Something in the way it moves...


Stop wasting time and reagents.
The Mantis is the lowest dead volume liquid handler on the market.


Applications: NGS Library Prep -- Magnetic Bead Dispensing -- PCR Master Mix -- Precious Reagent Dispensing -- Cell Dispensing -- PCR Setup
The Mantis with direct pipette inputs for ingredients has a dead volume of 6 µL

Extremely Low Dead Volume

To minimize dead volume, reagents plug directly into microfluidic chips. Dead volumes can be further reduced to 6 µL by using pipette tips as reagent reservoirs. This feature is ideal for dispensing even the most precious samples.

At the core of the Mantis is a patent-pending microfluidic valve cluster that can measure and dispense discrete volumes of liquid.

Patented Microfluidic Dispensing Technology

At the core of the Mantis is a patented microfluidic valve cluster that measures and dispenses discrete volumes of liquid. Pressure and vacuum open and close each valve on the silicone valve cluster. This chip has two micro-diaphragms (100 nL / 500 nL or 1 µL / 5 µL depending on the chip option) that can fill and dispense as rapidly as 10 times per second.

The Mantis is the smallest liquid handling robot made by Formulatrix and boasts one of the smallest footprints on the market.

Small Footprint

The compact Mantis is the smallest liquid handling robot made by Formulatrix and boasts one of the smallest footprints on the market.

With a base that fits on a standard mouse pad, the Mantis can fit in nearly any workspace while remaining robot accessible.

Dimensions: 337 mm (13.3") x 273 mm (10.7") x 218 mm (8.6")

The Mantis is the smallest liquid handling robot made by Formulatrix.

Multiple Chip Changer – Optional

Mantis can automatically dispense up to six reagents, allowing you to dispense complex plates and assay development protocols.

The LC³ allows for up to 24 reagents to be dispensed automatically.

Large Capacity Chip Changer (LC3) - Optional

The LC3 upgrade vastly expands the number of reagents that can be automatically dispensed by the Mantis. This modular carousel attachment allows for 24 chips to be set up with 15 mL falcon tubes/pipette tips, or 18 chips with 50 mL falcon tubes. The carousel can be positioned on the left or right of the Mantis depending on your workspace needs. The carousel and Mantis sit on a locating plate to ensure precision placement with no hassle setup.

The Mantis Continuous Flow Dispensing

Continuous Flow Dispensing – Optional

Using the continuous flow option, the Mantis can dispense volumes from 5 μL - 2000 μL in a continuous stream, perfect for deep well blocks. Continuous flow options are available to fit standard 50 mL Falcon tubes and 250 mL Nalgene bottles.

The Mantis Dual Wash Stations.

Dual Wash Stations

The built-in dual wash stations permit easy fluid pathway cleaning following dispenses. One station can deliver bleach or alcohol for sterilization, while the second station can deliver water for a final rinse.

The Mantis Built-in Tube Holders

Built-in Tube Holders

Six built-in (removable) tube holders are located at the right (2) and left (4) sides of the Mantis, ideal for large volume dispenses or frequently used reagents.

The Mantis DMSO Compatible

Chemical Compatible Chips - Optional

The Mantis can dispense DMSO and other harsh solvents using optional perfluoroelastomer chips.

The Mantis DMSO Compatible

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chips - Optional

Automatically track all your chip usage data including micro-diaphragm cycles and dispense history. The RFID chip will also notify you if any reagent is not in the correct position on the system. Any of our chip options below can be made into RFID chips upon request.

The Mantis Molecular Biology Grade Chips.

Molecular Biology Grade Chips - Optional

The Mantis can be configured with molecular biology grade chips tested to be free of DNA, DNase, RNA, RNase, and protease.

Mantis software

The Mantis´s software provides a straightforward, user-friendly way to design and execute the most complicated dispenses. Add reagents to the dispense list, define volumes and draw on the virtual plate to define dispense placement, then assign each reagent to its chip position. Hit the run button and the Mantis dispenses your design.

