High content screening automation – Molecular Devices ImageXpress®
PAA has integrated the ImageXpress® HCS Imaging System into a range of robotic workcells using the PAA laboratory robots and Mitsubishi factory robots.
The ImageXpress® plate reader is an epifluorescent microscope imager optimized for speed and small footprint. The Molecular Devices ImageXpress® HCS Imaging System is a point-scanning confocal system featuring two to four solid-state lasers, which provide up to 4 simultaneous excitation wavelengths. Both utilize MetaXpress® image analysis software and both are compatible with PAA’s Overlord laboratory automation software.
Automated workcell for Molecular Devices ImageXpress® High Content Screening
The standard automated workcell consists of:
- MD Molecular Devices ImageXpress® Micro and Ultra HCS imaging systems
- plate storage stacks
- optional liquid handling (see picture left)
- a PAA robot or S-LAB low cost plate loader
- wide-angle barcode reader
- safety screen (shown left, an optional extra required by some company safety officers)
- The robot gets a plate from input stack
- The barcode is scanned
- The plate reader drawer is opened
- The robot puts the plate in the plate reader, close the drawer, run plate reader (with plate ID information)
- When the plate read is complete, open the plate reader drawer, and the robot removes the plate from the plate reader
- The robot puts the plate in the output stack,
- Move plate reader data to the required folder on the PC or server
Advanced laboratory automation
As with all Overlord applications, any of the 500+ laboratory instruments can be combined in an automation workcell. The application (left) is the “Robot Scientist” project at the University of Wales at Aberystwyth. In this workcell, 2 robots, working in cooperation, feed the sample preparation and sample analysis sections of the workcell. A suite of artificial intelligence (ai) software, developed at the university, then develops new heuristics for the experiments being performed, with the system continuously optimizing itself.