This project was mainly focused on automating the process of dispensing and dilution of DMSO liquid samples. During the process one needed to perform multiple steps manually including 2D barcode scanning, capping/decapping of the plates, making sure there were no errors during the process, manually generating a Tecan worklist, repeating the same process for each plate individually. Altogether the process took approximately 2 hours.
Project Aliquoter was an integration of the whole process described above into an Overlord workflow. There were 5 main steps in the project. First step was to get the required inputs which were the Mosaic control file and selection for defrosting the source plates. Second step was for validating the source plates and making sure every 1D rack barcode matched with the one in Mosaic control file. Third step had a conditional step so if defrosting was selected then workflow would validate the destination plates and defrost the source plates simultaneously otherwise it would only validate the destination plates. Fourth step was a decision algorithm which had to look at the current rack types and choose an appropriate solution or approach. Fifth step was the chosen approach itself – there were three ways of approaching the problem.
The reason there were multiple approaches is because of the fact that different plates had different requirements meaning some of them needed capping and some didn’t. The current decapper (FluidX) that we had could only handle one rack at a time and therefore necessary measures needed to be taken – which is why we came up with different types of approaches/solutions.
Error checking was also automated and made easier for the user to detect anything before it got too late. After automating the process instead of taking 2 hours to finish up it only took 30 minutes. User only had to be there for 2 or 3 minutes just to set up the process. After the user started the process he or she could just walk away.