensure your ability to comply with regulatory directives. Fluent is ideal for routine screening, quality control and analytics in:

  • Agriculture
  • Veterinary
  • Food
Show more

Agrigenomics

  • Accelerate crop improvement and breeding using high capacity, compact automation
  • High throughput nucleic acid purification, quantification and normalization
  • Scalable solutions for PCR set-up, eg. for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis
  • Walkaway NGS sample prep, eg. for genotyping
Read more

Veterinary diagnostics

  • Outstanding speed for sample tube to plate transfers and reagent addition
  • Sample identification and tracking via barcode scanning
  • Walkaway automation through integration of a wide range of Tecan separation, incubation and detection devices
  • Scalable, compact benchtop and cabinet-based solutions for ELISA testing and molecular diagnostics

Food quality

  • Walkaway automation through integration of a wide range of Tecan separation, incubation and detection devices
  • High throughput nucleic acid purification, quantification and normalization
  • Scalable solutions for PCR amplification
  • Save time and money with efficient, high throughput, compact testing systems

AGRANIS said:
Automating DNA extraction has saved us time, and the enhanced speed allows us to achieve reliable batch processing of 96 samples in just two hours, running several plates a day.
Read more in "A revolution in milk sample analysis"




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Tab 06 / Literature
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Application Notes

Histone acetylation and deacetylation play an important role in the regulation of gene expression. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a group of enzymes that remove acetyl groups from ε-N-acetyl lysine amino acids on histones, allowing them to wrap DNA more tightly.This condenses the DNA structure, preventing transcription. Conversely, acetylation neutralizes the positive charges on the histones by changing amines into amides, decreasing their ability to bind DNA.This decreased binding allows chromatin expansion, permitting genetic transcription to take place. 18 HDAC enzymes are currently known, which are either zinc-dependent or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent (NAD-dependent).They are grouped into four classes according to their homology to yeast proteins. Classes I, II and IV are considered ‘classical’ HDACs, and are inhibited by trichostatin A (TSA).Due to the involvement of HDACs in various diseases and cancer development, there is now significant interest in selective HDAC inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents.

The failure of preclinical drug entities is a major problem for pharmaceutical companies, accounting for substantial proportions of their precious R&D budgets. As a consequence, there is a need to bring compound toxicity testing into a high throughput environment similar to primary efficacy screening. Metabolism of drugs is a key factor in compound toxicity, and the cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily of enzymes – mainly expressed in the hepatocyte cells of the liver – play a very important role in this process. There are now a number of screening assays designed to be automated in a microplate format for medium throughput profiling of compounds which may induce or inhibit CYP activity. In this application note, we describe a 384-well microplate format lead generation method using three different CYP enzymes, illustrating a typical assay run in an ADME laboratory.

For many years, small molecule drug discovery has relied on the evaluation of one compound against another compound.Measurement of the activity of a small molecule against a target must be standardized, and this is achieved by determining the IC50 or EC50 value (half maximal inhibitory/effective concentration respectively) using dose-response curves.To set up dose-response curves, compounds must be dissolved in a solvent to create solutions of varying concentrations, and DMSO has become the established solvent of choice. Today, chemists provide the biologists or compound management teams responsible for producing the dose-response curves with compound solutions prepared in DMSO.The workflow frequently begins with picking the key target compounds from a number of different microplates, generally referred to as hit-picking.These key compounds have often been selected based on single concentration data from a high throughput screening (HTS) campaign.

For many years, small molecule drug discovery has relied on the evaluation of one compound against another compound.Measurement of the activity of a small molecule against a target must be standardized, and this is achieved by determining the IC50 or EC50 value (half maximal inhibitory/effective concentration respectively) using dose-response curves.To set up dose-response curves, compounds must be dissolved in a solvent to create solutions of varying concentrations, and DMSO has become the established solvent of choice.Today, chemists provide the biologists or compound management teams responsible for producing the dose-response curves with compound solutions prepared in DMSO.The workflow frequently begins with picking the key target compounds from a number of different microplates, generally referred to as hit-picking.These key compounds have often been selected based on single concentration data from a high throughput screening (HTS) campaign.

The ability to carry out cell-based G-Protein coupled receptor (GPCR) assays in high throughput is a key part of the drug discovery process.Combining a Fluent laboratory automation solution configured for cell-based assays with the DiscoveRx PathHunter β-Arrestin human and ortholog GPCR assay kits gives users the power to run 384-well plate-based assays in high throughput.This increased processing speed and capacity over current solutions, combined with extremely efficient use of laboratory space, makes this a superior system for cell-based assays.