The Mantis software is capable of designing gradients and backfills. You can also import .txt and .csv files for precise control over dispense volumes (within hardware limits).

If you got a problem playing the videos, please go to this link.

This section is an interactive Flash demo, please click the button below to view in a new tab.

Launch the Microdiaphragm Pump Technology Demo

Note for Chrome Users:
For Chrome version 56 and above, Chrome has changed their default settings disabling the Adobe Flash plugin. You may encounter an automatic download of the file chip_flow.swf when opening the above link. To view the file, please ensure you have the Adobe Flash Player installed.

See how a leading educational lab in the USA is using the Mantis for cell dispensing

This video was put together by a customer, in their lab, using the previous version of the Mantis.

The Mantis can dispense with a variety of chips. Use the table below to learn about the available chips.

Name Material Diaphragm Vol. Min Volume Max Volume Diaphragm Vol – Pulses/S Dead Volume CV’s Part Number
Low Volume Silicone 0.1 μL, 0.5 μL 0.1 μL 0.1 μL – 10
0.5 μL – 7
6 μL <3% at 0.1 μL MCLS6*
High Volume Silicone 1 μL, 5 μL 1 μL 1 μL – 10
5 μL – 4
15 μL <3% at 1 μL MCHS6*
Low Volume PFE Perfluoroelastomer 0.1 μL, 0.5 μL 0.1 μL 0.1 μL – 3
0.5 μL – 2
6 μL <5% at 0.1 μL MCLP2 (Solvent Compatible)
High Volume PFE Perfluoroelastomer 1 μL, 5 μL 1 μL 1 μL – 5
5 μL – 4
15 μL <5% at 1 μL MCHP2 (Solvent Compatible)
High Volume Continuous Flow Silicone 5 μL   300 μL <5% at 5 μL MCFSH6

* These chips are also available graded for molecular biology use. See below.

Molecular Biology Grade Chips

Formulatrix follows manufacturing processes certified to produce molecular biology grade Mantis chips free of detectable DNA, DNase, RNase and protease. Low volume and high volume chips are available.


Mantis Dimensions

Mantis Physical Dimensions

Physical Dimensions:

  • Width: 354 mm max (smaller without ACC or reagent holders)
  • Height Full Extension: 273 mm (not including pipette tip adapter)
  • Height No Extension: 172 mm (not including pipette tip adapter)
  • Depth: 212 mm
  • Weight: Approx. 5.2 kg (11.5 lbs)

Computer Requirements:

  • Computer OS :
    • Windows XP Home Edition SP3 32-bit
    • Windows 7 Home Basic 64-bit
    • Windows Vista 32-bit
  • One open USB port (USB 2.0 recommended, USB 3.0 supported)
  • Dual Core 1GHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1 GB of Hard Drive space
  • 768 pixels vertical minimum screen resolution

Electrical Specifications:

  • 110-240 V, 50-60 Hz, 50 W typical, 100 W max

Reproducible Genomics

Rapid, Accurate and Flexible DNA Quantitation Using the QuantiFluor® dsDNA System on the MANTIS® Liquid Handler

An Assessment of the Volumetric Performance of the MANTIS® Liquid Handler Using the Artel MVS® Multichannel Verification System

FORMULATRIX® and Artel present this application note in order to showcase the precision of the MANTIS® Liquid Handler, a novel solution designed to supplement traditional liquid handling platforms. By implementing the MANTIS, researchers can increase experimental reproducibility in genomics workflows that involve dispensing small volumes of valuable reagents with a high degree of precision.

Read the application note to learn how the MANTIS can be quickly and simply programmed to dispense reagents for Reproducible Genomics.

