Low-Volume Sample Handling
Optionally BS printers can be equipped with a pipetting unit. Diverse pipetting needles applies small volumes (0.1 Nanolitre to a few Microlitres) of low-viscous liquids to previously printed scaffold struts. These liquids may contain drugs, cells or particular proteins.
There are two tools available:
- Passive needle for syringe supported displacement dispensing. The lowest dispense volume might be half a Microliter.
- Piezoelectric nozzles for free-flight microdrop dispensing. The lowest dispense volume is in the range of 0.1 Nanolitres:
Piezoelectric GeSiM dispensers emit single drops in the range of 250 Pikolitre (Drop diameter about 50 Microns). Small amounts of proteins or cell suspensions can be applied to single or multiple layers of a bioscaffold structure during the printing process.
- The innovative Twin-Tip-Pipettor operates two separate GeSiM piezoelectric nozzles on a swivel. For aspiration both nozzles dip into separate wells of a 96-well-plate. The droplets of both nozzles than hit together and mix up on the dispense target.
- The volume range between fifty Nanolitres and a few Microlitres is covered best by the solenoid dispense valve (Not for living cells.)
Contradictionary to the cartridge system the pipetting unit aspirates from 96 well plates. Only a few Microliters of each species are required. Heaters are available both for the sample plate and the piezo nozzle for producing microdrops of melted materials.
Piezoelectric Pipettor on BS3.1; Click here for full size BS3.1 video on YouTube