Concept of the BioSyntheSizer
The compact GeSiM BioSyntheSizer manifests a new instrumentation concept for robots for complex laboratory automation on low-volume scale. It is a new, very compact lab automation platform whose goal is utmost flexibility. In the standard configuration it masters several different chemical syntheses simultaneously, as long as they fit in a liquid handling scheme. This, on the other hand, allows parallelization without having to make a new setup for each synthesis.
20 years of experience in the field of microfluidics and lab automation sets the BioSyntheSizer apart from common pipetting robots. Hard- and software follow a strictly modular approach and makes the platform open for application specific configurations. We will be pleased to learn about your requirements in chemical synthesis!
From Single Steps to a Workflow
The BioSyntheSizer relies on a gentle but accurate robotic stage with a multiple tool head with up to seven independently moving Z-axes. Reservoirs like racks for tubes and vials snap on the work plate by particular fixations.
Liquid handling tools: From Picolitre (Right) to Microlitre (Left)
Specials: Powder pipet (Left), 3-Lumen pipet with gripper (Middle), Flip-tube handler (Right)
On the workplate: Column (Left), Bioreactor (Right)
From an application perspective the platform allows to define synthesis work flows consisting of different material handling steps/micro work flows. Very different tools, vessels and reactors connect and work together for a specific application. The instrument software always reflects the current setup and quickly adapts to changing requirements when new hardware gets onboard.
The instrument has been designed for but not limited to the synthesis of biopolymers, e.g. collagen, hydrogels, radiopharmaceutical tracers. It is always built to order, initially we need your input for a particular application.
Example of a BSyS print head with seven Z-axes: (1) camera, (2+3) twin tool vaccum gripper + 3-lumen pipet, (4) FlipTube cap opener, (5) heatable piezo pipet +Z-Sensor on one axis, (6+7) nozzle/needle adapter (From left)
Interchangeable Tools for up to 7 Z-Axes
Individually lowering Z-axes allow to synchronize multiple tools with different dimensions. The head of the instrument connects to the F-box (Media control unit for compressed gas, power, vacuum).
- Conical receptacle to load/ eject disposable pipet tips and Luer needles
- Needle tips for penetration of antiseptic lids
- Piezoelectric Picolitre pipettes
- Twin-tip Piezoelectric pipet: Two piezo pipets can be swivelled to mix up drops in flight
- Solenoid dispense valves for the Nanolitre range
- Pneumatic/ piezo dispense valves for more viscous drops
- Vacuum gripper for crimp vials and 3-lumen pipette for inert gas, solvent, vacuum, e.g. for azeotropic drying of solutes
- Tool for cap opening/closing of FlipTube microcentrifuge tubes
- Z-sensor to measure height profiles of substrates
- Powder pipettes for the Microgram range
- Cartridge dispensers for high viscous media
- Titration pipette for automatic adjustment of pH
- Camera for pattern recognition and QR code identification
- UV lamp for crosslinking
Components for the Work Area of the Instrument
F-Box for media supply (Left), reservoir racks (Right) on BS3.1
Exchangable racks for standard tubes, vials and needles
On the work deck you find easily mountable and removable holders for disposable pipette tips, needles, microtitre plates, glass slides, storage and reaction vessels (e.g. crimp vials with septum, microcentrifuge tubes with cap) and other freely definable objects that can be heated or cooled on request. A time-controlled connection to extraction or cleaning columns, an HPLC or a photometric analysis can be done via tube adapters.
- Trays for micro well plates/ slides
- Racks for microcentrifuge tubes, septum vials, disposable pipette tips, Luer-lock needles
- Racks with tube adapters to connect nozzles to tubes/columns etc.
- Racks with filter cartridges for ion separation
- Application specific microfluidic manifolds
- Reactors with antiseptic lid, temperature up to 150°C, pressure up to 8 bar
- Magnetic stirrers
- Wash/Dry stations, optical tools for tips alignment and droplet measurement (stroboscope)
- Covers, Chillers and Others
- Enclosure for dust protection, N2 pressure excess
- Chilling and temperature control
- Radioactivity sensors
- Separate F-Box with pumps, valves etc.
The Promise of Water Containing Hydrogels
Hydrogels are widely used in regenerative medicine. The soft and water containing polymers are well appropriated as cell culture media but keep cells “in shape”: 3D printing arranges the hydrogel in a spatial manner or allows combined printing with other polymers.
In collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden a BioSyntheSizer configuration for Hydrogel synthesis was developed. The instruments is based on the large platform BSyS 3.1/E. The synthesis starts with the conjugation of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) with crysteine-containing peptides such that the conjugate contains a terminal thiol group. At the same time, heparin is coupled with reactive groups, all in an automated way. The PEG-peptide-thiol polymer is then linked to the heparin via a sulphur bridge, and other components (cells, adhesive peptides) are added. Star-hydrogels are possible.