Dispense up to 34 different reagents, any viscosity.

The Formulator is a next-generation liquid handler that uses patented microfluidic technology to dispense up to ten times faster than traditional liquid handlers and is capable of dispensing viscous reagents.

Applications: Assay Development -- Viscous Reagent Dispensing -- Protein Crystallization -- Screen Creation
Each of the Formulator's 96 nozzles has a valve cluster which in turn has two micro-diaphragms (200nL and 2.5µL) that can fill and dispense as fast as 3 times per second.

Discrete Parallel Metering Technology

At the core of the Formulator is a patented microfluidic chip that measures and dispenses discrete volumes of liquid. The chip has 96 outputs, each with its own microfluidic valve cluster. Each valve cluster has two micro-diaphragms (200 nL and 2.5 µL) that fill and dispense up to three times per second. By combining multiple dispenses of each micro-diaphragm, the Formulator can dispense any volume down to 200 nL


The Formulator's positive displacement micro-diaphragms handle viscous and non-viscous liquids with ease and precision. Actual size comparison.

Positive Displacement Micro-Diaphragms

The Formulator's positive displacement micro-diaphragms handle viscous and non-viscous liquids with ease and precision. Select from four viscosity settings (normal, medium, high, and very high) to define a reagent’s liquid class, and the Formulator adjusts the diaphragm fill time to compensate.


The system's barcode scanner also allows for ingredients to be added and changed in seconds.

Quick Stock Swap

Adding and changing stock reagents is straightforward due to specially designed lid inserts and integrated check valves. Adding a stock reagent to the Formulator is simple -- scan the reagent barcode, invert the bottle or Falcon tube, and insert it into any of the reagent inputs on the top of the Formulator. Bottle sensors tell the Formulator where you positioned each reagent.

A few mouse clicks tell the Formulator to wash the bottle input and the supply line and you’re ready to switch out a reagent bottle.

Currently the Formulator supports 125 mL and 250 mL Nalgene bottles and 50 mL Falcon tubes (others available upon request).


There are three ingredient configurations of the Formulator, both identical in size. 16 ingredient model shown.

10, 16, and 34 Reagent Models

There are three reagent configurations, all identical in size.

    Formulator 10:
  • 9 inputs for either 250 mL Nalgene bottles, 125 mL Nalgene bottles, or 50 mL Falcon tubes
  • 1 bulk wash input for pure water (can also be used as an reagent)
  • Optional secondary wash input for other wash solutions

  • Formulator 16:
  • 15 inputs for either 250 mL Nalgene bottles, 125 mL Nalgene bottles, or 50 mL Falcon tubes
  • 1 bulk wash input for pure water (can also be used as an reagent)
  • Optional secondary wash input for other wash solutions

  • Formulator 34:
  • 30 inputs for 50 mL Falcon tubes
  • 3 inputs for either 250 mL Nalgene bottles, 125 mL Nalgene bottles, or 50 mL Falcon tubes
  • 1 bulk wash input for pure water (can also be used as an reagent)
  • Optional secondary wash input for other wash solutions

Formulator software provides a straightforward, user-friendly way to run even the most complicated dispensing protocols through a visual representation of your plate that displays each reagent’s volume and well location. Design dispenses that vary the volume of each reagent to every well on the plate, dispense the same volume to every well, and add a backfill if necessary.

Managing reagent bottles is also intuitive -- scan the reagent bottles, place them on top of the Formulator, and the software shows you when your reagents are primed and ready to be dispensed.

When you’re ready to dispense your reagents, place the plate on the Formulator’s plate holder. Then, click the Run button – the Formulator does the rest. If you’re using Rock Maker, design your experiment in Rock Maker, print a label for your plate, then scan the plate label before placing the plate on the plate holder. The Formulator will automatically load the dispense design. Then, click the Run button. Either way, dispensing is a simple process.

The Formulator software also integrates with the Mantis, so if you need to dispense precious reagents to the same plate, start the plate dispense with Formulator, then send the precious reagents to Mantis and move your plate to the Mantis. Done!

Formulator Software

The Formulator’s dead volume is as low as 5.1 mL. To lower the dead volume even further, the Formulator can be integrated with the Mantis, a precious reagent dispenser, to achieve dead volumes of only 6 µL. Since the Mantis integrates seamlessly with both Rock Maker and Formulator, adding the Mantis to your existing workflow is simple.