Nucleic Acid Quantitation

Rapid, Accurate and Flexible DNA Quantitation Using the QuantiFluor® dsDNA System on the MANTIS® Liquid Handler

Rapid, Accurate and Flexible DNA Quantitation Using the QuantiFluor® dsDNA System on the MANTIS® Liquid Handler

Fluorescent dye-based quantitation systems are recommended for advanced downstream applications because of their sensitivity, target selectivity, cost, and ease of use. The QuantiFluor® dsDNA System can be used for quantitating dsDNA in single tubes as well as 96- and 384-well plates. Accuracy during repetitive pipetting of small volumes can be difficult and labor intensive with many opportunities for error and costly re-work. The MANTIS® Liquid Handler is a novel bench-top liquid handler that can meet many requirements for high-throughput reagent dispensing at a fraction of the cost of larger systems. For nucleic acid quantitation, the MANTIS accurately dispenses small volumes of the QuantiFluor® Dye working solution for reproducible quantitation results. In this application note, we demonstrate the compatibility of the MANTIS to quickly and accurately automate reagent handling of the QuantiFluor® dsDNA System for both 96- and 384-well plate formats.

Read the application note to learn how the MANTIS can be quickly and simply programmed to dispense reagents for nucleic acid quantification.

Cell-Based Assays

Automation and Miniaturization of AlphaLISA® and AlphaPlex® Assays Using Microfluidic Dispensing Technologies

Cell dispensing in a high-content, primary neuron based, screening platform using the Mantis Liquid Handler

The Scripps Research Institute uses the Mantis as a precise, reliable, and robust solution for dispensing even the most sensitive primary neuronal cells in the generation of a high content screening platform.

Read the application note to learn how the Mantis can promote cell viability and cell count uniformity in your lab.


Automation and Miniaturization of AlphaLISA® and AlphaPlex® Assays Using Microfluidic Dispensing Technologies

Automation and Miniaturization of AlphaLISA® and AlphaPlex® Assays Using Microfluidic Dispensing Technologies

The Mantis and Tempest are ideally suited for dispensing AlphaLISA® beads and reagents to maximize assay performance and minimize assay cost by reducing dead volume and enabling a simple and robust means to reduce reaction volumes without sacrificing the quality of experimental results.

Automation and Miniaturization of AlphaLISA® and AlphaPlex® Assays Using Microfluidic Dispensing Technologies – SLAS2016 tutorial co-sponsored with PerkinElmer

Application Note:
Automating AlphaLISA® Reagent Handling with the Tempest Microfluidic Dispensing System

Optimization of Automated AlphaLISA® Assays for Biomarker Measurements in Large-Scale PK/PD Studies

Learn more about AlphaLisa reagents


Automated Processing of the GlobalFiler® Express PCR Amplification Kit With the Formulatrix Mantis

Automation and Miniaturization of Low-Input RNA-SeqSample Prep Using Desktop Microfluidics

Miniaturization and scale-down of reagent and reaction volumes for low-inputRNA-Seq work flows enables researchers to work with low sample input and increased number sof samples. As the reaction volumes are reduced, accurate delivery of reagent volumes emerges as a critical step to maintain data quality and technical reproducibility.

We present results from miniaturization of the ClontechSMART-Seq® v4 Ultra® Low Input RNA Kit for Sequencing and Illumina Nextera® XT workflows for generation of high-qualityRNA-Seq samples using a compact desktop microfluidic dispensing technology.

Read More.


Automated Processing of the GlobalFiler® Express PCR Amplification Kit With the Formulatrix Mantis

Automated Processing of the GlobalFiler® Express PCR Amplification Kit With the Formulatrix Mantis

This application note describes the use of the Mantis to dispense the Global Filer® Express Kit master mix to the amplification plate with treated buccal punches present.

Read More.

High-Throughput Reagent Dispensing with the Formulatrix Mantis

High Throughput Large Scale Genotyping in Soybean Utilizing Novel Microfluidic Reagent Dispensing Technology

Recent advances in DNA marker/QTL (gene) discovery and marker detection technology have great impacts on crop improvement through marker-assisted selection. To discover and deploy the DNA markers in plant breeding programs, establishing low cost, high throughput, large scale and reliable and flexible marker genotyping platform is one of key factors. Implementing high-throughput workflows for SNP genotyping platforms such as TaqMan and KASP assays requires accurate dispensing of assay master mixes and reagents. Speed and accuracy are critical factors to achieve the desired assay performance while utilizing a workflow that minimizes reagent utilization to allow for large-scale studies.

