February 08, 2012
Authors: Paul Held, Lenore Buehrer, BioTek Instruments, Inc., Winooski, Vermont, USA; Dean Mulyk, Grace Mangialardi, Thermo CRS, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
ELISA is one the most utilized assay formats in biomedical research. Numerous clinical, veterinary, and research assays use the specificity of antibodies to identify a diverse array of analytes from any number of different matrices. Despite the diversity of analytes the general process of ELISA is constant. With a typical ELISA protocol, several repeat cycles of microplate washing, reagent addition and incubation are executed to elicit the chemistries and remove unbound material before data collection. Manual processing requires a technician to manage timings and be available to move the plate between washer, multiple dispensers, and a reader.
We have designed a modular bench top workstation capable of automating the assay process steps of most conventional ELISA assays. The robotic system employed uses a plate moving technology allowing full 360° access to ELISA instrumentation. Two configurations of ELISA instruments were employed to carry out the necessary assay process tasks. In one configuration a combination washer dispenser was used to perform the wash steps as well as provide reagent addition. The other configuration the wash steps were performed using a full plate washer and modular dispenser for reagent additions. In both configurations room temperature incubations were carried out using the plate mover’s random access plate storage hotel and absorbance measurements were made using a microplate spectrophotometer.
Using the modular ELISA workstation we have automated the assay process steps of an HIV ELISA assay kit. Plates with samples and controls can be loaded on to the system and the user simply presses a button and walks away. This poster will detail specifics of such a system, with automation workflows and details regarding throughput and performance provided.