Optimization Workflow Using Rock Maker, Formulator and Mantis

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

Launch the Microdiaphragm Pump Technology Demo

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Formulator Specification

Physical Dimensions:

  • Width: 404 mm (16 in.)
  • Depth: 474 mm (18.7 in.)
  • Height without Bottle: 357 mm (14 in.)
  • Height with Bottle: 480 mm (19 in.)
  • Weight: 16 kg (35 lb)

Electrical Specifications:

  • 110-240 V, 50-60 Hz, 400 W max.

Minimum Recommended Computer specs:

  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • 1 open USB port
  • Dual core 1 GHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1 GB hard drive space
  • 768 pixels vertical minimum screen resolution

Waste/Water Bottle Specifications:

2 L Waste Bottle:

Minimum 2 L bottle for wash solution, larger if possible. Average wash solution consumption is 200 mL/reagent for aqueous solutions. A three-reagent dispense with one medium viscosity reagent uses an average of 500 mL wash solution.

Pressure/Vacuum Specifications:

The Formulator's microfluidic chip requires pressure and vacuum to actuate the micro-diaphragm pumps. There are three options to supply pressure and vacuum to the system, each with its own requirements:

    Option 1: Formulatrix Pump Box:
  • Connect the system to a pump box specifically designed to provide the required amount of pressure and vacuum.
  • Pressure: Self Contained
  • Vacuum: Self Contained
  • Connectors: Provided
  • Electrical Requirements: 110V, 60Hz, 290 W (Part PB110) or 230 V, 50 Hz, 290 W (Part PB230)
    Option 2: Direct-to-Lab Air and Vacuum:
  • Connect the system directly to your source of pressure and vacuum.
  • Pressure: 30 PSI @ 0.15 CFM = 2.0 Bar @ 4.3 LPM
  • Vacuum: 22 in Hg @ 0.2 CFM = -750 mBar @ 5.7 LPM
  • Connectors: 5/32 in. or 4 mm OD tubing. Other connectors available upon request.
    Option 3: Venturi Vacuum:
  • Use your pressure source to generate the required vacuum with a Venturi vacuum pump
  • Pressure: 80 PSI @ 1 CFM = 5.5 Bar @ 28 LPM
  • Vacuum: Self-contained
  • Connectors: Quick-disconnect hose coupling, industrial-shape, 1/4 in. NPTF male, ¼ in. coupling and 5/32 in. or 4 mm OD tubing. Other connectors available upon request.

  Average User Satisfaction Rate
   

 

Ajinomoto Althea, Inc. - WILLIAM WITTBOLD 8/5/2015 4:32 PM

"My supervisor is already impressed that our analysts have hit the ground running with the Rock Imager and have been generating data much faster. Our group workload is increasing and we would like to complement our Rock Imager and Formulator with the NT8 so move our crystallization projects along even faster, and also become a showcase lab for you!"

"…we’ve also doubled our throughput in a few short months thanks to Formulatrix!"


Genzyme - Joseph Batchelor 10/20/2014 5:34 PM

I love it!


Merck - Sangita B Patel 10/20/2014 5:34 PM

I love my mindless pair of hands


Northwest A&F University – Weifei Chen 7/23/2014 12:30 AM

We buy a lot of products for Formulatrix such as Rock Imager (both 4c system and RT system), Formulator and NT8 for protein crystallization, when using this machine we do face some problems and once I even want to return them back but people from Formulatix always try their best to solve the problems. Finally I think Formulatix is really a responsible company and they always try their best to service the customers. More important, the products are easy using.


Broad Institute – Christopher Lemke 10/20/2014 5:34 PM

Formulator is great for generating optimization screens (in combination with Rockmaker. One star removed for intolerance of some solvents, particularly DMSO.


Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center – Leanne Pedi 9/2/2014 10:18 AM

The Formulator has been an essential tool for crystallography efforts here in our laboratory. The software is easy to use and contains many options for producing broad and fine reagent screens. The largest benefit has been the amount of time we are able to save by not having to pipette all the components of our 96-well screens individually. The only limitation that we have encountered is the number of reagents we are able to add into a particular screen. This is due to the number of ports on the unit that dispense reagents, however you can make a particular screen in quadrants which might help to facilitate this depending on your need.


A leading academic lab – Anonymous Review 8/27/2014 8:01 PM

Nice way to make 24 well screens. The formulator works seamlessly with Rockmaker program, which is nice. I feel as though the machine wastes quite a bit of buffer. Otherwise, it seems to work quite well.