Robot reply

Derron Derron
Tue Jan 28 11:39:20 EST 1997


Hello,

I hope I have some information here that is useful to you.
I have experience on both the Packard Mulitprobe 204DT and the Tecan
Genesis platforms, specifically their use in automated sequencing
reaction set-up (among other things.)  
The Packard is a fine platform for setting ABI DT reactions (either
fixed tip or disposable) as long as you don't need to add vanishingly
small quantities of any reagent. I feel comfortable using it to pipette
down to about 3ul with the small disposable tips.  Also, if your plate
definitions are well done, then there really isn't much need for liquid
sensing.  Liquid sensing helps when doing DNA preps on the Packard, but
for sequencing reactions, not so much.
The Tecan is also really great for DT reactions once you get over the
cumbersome user interface and the "Il" Logic progamming environment.  I
feel that pipetting below 5ul with this platform is asking for trouble. 
That is unless you use the tip touching function.  I routinely pipette 2
ul with this function.
I don't think that either of these workstations is currently suitable
for DP or ET reactions since the throughput is greatly decreased by all
of the wash steps.  The Packard would be a little better since it uses
disp. tips too.  Also, you might want to think about cooling the deck to
cut down on evaporation since the set-up time on the Tecan is about 1 hr
per 96 ET/DP reactions.

The Packard is really good (and cheap too), but I think it has some
stability problems.  The Tecan never crashes and is the most flexible
(you can do just about anything with it, but it might be faster to do
some of this stuff by hand...), but if you don't need that flexibility
or stability (its really not that bad), buy 2 Packards and get twice the
throughput.

Derron J. Blakely
Scientist II
ABI Development group
Genome Therapeutics Co.
blakely at cric.com



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