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Open-source personal pipetting robots with live-cell incubation and microscopy compatibility

By Philip Dettinger, Tobias Kull, Geethika Arekatla, Nouraiz Ahmed, Yang Zhang, Florin Schneiter, Arne Wehling, Daniel Schirmacher, Shunsuke Kawamura, Dirk Loeffler, Timm Schroeder

Posted 05 Jul 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.04.448641

Liquid handling robots have the potential to automate many procedures in life sciences. However, they are not in widespread use in academic settings, where funding, space and maintenance specialists are usually limiting. In addition, current robots require lengthy programming by specialists and are incompatible with most academic laboratories with constantly changing small-scale projects. Here, we present the Pipetting Helper Imaging Lid (PHIL), an inexpensive, small, open-source personal liquid handling robot. It is designed for inexperienced users, with self-production from cheap commercial and 3D-printable components and custom control software. PHIL successfully automated pipetting for e.g. tissue immunostainings and stimulations of live stem and progenitor cells during time-lapse microscopy. PHIL is cheap enough for any laboratory member to have their own personal pipetting robot(s), and enables users without programming skills to easily automate a large range of experiments.

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