NT8® v4

NT8® v4

Drop Setter / Crystallization Robot


Save Money + Reduce Waste

Reusable Dispensing Tips

Set drops for a 96-well plate using only 8 tips, washing between steps.


Maintain Protein Drop Integrity

Proportional Active Humidification

Prevent sample evaporation and increase experiment reproducibility.


Set-Up Plates in a Cold Room

Cold Room Compatible

Set up crystallization plates at any temperature including 4°C.

Clean Drop Release with Flexible Fingers

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 independently travel +/- 0.5 mm vertically, enabling the dispense head to contour to the surface of each well.  To protect your plate and sample, each tip has a sensor that indicates when the tip contacts the plate's surface. These sensors allow the NT8 to drive down precisely to the point where all tips touch the plate without damaging your plate or sample.  The NT8 then retracts slightly away from the surface - yielding the perfect dispense gap for setting drops. This enhancement improves drop precision and reduces the chance of bubbles. 

"Viva Biotech has been working with the NT8 system for over 8 years. The preliminary crystallization screening is known as crucial but strenuous in early-stage crystallization. NT8 helps set up the crystallization trays fast and precisely, releasing our scientists from the tedious liquid-dispensing work. Moreover, small droplet handling with the full-automatic humidifier can save valuable protein compared with manual pipetting. The new NT8 v4 added water level monitoring and waste tip reminder for careless users. This prompt information helps us train new scientists. With the increased concern for life science in recent years, projects are also blooming at Viva. The reservation of the NT8 has been almost full in the past few months and a new machine is just on the road!"

Fan Jiang
Director, Crystallography

NT8 Drop Setter / Crystallization Robot

"We make great use of the NT8 in optimization experiments at the National High-Throughput Crystallization Center - the best part is the humidity control during drop setting!"

Sarah Bowman
Associate Investigator and Director

Prevent Drop Evaporation and Increase Reproducibility

Proportionally-Controlled Active Humidification

The NT8 prevents sample evaporation with three powerful, fully-enclosed humidifiers that actively control humidity from ambient up to 95%. You can set humidity on/off manually or “set it and forget it” and let the NT8 do the work. The system has tight control of the humidity with a variance of only +/- 2%.


The NT8 Drop Setter can increase humidity from 60% to 85% in under 20 seconds. The humidifiers are positioned away from active samples so your drops are protected from condensation and buildup.

No need to mop up excess water around your plates.


Proportionally-Controlled Humidification
The system automatically regulates how many of the humidifiers are on to give a precise, even humidification throughout.  For example, when the humidification is within 5% of the target then only one humidifier will turn on.


Don't Worry About Running Out of Water for Humidification
The NT8 uses a minute amount of water while maintaining a relative humidity of 85%. This coupled with a 5-gallon reservoir means that you won't run out of humidification during a dispense or need to refill the deionized water very often.


Flexible for a Variety of Protein Crystallization Experiments

Thumbnail Icon NT8-Vapor diffusion crystallization

Vapor Diffusion

Utilizes solvent evaporation to induce well-ordered protein crystal formation through increased concentration

Thumbnail Icon NT8-Microbatch crystallization


The sample and reagent are combined and sealed under a layer of oil or within a plate, tube, or container in this method

Thumbnail Icon NT8-Micro-dialysis crystallization


Employs a semi-permeable membrane to separate the sample and crystallization reagent to form crystals

Thumbnail Icon NT8-Seeding crystallization


Nucleates / promotes crystal growth by introducing existing crystals (seeds) into the crystallization solution

Thumbnail Icon NT8-Additive screening


Identifies additives to enhance crystal size, quality, and diffraction properties by testing a wide range of combinations

Thumbnail Icon NT8-Antigen-antibody complex dispensing

Complex Dispensing

Aids in understanding interactions and reveals the molecular recognition underlying antibody-antigen binding

Thumbnail Icon NT8-Lipid-cubic phase crystallization


Utilizes a specialized lipidic cubic phase matrix as a crystallization medium to obtain membrane protein crystals

Thumbnail Icon NT8-Bicelle crystallization


Employs disk-like structures formed by long-chain and short-chain phospholipids for favorable stabilization and crystallization

"The NT8 is a very versatile instrument that is fundamental to my research. It provides me with the flexibility to set up crystallisation plates as well aiding in the development of new methodologies. The low volume tips and its humidifier is a crucial aspect of the design that allows us to deal with highly viscous solutions and accurately dispense down to nanoliter volumes. The service team and engineers provide outstanding support and I would highly recommend this robot to other users."

Connie Darmanin
Research Scientist

Washable Tips Designed for Crystallization Experiments

The NT8’s pipette tips feature a very small geometry and are made of a hydrophobic material, ensuring precise dispensing across the full range of buffers and reagents encountered in protein crystallization.


With the low volume tips, the system uses liquid displacement pipetting, which means the tips can be quickly washed from the inside out and reused or discarded for zero cross-contamination. The choice is yours.

