Harnessing the power of the apricot S3 pipettor for accessible automation and research

The apricot range from SPT Labtech features versatile, user-friendly liquid handling instruments. As one of the core products in the range, the apricot S3 pipettor provides automated high-performance 96 and 384-channel pipetting for low and high-throughput use.

apricot S3. Image Credit: SPT Labtech

apricot S3. Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Anita Pearson is an Applications Development Scientist at SPT Labtech. Here, she describes her experience using the apricot S3 instrument and her insights regarding the benefits it provides to its users.

Anita acts as an internal user of SPT Labtech products in her role to assist customers in obtaining the information they require by designing and conducting experiments and collaborating with the R&D team to deliver an application-based, user-orientated point of view for any development project.

This means that Anita is ideally positioned to provide comments on the profile of the apricot S3 from the perspective of a user.

Could you please describe the apricot S3 instrument?

apricot S3 is a compact, semi-automated liquid handler that is compatible with both 96 and 384 well plates. It has a straightforward and efficient design with a fixed-position pipetting core and a three-position deck that can move in X, Y and Z directions.

It is semi-automated, meaning most aspects of the liquid handler can be controlled via the touch screen user interface, such as its aspirations, deck movements, and the dispensing of fluids. However, tip exchange continues to be a manual process that simplifies the instrument’s operation to a degree.

A full video demonstration of the apricot S range is available, where SPT Labtech’s Product Manager delivers an overview of both the apricot S1 and S3 and explains some of the main features of both instruments. 

Click here to view the video demo.

How have you been using the instrument?

We have been working extensively with the instrument to identify the best pipetting technique and how to precisely dispense fluids with the instrument.

Learning the strengths of the instrument and how best to handle liquids with it allows us to progress to applying those techniques to applications, including Next Generation Sequencing protocols and bead clean-ups.

Currently, we have a good understanding of how different types of liquid behave with the S3 and the various dispense settings that are required. This allows us to pass these insights on to customers.

What did you most like about utilizing the apricot S3?

I have been impressed with how straightforward and intuitive it is to get the apricot S3 to perform the tasks you want. Users of all experience levels will be able to quickly get to grips with how to write protocols and start using the instrument.

Additionally, I am impressed by how precise the dispensing is. For example, I have measured the precision of a 1 uL dispense of buffer from a 384-tip array to have a %CV smaller than 3%.

Like the whole range, the apricot S3 utilizes EZ-Load tip technology for the rapid replacement of tips at just the push of a button. More broadly, it provides a user interface via a convenient touchscreen Windows 10 tablet.

The touchscreen provides multiple accessible functions to enable users to easily control the instrument. This can be done either by writing a protocol or by executing discrete pipetting steps successively with the manual operation settings. I am confident that I could train someone to use the instrument in less than one hour.

Has anything about the instrument surprised you?

Once the initial apricot S3 setup is right, the possibilities are endless. Although it has a simple and streamlined design, it is highly versatile. It provides accessible automated liquid handling to every laboratory user, regardless of training or experience level.

Learn more about the apricot S3 Pipettor here.

About SPT Labtech

We Design and Manufacture Robust, Reliable and Easy-to-Use Solutions for Life Science

We enable life scientists through collaboration, deep application knowledge, and leading engineering to accelerate research and make a difference together. We offer a portfolio of products within sample management, liquid handling, and multiplexed detection that minimize assay volumes, reduce material handling costs and put the discovery tools back in the hands of the scientist.

At the Heart of What We Do

Many of our innovations have been born out of the desire to create solutions to existing customer problems; and it’s this ethos that drives SPT Labtech’s R&D efforts. Our strengths come from the trust our customers have with us to develop truly unique, automated technologies to meet their needs. We combine cutting edge science with first-rate engineering to put customers at the heart of everything we do.

A Problem-Solving State of Mind

The substantial breadth of expertise within our company enables us to be involved in the full life cycle of our products from the initial design concept, mechanical and software engineering and prototyping, to final manufacture and sale. These qualities allow us to offer the best possible technical and mechanical support to all the equipment that we supply, hence maintaining excellent client relationships.

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Last updated: May 30, 2023 at 5:05 AM


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