Using Positive Displacement to Simplify Your Liquid Handling Workflows



Air displacement is the most common liquid handling technology used in research and is found in hand-held pipettes. While such pipettes are accurate and precise instruments, the user becomes the main source of error, with large variability from user to user. It takes skill to adjust pipetting parameters such as pipetting speed and tip submersion depending on the liquid properties and the labware. While robotic liquid handlers eliminate this variability, most of them rely on air displacement, requiring optimization of the very same parameters that create user-to-user variability.


In contrast to air displacement, positive displacement is insensitive to a large range of viscosities and surface tensions. Positive displacement liquid handlers are designed to deliver a fixed volume of liquid from a syringe or cylinder by displacing it directly with a plunger. The drawback is the contamination risk stemming from the need to wash the reusable syringes.

In this webinar, we introduce the F.A.S.T., our next-generation low-volume positive displacement liquid handler. The F.A.S.T. uses disposable tips with axially-sealed plungers, eliminating any contamination risk. The system also has a unique set of intelligent features that eliminate the need for elaborate protocol optimization and labware definitions typically done by automation engineers for conventional liquid handlers. With up to 96 channels and <5% CV at 0.1 uL, the F.A.S.T. is a powerful tool for many workflows involving plate stamping, broadcasting, cherry-picking, and serial dilution.

Dr Usman Ashraf Application Scientist

About the Speaker:

Dr. Usman Ashraf is an application scientist at FORMULATRIX, responsible for liquid handling systems and their applications in life science areas. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology with research focused on targeting viral genomes using CRISPR/Cas technology. Before joining FORMULATRIX, he worked as an associate researcher and instructor at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan.