PCR Test Workflows

Established Tools for Novel Challenges

The technology behind the MANTIS® and TEMPEST® dispensers has been used by laboratories around the world since their launch a decade ago. The tried and trusted microdiaphragm system is capable of dispensing very low volumes with extremely high precision.

When faced with the challenges of COVID-19, scientists in both research and diagnostics environments have turned to these instruments to assist in their workflows. When compared with traditional liquid handling systems or a manual approach, the MANTIS and TEMPEST offer significant advantages.

  • Optimize Mastermix Use
  • Eliminate Pipette Tips
  • Quickly Dispense Reagents
  • Automate Repetitive Workflows
  • Easy User Interface
  • Highly Precise Sub-Microlitre Dispensing

Collaboration brings clarity: Understanding SARS-CoV-2-host interactions

We speak with Dr. Ed Emmott, founder of The Emmott Lab & COVID-19 Mass Spec Coalition member, about his latest research into the disease.

Tackling the Challenge of Limited Resources During a Pandemic

As laboratories around the world tackle the challenges of screening large numbers of samples for SARS-CoV-2, the managers of these labs have turned to the use of automation to address some key concerns.

Using contact-free liquid dispensing for high throughput COVID qPCR assays

Dr. Neil Ashley, the Single Cell Genomics Facility Manager at Oxford University speaks about their COVID-19 testing workflow and how the MANTIS greatly reduces consumable tip usage, as well as reagents consumption by reliably miniaturizing qPCR assays.

View the Webinar Read the App Note 


Cut Consumable Usage

Don’t let delays in your supply chain impact your important screening work, save the pipette tips for the steps that really need them. By incorporating the MANTIS or TEMPEST into your workflow, it is possible to significantly reduce the quantities of pipette tips needed, eliminating tips from your reagent addition steps.

The convenient microcentrifuge tube holders enable you to aspirate reagents, including magnetic beads and solvents, directly from stock containers saving time and reducing the chances of errors during transfer steps. Reduce dead volume as there is no need to decant reagents into troughs or reservoirs.

In the application note below, learn how the scientists at Synthace were able to perform a multifactor design of experiment for media optimization using the MANTIS, eliminating over 7000 pipette tips from their workflow.

We have instruments available for immediate delivery, which will give you the power to launch your screening program without delay.

Miniaturize and Save on Master Mix

The need to conserve reagents has never been more important, as hundreds of laboratories begin to carry out very similar protocols, key reagents such as Master Mix and purification beads have become more difficult to obtain. The ability to screen a high number of samples quickly and reproducibly is also critical.

Since the MANTIS and TEMPEST liquid handlers do not require consumable pipette tips, users do not experience the frustration of long waits for consumables in order to run their assays.

Additionally, the ability to dispense low volumes with high precision (CV <3 %, 0.1 ul) means that COVID screening assays can be performed with only a quarter of Master Mix reagents and still obtain comparable detection limits. Optimizing reagent use saves on cost and facilitates the ability to screen a larger number of samples.

Using a modified version of the open-source Bio-On-Magnetic-Beads (BOMB) protocol (Oberacker et al., 2019,, we have demonstrated equivalent sensitivity for 0.25X quantities of Master Mix.

Automated Workflow Steps

Including Liquid Handling in Automated Platforms

The MANTIS and TEMPEST systems are automation friendly. For demanding, high-throughput workflows, you may need to fully automate multiple steps in the workflow.  FORMULATRIX liquid handling systems can be seamlessly incorporated into a hands-free platform. We have worked with many integrators to provide these kinds of systems. To see examples of the MANTIS and TEMPEST in COVID ELISA and RT-PCR Factories developed by HighRes Biosystems, visit: The RT-PCR Factory is capable of processing ~55,000 samples per 24 hours, and the ELISA Factory is designed to process ~11,000 samples per 24 hours.

Return to Work Safely

Even if your laboratory is not actively involved in COVID-19 screening and research, there are likely to be new guidelines to minimize risks to people working in the laboratory. Whether this is increased social distancing, stricter PPE requirements, or reduced time spent at the bench. Implementing automation tools such as the MANTIS and TEMPEST can help you to achieve these goals and improve the safety of everyone working in your lab. Visit the “Back To Work” page to learn more.

A Global Community of Scientists

We have compiled and will be regularly updating a list of resources in the field of structural biology, molecular biology, and life sciences. Resources to which researchers can refer to learn the newest developments in the field of COVID-19 research from academic, government, and industry facilities around the world.

The links on our resources page will take you directly to laboratories that are offering services such as remote access to imaging and research automation, collated protocols, and molecular dynamics.