Hamilton Robotics, Reno, Nev., has integrated the LightBench with Ranger technology from Coastal Genomics, Burnaby, BC, Canada, into all of its liquid-handling platforms, including the Nimbus Select automated gel electrophoresis workstation for next-generation sequencing (NGS) library preparation.
According to the companies, the combined technologies automate DNA protocols and enable fully automated electrophoresis for DNA size selection or quality control, while also improving efficiencies and savings for clinical laboratories of any size or budget. The Nimbus Select system is especially useful for high-throughput target enrichment of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) fragments and other NGS library constructs via gel-based size selection prior to sequencing.
The patented Ranger technology enables the repeatable isolation of target DNA fragments over multiple samples. By isolating and recovering specific fractions, with consistently high intrinsic recovery yields exceeding 70%, researchers and clinicians can reduce or eliminate the wasted expense of sequencing off-target fragments.
The workstations’ walkaway automation increases confidence in consistent, accurate results, and eliminates the risk of operator variability and errors that may erroneously affect results. In size-selection applications, up to 12 samples can be processed simultaneously, with extracted sample recovery in about 30 minutes.
The combined LightBench and Hamilton liquid-handling systems are also suited for automated microplate-based fragment length distribution analysis and fluorescent quantitation, both before and after size selection. The system’s imaging mode documents sample progression during electrophoresis for electropherogram characterization, and also enables hands-free fluorescent sample quantification in a single convenient unit. Up to 384 analyses may be completed within one hour.