The NCI-60 panel represents a wide diversity of common cancer-types and it is one of the most important tools in modern drug discovery for the identification of new anti-cancer compounds.Although, the cell lines are commonly used in phenotypic assays for monitoring cell growth and survival, when combined with bioinformatics tools such as the NCI COMPARE database, NCI panel data can also provide a preliminary indication of the potential mechanisms of action for novel compounds.Typically, large sets of compounds are initially tested at a single concentration.Hits showing growth inhibition or cytotoxic properties are profiled in dose response format over multiple cell lines to establish compound potency and selectivity.

Epigenetics has played an important role in drug discovery for many years, but its importance has grown significantly recently due to the role epigenetic modifications can play in cancer and stem cell differentiation. Methylation is the principal epigenetic modification of DNA and of proteins known as histones, which package DNA into chromatin inside a cell.Epigenetic modifications define how genetic information is read and used by cells and, through cell divisions, these epigenetic changes may last for the duration of the cell's life. They may also last for multiple generations, even though they do not involve changes in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism.Epigenetic modifications can therefore be inherited, and are influenced by environmental factors, some of which can induce epigenetic signaling that may contribute to biological processes such as aging.The Cisbio EPIgeneous cell-based assays enable direct measurement of methylation, demethylation, and total proteins on both adherent and suspension cells.Tecan has re-invented automation with Fluent, a unique instrumentation concept built around the applicationspecific needs of your lab. Fluent breaks new ground, delivering more capacity and increased speed.

Epigenetics has played an important role in drug discovery for many years, but its importance has grown significantly recently due to the role epigenetic modifications can play in cancer and stem cell differentiation.Methylation is the principal epigenetic modification of DNA and of proteins known as histones, which package DNA into chromatin inside a cell.Epigenetic modifications define how genetic information is read and used by cells and, through cell divisions, these epigenetic changes may last for the duration of the cell's life. They may also last for multiple generations, even though they do not involve changes in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism.Epigenetic modifications can therefore be inherited, and are influenced by environmental factors, some of which can induce epigenetic signaling that may contribute to biological processes such as aging.The Cisbio EPIgeneous cell-based assays enable direct measurement of methylation, demethylation, and total proteins on both adherent and suspension cells.

Brochures

Fluent was designed and built to increase throughput and productivity, enabling laboratories to get more done in less time – and less space.

Designed for those who ‘press go’, daily activities such as running assays and routine maintenance become as straightforward as using the smartphone in your pocket. Users intuitively know what to do next.

Fluent Gx brings the proven performance enhancements of the Fluent Laboratory Automation Solution to highly regulated laboratories.Application workflows in clinical and other regulated areas can benefit from high throughput, ease of operation and outstanding precision & accuracy with maximum process security.

 

Tecan’s groundbreaking Fluent platform brings unsurpassed speed and flexibility to plate formatting and copying. Throughput and accuracy are everything, so we’ve engineered a compact automation solution with three arms that work in parallel across a Dynamic Deck™ offering unmatched plate capacity. Discover an instrument that speaks the language of your laboratory, making compound management more simple, efficient… and fluent.

Seamless integration of cell-based assay technologies streamlines your workfl ows and simplifi es your laboratory life.

Fluent’s groundbreaking design delivers more capacity and increased speed for genomic workflows. This innovative solution offers superior precision, higher throughput and longer walkaway times. Get more done in less time, with greater confidence.

The MultiChannel Arm™ 384 has been designed to offer higher productivity to automated liquid handling workflows in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research applications, increasing the efficiency and speed of pipetting processes, as well as delivering an outstanding level of flexibility.

For Freedom EVO® and Fluent®

Technical Notes

Fluent specifications.

Enhanced capacitive liquid level detection for increased reliability and reproducibilitySpeed and throughput seem like logical reasons to acquire an automated liquid handling system but, for many users, the consistency of results is an even more valuable asset.An unobtrusive, barely noticed feature – liquid level detection – plays a critical role in ensuring the reliability and consistency of the pipetting processes, but not all liquid level sensing technologies are created equal.Tecan’s Adaptive Signal Technology is a new generation of capacitive liquid level sensing that does far more than just detect the liquid level in a microplate well; it can reliably distinguish between the true liquid level and bubbles, detect tip occlusions, prevent wells over-flowing, and offer new opportunities for in-process error handling.

Reducing the liquid dead volume is a highly desirable aspect of a liquid handling platform’s performance, particularly in the case of expensive reagents or precious scarce samples.Minimizing the dead volume not only presents substantial reagent and sample cost savings, it can also result in more assays per unit volume, further decreasing labor costs and allowing more data per cycle.Fluent Laboratory Automation Solutions with Adaptive Signal Technology™ (AST) advanced liquid level detection offer several synergistic benefits that reduce dead volume without compromising on the precision or accuracy of liquid transfers.

Tecan Journal articles

Read what Fluent users have to say.

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The Blog articles

Read our Fluent-related blog articles.

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