In order to ensure that drops wick to the crystallization plate, all eight tips must touch the plate. To achieve this, each tip is attached to a flexible finger that can travel +/- 0.5 mm vertically, enabling the dispense head to contour to each dispense surface.
The NT8 is designed to rapidly set sitting drops for crystallization experiments. To set drops, the systems first draws the protein from the built in proetin tray that has three 8-well columns. Each well on the protein tray can hold up to 3 µL of protein. The system will then aspirate any required well solution and dispense the drops in the desired location. the NT8 uses touch dispensing to set the drops.
The NT8 contains a humudifier that actively maintains moisture levels to prevent evaporation. the percent humidity in the system can be set by user in the NT8 software.
The tips used for aspirating and dispensing can all be washed and reused for future use. A built in wash station cleans all eight tips simultaneously in 5 seconds with a water rinse. The system first flushes all the reagent and small amont of system liquid (water) cleaning the inside of the tips. The tips are then moved into the wash station wells where the NT8 forces system liquid out of the tips to fill wash receptacles and wash the outside of the tips.
The tip caddy holds pre-loaded sheets of 384 replacement pipette tips (Part Number #209250). Changing out pipette tips sheets in the caddy takes just seconds.
The NT8 has three plate positions on the deck for a sitting well microplate and/or a hanging drop cover sheet. To set drops, the system will first aspirate the protein from the protein tray then aspirate well solution from the appropiate wells on the microplate. The NT8 will mirror the well solution on the microplate by dispensing the drops in the reverse column order on the sheet.
The Deep Well block station can be used with the plate copy head. With the liquid level sensing in the plate copy head, the NT8 will detect the lowest level of a deep well block. This can ensure that a well with lower level than others will not be missed by the tip, and will also get aspirated. This will also prevent tips from being immersed too deep and having well solution on the outside of the tips.
The NT8 can have an independent plate copy head can aspirate and dispense up to 200 µL of reagent from a deep well block to a crystallization plate. The plate copy head consists of 8 positive displacement syringes capable of dispensing viscous reagents. The NT8 deck can accommodate one rack of standard 200 µL pipette tips and can load and eject tips automatically.