Read More High Throughput Large Scale Genotyping in Soybean Utilizing Novel Microfluidic Reagent Dispensing Technology.

Assay Development

Assuring Optimal Promega Assays Development

Assuring Optimal Promega Assays Development by Design of Experiment Workflow and Mantis Dispenser

To facilitate assay development we employ a Design of Experiment approach during assay development. Design of Experiments (DoE) offers a systematic way of simultaneously evaluating multiple assay parameters and analyzing the resulting process outputs to optimize assay conditions with a minimum number of experiments.

Read More.


  Average User Satisfaction Rate


Wilmer Eye Institute at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine – Srinivas R. Sripathi 6/23/2017 03:25 PM

When it comes to dispensing quantitative real-time PCR master mix, the MANTIS meets and exceeds every requirement. We have developed protocols for 2 µL qPCR reactions that would just not be feasible without the precise and reliable dispensing of the MANTIS at 1 µL. Using MANTIS, I recently performed a high-throughput qPCR-based drug screen in stem cell derived retinal cells and acquired reliable data with homogeneity, precision, and faster dispensing. The instrument is user-friendly and has easily paid for itself in the savings associated with both expensive reagents and tip consumption in our lab. The MANTIS is an essential tool for any lab that wishes to perform the most efficient and reproducible genetic analysis


MRC Technology – Paul Smith 6/6/2017 5:21 AM

Invaluable device for setting up complex experiments comprising of several different reagents and assays at the same time. Exceptionally powerful for early assay development.



Cancer Research UK – Wolfgang Breitwieser 6/6/2017 4:45 AM

Automated liquid dispensing is normally associated with big expensive equipment. Not so the Mantis. It combines speed and accuracy with an extremely small footprint and a relatively decent price tag. For us it has become an integral part of single cell processing and NGS applications. Handling is straight forward and intuitive and even my automation averse lab colleagues love to use it.


Major Pharmaceutical Company – anonymous review 3/28/2017 11:01 AM

The Mantis is a compact, versitle, and convenient liquid handler that allows for the accurate dispense of reagent without the extensive liquid class development and testing needed for most other platforms in the market. The software can be used to very quickly deliver reagents to complicated multi-well plate set-ups, which helps reduce pipetting errors and eliminate ergonomic stress. It is a great option for an assay development lab like ours that is not high throughput and is interested in robotics.


Genentech – Daniel Tran 3/1/2016 4:07 PM

1. The dispense list can be easily created using excel or text files to define the volume needed in each well.
2. Saves a lot of reagent because it requires very little prime volume



CRUK Manchester Institute – Alex Stowell 2/9/2016 3:07 PM

The Mantis is like no other liquid handler I’ve ever used. For low throughput, highly complex assays where having very low dead volumes is an absolute must, this machine ticks all those boxes. We have found it very useful for assay development and mechanism of inhibition studies. We also purchased the LC3 (large capacity chip changer) alongside the Mantis to ensure that we would not be restricted by the number of different reagents we could use at any one time. We routinely perform experiments requiring upwards of 10 different reagents so this has been an invaluable addition. The software is incredibly easy to negotiate, is very intuitive and allows you to set up very complicated experiments very easily and quickly. We’re very impressed with this machine.


Northwestern University – Sara Dunne 2/3/2016 9:02 AM

The Mantis is a small liquid dispenser for 96 or 384 well plates using their patented microfluidic dispensing chips. We use it to set up assays when preparing small numbers of plates, or anytime we are using highly precious reagents that we don't want to waste. With a little care we can get the dead volume down to 10uL. Although it dispenses one well at a time we find that it's speed is sufficient for most assays. And the software is very intuitive and easy to use. We've had it for six months and it has quickly become one of our most popular liquid handlers.