"As a crystallization robot capable of sitting or hanging screens and prepping expansion plates, the NT8 is fabulous. It is accurate, reliable and flexible. Notably, the water displacement mechanism and small tips allow for extremely low error rates at 100 nanoliter volumes. The tip washing module means that it requires almost no consumables and therefore costs nearly nothing to operate. Moreover, the machine is robust and forgiving even to the most careless or novice user. The NT8 is not just our crystallization robot, it is our most important liquid dispensing instrument."

Sirano Dhe-Paganon
Director and Principal Scientist

Microseeding with Actively Controlled Humidity

Microseeding has been used routinely for optimization by protein crystallographers for many years. However, seed dispensing is an additional step to the workflow and takes longer than conventional screen setup. For best results, both the seed stock and the seeding plate need to be kept in a tightly humidity-controlled environment.

The NT8 can automatically dispense seeds as low as 10 nL in volume with high accuracy and precision. The system also prevents sample evaporation with three powerful fully enclosed PID-controlled humidifiers that actively control humidity, making it well-suited for micro and matrix-seeding experiments.

"Our NT8 drop setter has proven to be an invaluable asset to our crystallographic work and has become a real workhorse instrument in our lab. Not only does it allow us to test twice as many conditions in half the time (if not more), but it is easily adapted to more customized applications such as screening drop ratios or using additives. We continue to receive prompt, personalized support from Formulatrix and benefit from their constant improvements to both the NT8 and its software. We are very pleased with our experience thus far, and would highly recommend the NT8 to anyone interested in automated crystallization screening."

Kip Guja

Automatically Calibrate Your System within Minutes

Gone are the days of strenuous and time-consuming instrument calibration. Simply place a calibration plate on the NT8 and let the system automatically calibrate itself using a laser-aided calibration system.

"Our facility often receives small amounts of purified protein samples. The Formulatrix NT8 pipetting robot allows screening for conditions using extremely small volumes. The robot pipettes these volumes with high accuracy, ensuring high-quality crystallization experiments. We have used the NT8 for years, and when it came time to renew our system, it was very clear that a Formulatrix pipetting system would be purchased again."

Dr. Sander Smits
apl. Professor 

Plate Copy Option

The NT8’s plate copy option, used for creating daughter plates from deep well blocks, automatically loads tips and can aspirate and dispense up to 200 μL from the block to up to 3 daughter plates.


The plate copy head accurately detects when each tip contacts liquid, allowing the NT8 to aspirate from just below the liquid surface to prevent viscous liquids from coating the outside of the tips and dripping while in transit.

Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP) Dispensing Made Easy

LCP Option

The NT8’s LCP option can accurately and quickly dispense LCP drops as small as 30 nL. Its fully-automated calibration system ensures that the syringe tip is centered within 50 µm of the target drop location for a perfect overlay of the screen on protein. Dispensing LCP and well solution drops to a 96-drop LCP plate takes less than 7 minutes.


The LCP option includes several components that add to the NT8’s functionality:

  • An 8 mm barrel LCP syringe holder
  • An LCP syringe mixing station with configurable mixing cycles
  • A calibration station to ensure precise dispense


"I’m the primary user on the NT8 in my lab. I’ve used several different drop setting robots and I can tell you this machine is my favorite. The humidity is a nice feature I can add my trays and let the machine go without fear of it drying out, this allows me to multitask stress-free when running the NT8 as it mixes my protein and solutions. Additionally, I always will make three trays from deep well aliquots and not having to reseal them is also a plus. The tip usage is somewhere in between the mosquito and the phoenix, but I feel like it’s found a good balance here and the waste is an acceptable amount. I’m ok with some waste as having all reusable tips can be quite the hassle as tips can break and require regular cleaning. Drop setting on this machine has always been perfect and hassle-free. I’ve had errors on both the phoenix and mosquito and I had to watch the machines to make sure they ran as expected. With the NT8 I can set drops without worry and have stopped my habit of babysitting the robot. Priming the system is also a breeze, having turbine pumps is much easier than a pressure based system. If I had to have one complaint it the amount of water the machine goes through, but perhaps this problem could be solved with a slightly larger Dewar."

Connor Weidle
Research Technician

NT8 ROI Calculator

Determining the return on investment (ROI) for the NT8 Drop Setter in comparison to using disposable pipette tips or other non-washable instruments holds a definite significance. Nevertheless, it is imperative to acknowledge that each laboratory functions uniquely. Thus, the precision of your ROI calculations relies upon the quality of information inputted into the ROI calculator.

Compared to Instruments Using Disposable, Non-washable Tips:

Enter Values Below:

Consumable Cost Savings per Year
$ 0
Plastic Waste Saved per Year
0 Kg

Compared to Handheld Pipetting:

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Cost Savings per Year
$ 0
Protein Savings per Year*
0 mL
Plastic Waste Saved per Year
0 Kg
* Assuming handheld pipette setting uses 1 µL protein per drop, NT8 uses 0.1 µL protein per drop.