Automation

Our automated microplate washer systems which include an incline and can fully exploit our microplate technology are currently under development. However, you can still use Oxley Hughes’ microplates in existing automated systems. By simply programming automated systems to locate their aspiration pins onto the Oxley Hughes’ modified microplate contact points, nearly all of Oxley Hughes’ microplate technological benefits can be utilised. The modified microplates protect the science and reduce the chances of aspiration pins becoming blocked while still removing nearly all of the solution. This is achieved simply by lining up your manifold aspiration pins with the bottom of the well guides where the modified contact points are located. The pins then move vertically down and contact the microplate modifications which protect your science. This means you do not have to have angled aspiration pins in your existing automated microplate systems.

Cell based microplate assays

The pipette tip is lowered vertically down and fixes at a point away from the science. During standard solution removal, the leftover residual solutions form a ring of solution around the base of each well. By positioning the modifications at the well wall meets the base, the aspiration pin is located in a place where part of the residual solution is located. This means during solution removal a larger volume is removed while still protecting the cells from being damaged by the tip points. This is achieved with the aspiration pin above and off the cells due to a controlled contact with only the modifications in the microplate and not your cells.

Nearly all of the solution is easily removed and then fresh solution applied using the dispensing pin adding solution the well wall which is opposite to the where the aspiration pin was located on the well modifications. It’s just our way of ensuring solution exchange is both easy and simple to achieve so your cells remain in place and you achieve the best possible outcomes.

ELISA/EIA based microplate assays

Using Oxley Hughes’ microplate technology for ELISA based assays involving colour development, by protecting the science and removing nearly all solutions, a full colour development as well as the rate at which this happens is enabled. More science is available to effect this and very little residual wash solution is present to inhibit or impair the turnover of ELISA substrate. This improves assay outputs and reduces assay times.

Fluorescence based microplate assays

Using Oxley Hughes’ microplate technology for fluorescence based assays, by protecting the science and removing all solutions, a full fluorescent signal is measured. More science is available to fluoresce and very little residual wash solution is present to potentially impair the fluorescent signal.

The controlled contact with Oxley Hughes’ microplate modifications. Why have well done this?

An artefact of the microplate manufacturing process are microplates having a natural curvature where the well bases of the middle rows tend to be higher than those of the outer rows. This can be problematic when positioning the washer manifold over the microplates. Too close can result in blockage of pins and damage to the science. Not close enough can result in more residual solution being left over in the wells, especially those in the first and last couple of rows. Both of these cause variation in microplate assays and outputs.

Oxley Hughes’ technology overcomes this microplate artefact by enabling a deliberate contact between the wells of microplates and the aspiration pins. The modified microplate ensures the science is protected as a bridge or gap is formed and maintained which allows the free flow of solution underneath it and into the aspiration pins. This protects the science, positioning the pin tips to the side and above the science as well as reducing the chance of blockage. Typically, when removing solution from the wells of microplates, residual solution form a ring in the base of each well. By locating the aspiration pin on the microplate modifications located at the junction of the well wall and base, the aspiration process will remove more of this ring of residual solution. This results in reduced carry over which in turn will improve your microplate assays and outputs when you use Oxley Hughes’ microplates.

For you, this means Oxley Hughes’ microplates can be used in the horizontal position on your current automated microplate washers. You can still prepare, wash and carry out work using automated systems. Then, when you need to fully characterise your science, such as determining binding kinetics, quantifying levels of inhibition, simply switch over to the manual system for this part of your work which will enable you to achieve the best possible outcomes for your science.