UK Cancer Research Technology – Jennifer McKelvie 9/3/2014 5:45 AM

The Mantis is an extremely versatile piece of kit which allows you to set up complex assays with minimal hands on time. We are currently using it to set up assay development experiments such as buffer optimisation as well as mode of action studies. We have found that the Mantis dramatically reduces hands on time in the lab, especially when running stopped assays as these can be programmed in and left to run.


Emmy Staples - Life Technologies 8/22/2014 5:47 PM

This dispenser is small footprint, small investment, and large return. Dispensing small volume reagents to an entire plate at any volume in the working range eliminates human error for manual addition. It also lets you dispense directly from a pipette tip, resulting in saving precious reagents! Highly recommend!

GE Analytical Instrument – Shouquan Deng 7/23/2014 6:13 PM

this product is very compact and smart. What’s more it can dispense very tiny volume of solution, such as 5µL, into a small channel. All these are very suitable to our products development.

Leading Academic Lab – anonymous review 6/25/2014 6:29 AM

We got a Mantis to dispense cells and reagents in 384-well format. It's been great. We do better experiments now since it is easy to use the Mantis to set up tests of a lot of concentrations. It's been reliable and used regularly for more than two years now. Very glad we have the Mantis.

Leading Academic Lab – anonymous review 6/10/2014 8:36 AM

The Mantis is an ideal instrument for applications that require high precision and accuracy. In my lab, we use the Mantis primarily to add cells and drug treatments to 384-well plates. I find the Mantis to be more accurate when adding cells to 384-well plates than other reagent dispensers. The instrument allows me to easily test different drug concentrations and combinations. Overall, the Mantis has proven to me that it can reduce the background noise of data, and improve the accuracy of my experiments

Monsanto – Bryan Witherbee 6/14/2013 1:14 PM

I feel compelled to leave a strong recommendation for potential purchasers of the Mantis. We have now implemented the Mantis into our everyday workflow for assay development. The software is easy to use and allows us to quickly set up DOEs with varying concentrations of reagents and direct them to appropriate wells. We have also been extremely efficient in showing the feasibility of smaller volume reactions using the Mantis, with several assays moving from using the higher volume diaphragm to the smaller volume diaphragm and decreasing the size of reaction from 5 µL to 500 nL - at a huge cost savings! Plus money we save from not losing valuable reagents is also a huge plus; the low dead volume alone makes this a great purchase. We give the Mantis our highest recommendation.

Major Pharmaceutical Company – anonymous review 1/28/2014 5:45 PM

The Mantis made an immediate impact in our lab. We support Large Molecule Discovery Research and this device allows us to minituraize assays and speed development. Our favorite features are the disposable chip format which eliminates cross contamination entirely. I strongly reccomend this product based on the value it has provided to our lab.

Sanofi Aventis – Kristin Riehle 2/18/2011 3:01 PM

when it works, it works quite well though a little slow.


Additional Customer Applications


A west coast Advanced Molecular Evolution group that is part of a leading pharmaceutical company  uses a multiple Mantis setup around their lab for PCR and generic work.

Application: PCR/Generic Lab Work
Usage: Dispensing antigen coating into PCR plates
Previous Method: Pipette based system that wastes about 500µL.
Reason for Replacing: An estimated savings of $200 in reagents every usage of the Mantis. The low cost of the Mantis allows them to free up their slower more expensive machines for more intensive work.


Recently the Mantis was evaluated as a potential solution for a major company that processes human samples for drug testing & genetic testing.

Application: Genetic Testing
Usage: Dispensing multiple sequencing reagents into about 15 plates a day.
Previous Method: By hand - complaints of dispensing errors and wasted reagents from human error are the biggest problem.
Reason for Replacing: Primarily the dead volume savings and the efficiency of the Mantis.


The Enzymology group in a privately held drug discovery company has a Mantis hard at work with the auto chip changer upgrade.

Application: Biochemical and cell based assay development, serial dilutions, RNA matrixing
Usage: Running DOE and kinetics assays
Setup A Mantis with the auto chip changer upgrade (ACC). The ACC allows this Mantis to switch between 6 different chips during a dispense to vary the volume and ingredient input through the dispense.