Automated Sealing

Bead sealing for reproducible qPCR

Maintaining the integrity of qPCR samples is essential, but sometimes difficult to achieve with the designs of qPCR  vessels and plate sealing available on the market today. The use of individual tube caps, cap strips or tapes renders a high risk of incomplete sealing of the sample tubes, likely leading to evaporation and contamination of the samples. Hence, a technology which helps eliminating these risks is of great interest. To accommodate this issue, an automated module for dispensing beads into qPCR sample tubes and 96-well plates has been developed. It holds a proprietary bead dispenser (adaptable for a variety of bead diameters), which dispenses beads into each chosen vessel and seals them by a controlled force via a plunger that presses the beads into a vessel, thereby securing maximal tightness. The bead dispenser holds up to 360 pieces of 4 mm diameter beads, which are dispensed at a 100 % dispensation rate, and thus contribute substantially to the high reliability of this module.

Safety and flexibility

The bead sealing device has been designed for maintaining an absolute integrity of the samples. To prevent any degradation of the samples a cooling plate can be positioned below the sample plate. The vessels are efficiently sealed by the beads and an integrated optical sensor can perform a load-check of the beads if needed. The safety of the qPCR system is further ensured with the actual design of the bead sealing module that inherently prevents any cross-contamination. Thereby, the Bead Sealer provides an attractive combination of safety features while simultaneously ensuring a minimum of hands-on tasks. The only manual intervention required is supplying the samples and selecting a suitable program to define the vessels or plates that need to be sealed. It is compatible with different interfaces so that the data can be transferred via cloud, WLAN or Bluetooth. Due to its flexibility and safety features, the bead dispenser can therefore easily be integrated in any existing workflow. The bead sealing module hence provides a good option for improving the efficiency and reproducibility of high-throughput qPCR workflows.

For information about products based on this technology, see TubeSealer.