Better than Microtiter Plates
The Array Tape Platform is inline, modular, and highly automated. The combination of the Array Tape consumable, Nexar® liquid-handling system, Soellex™ thermal cycler, and Araya® inline fluorescent detection instruments provides a continuous reel-to-reel flow process. Douglas Scientific manufactures and sells the Nexar, Soellex, and Araya instruments.
In addition, the Array Tape Platform eliminates manual handling and complex robotics. Indexing holes along the tape accurately position and continuously feed reaction wells through the Nexar and Araya components. Unique barcodes insure accurate identification of individual samples during and after processing.
Researchers who use Array Tape for SNP genotyping have confirmed the benefits of the tape platform over microtiter plates, according to the company. On average, SNP genotyping laporatories are able to increase throughput from about 150 microtiter plates (384 wells each) per day to 400 arrays on a continuous strip of Array Tape designed with a 384-well format. For PCR processing, one Soellex thermal cycler handles up to 230,000 samples in Array Tape, which replaces 18 water baths required for microtiter plates. The Araya fluorescent instrument scans a 384-well array in 20 to 30 seconds, compared to several minutes for a microtiter plate. A standard microtiter plate process typically generates 57,600 data points per day, compared to 153,600 with Array Tape.
These differences result in environmental and business savings. Overall, seven times more plastic is needed to manufacture a 384-well microtiter plate than a 384-well Array Tape. Douglas Scientific’s proprietary platform also reduces reagent storage, handling, and disposal costs by 70 to 90% due to smaller sample volumes needed for Array Tape (e.g., less than 800 nanoliters per well for Array Tape versus 5 microliters or more per well for microplates). The Soellex thermal cycler uses 11 times less energy than 18 waterbaths. Moreover, the continuous, inline Array Tape Platform is a “walk-away” operation that can lower labor costs by an estimated 60%.