Applications: Compound Storage: NanoCell

Tube and Plate Store Interface

1 x Rbt Denso Robot   1 x Mix Ultrasonic Mixing Unit
1 x Mcd MicroDock   1 x Frz Automated Tube and Plate Freezer
1 x Slr Automated Heat Sealer   1 x Car HighRes AmbiStore D
1 x Slr Automated Heat Seal Remover   1 x Rdr Tube Auditor
1 x Bcr Barcode Reader          


This system is a HighRes NanoCell configured to provide an interface to a large tube and plate store. Plates and tube racks are picked out of the automated tube and plate store by the Denso robot and transferred to the docked HighRes AmbiStore. Once all of the plates and racks are selected and placed in the carousel, the operator can undock the carousel and wheel it to a separate compound delivery system in another part of the lab or building for further processing.

This system is also equipped with a tube auditor, ultrasonic mixing device, heat sealer and heat seal remover to allow for the automation of simple auditing and plate manipulation tasks.

       System Key Advantages  |   Cellario Protocol Design  |   Options for Data Integration  |   Cellario Key Advantages

System Key Advantages

Flexible - Undock the AmbiStore (filled with mother plates and racks to be processed) and plug it into a second, discrete HighRes compound delivery platform. After successful off-line processing, re-dock the AmbiStore (filled with used mother plates and new destination plates) and create an order to re-load the automated compound store

Expandable - Benefit from a smoother upgrade path for either the store or the processing platform by not having them physically linked. Linking the two units via docking still allows for a smooth and quick transfer of materials to ensure a close integration despite the physical separation.

Cellario Protocol Design

Cellario is HighRes Biosolutions’ dynamic scheduling software package. We use it to control all our integrated systems, from the compact NanoCell to larger multi-robot MicroStar systems.

Starting from the hardware layout for this NanoCell, we can build a Cellario protocol to see how each of the instruments on the system could be used.

The screen shots to the right show a protocol for performing a simple auditing process. Source tube racks are outputted from the plate store and moved to the tube auditor to measure volume and the presence of any precipitate. Based on the results of this audit, tube racks can then either be returned straight back to the store, or moved to the ultrasonic mixer for re-dissolution.

Key Design Elements:
  • Only one thread is used in this protocol design, for the source tube racks that are to be retrieved from the store
  • This protocol design uses a Decision node. Decisions allow protocols to branch down alternative routes, based on the results of an external application evaluation, in this case the data from the audit. Decisions are explained in more detail in the advantages section.
  • The start and end locations for labware in each thread are defined at the top and bottom of the workflows. If tube racks were to be picked from the store and transferred to a docked carousel, these nodes would need to be assigned accordingly

Options for Data Integration

Cellario is designed to support a wide range of data integration requirements, essential for Compound Management applications.

Upstream - Orders are created against specific Protocol Designs and used to run the system

No Data Integration / Ad-Hoc Processing - Cellario incorporates an Order Designer GUI, allowing users to manually create orders

In-House/Commercial Sample Management Software - Cellario supports the use of external applications to generate orders by inserting records into the Cellario Oracle database via PL/SQL Stored Procedures API. For systems with online plate or tube rack storage, API level ordering can be used to request labware by external barcode from a persistent inventory.

Midstream - Monitor the status of the system and receive event notifications

Error and General Notifications - Receive mid-run notifications of system errors and warnings or general prompts for user interaction, for example to refill consumables or empty waste. Compatible with email or web services.

Downstream - As orders are processed by the system all plate-based transactions are logged in real-time in an Oracle database

Plate-Based Information - Cellario can automatically output source/destination barcode mapping. Custom SQL queries can also be applied to extract specific information. Manual, file-based and direct database approaches are all supported.

Well-Based Information - Cellario can be configured to format and then output liquid handler log-files to specific locations, to enable detailed well-level information to be integrated into the downstream result-analysis phase

Cellario Key Advantages

    Error Recovery - Recover your active order and all data to the point of failure, even after whole system power outage. Critical instruments can be fitted with a UPS in the MicroCart to ensure any started operations will complete. Configurable email notifications keep you informed of any errors or warnings.

    Scripting Components - Use Cellario’s Process Executor operation to run custom scripting components. With multiple languages supported (for example, Java, VB or .NET), scripts have access to a number of run time variables including plate number and barcode. On this system a script could be used to parse output files from the tube auditor and stream the data directly into the customer’s sample management software.

    Decision Nodes - An extension of Cellario’s Process Executor operation. The Decision node allows branching in a protocol thread, based upon the results of an external application evaluation. The external application simply has to return a “0” for the default path, or a “1” for the alternative path, allowing for dynamic protocol definition based upon external rules. On this system, the parsed data output of the tube auditor would be analysed, and a decision made whether to mix the rack based on the presence of precipitate in any of the tubes.

    Device Drivers - Primarily used by Cellario for automated processing, they can also be used by operators in off-line mode, providing a consistent user interface across many device types. When accessory instruments (e.g. heat seal remover) are not being used, operators can use device drivers to perform simple manual processing.