IonField Systems manufactures barrier discharge plasma treatment systems to recover pin tools, disposable pipette tips and microplates...

TalaveraScience is the Senior Sales Consultancy for IonField Systems throughout Europe.

IonField Systems is pleased to offer four products for pipette tip and microplate cleaning which provide the user with labware supply resilience and reduce their laboratory's environmental impact on the climate. These are tabulated below along with further information. Please do not forget to visit the IonField Systems website! https://www.ionfieldsystems.com!

IFS Product Name

Brief Product Description

Features and Benefits

PureTIP™ Liquid Handler Companion (LHC).

A fitted, liquid handler companion product for cleaning pipette tips and pin tools.

  • Basic, straight-forward cleaning
  • Works with and fitted for most Liquid Handler brands
  • Companion Product
  • Installs directly on a Liquid Handler Deck
  • 96- and 384-channel Pipette Cleaning System
  • 384- and 1536-channel Pin Tool Cleaning System
  • Simple to install
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Consistent, reliable performance
  • No liquid waste!

PureTIP™ Standalone System (SaS).

A standalone cleaning solution for pipette tips with a reconfigurable deck.

  • Flexible deck can be reconfigured
  • Plasma continuously pulled through tips (and filters)
  • More powerful than the PureTIP™ LHC
  • Compatible with large volume tips (1 ml)
  • Compatible with multiple liquid handler brands
  • Compatible with hand pippeting tips!
  • No liquid waste!

PurePLATE™ Microplate Cleaning System (MCS)

A complete standalone manual cleaning solution for all microplate formats.

  • All in one, standalone microplate cleaning solution
  • Arrives complete with all necessary software, hardware, and spare parts
  • Modular
  • Compatible with all ANSI standard SBS format microplates to 44 mm in depth
  • User maintainable
  • Self-diagnostic capabilities
  • Intuitive and adaptable software

PurePLATE™ MCS Max

An automated microplate cleaning solution that maximizes throughput for higher volume laboratories.

  • Ultimate, maximum solution for high-throughput laboratories
  • Automated
  • Labour saving/time saving
  • Robotic arm integration
  • Standalone solution

If you should like to reduce your laboratory's and your company's impact on the environment whilst reducing the cost of pipette tips and microplates and, if applicable, improve your pin tool cleaning effectiveness or simply want to learn more about IonField Systems' products please read on for more information including examples of the use of the IonField Systems patented barrier discharge plasma cleaning technologies.

Please contact info@talaverascience.com for further details.


 

 

 

The IonField Systems PurePLATE™ MCS and MCS Max

The inception of the IonField Systems PurePLATE MCS and MCS Max

The IonField Systems PurePLATE MCS was developed in collaboration with the NCATS/NIH group who identified a need to control the serious problems generated for them by single-use microplate plastic waste. Two successful SBIR grants, phase 1 and 2, were used successfully to demonstrate the effectiveness of low-temperature, atmospheric plasma and to create the commercial product which can recover not just standard microplates, but others such as optical or quartz high content plates, 1536 High Throughput Screening (HTS) plates, acoustic source plates and speciality plates. These plates have all shown results that are indistinguishable from new after cleaning.

Then there was a pandemic and the need for single-use plastic labware exploded with a further need to be able to clean deepwell microplates. At this juncture, IonField Systems developed the current system, the PurePLATE MCS which is capable of cleaning ANSI standard SBS microplates up to 44 mm in depth.

The IonField Systems PurePLATE™ MCS

The high throughput of COVID-19 testing laboratories meant that we had to come up with a concept where the PurePLATE MCS could be installed without disrupting workflows, especially to integrate it into existing robotic workflows, and the PurePLATE MCS Max was created. An example is with Lab Services https://www.lab-services.nl/en/home in which each workcell includes space for one or two PurePLATE MCS systems along with the plate hotels, sequential or random access and the robot. The plate hotels are seperated into 'used' and 'cleaned', a screen can be placed around the cell and there is space below for consumables and electronics.

The video below is a CAD representation of the PurePLATE MCS Max, without the screen, which demonstrates the concept of the workcell.

IonField Systems PurePLATE MCS Performance

The results below are typical of a multi-compound cellular assay followed by treatment with a PurePLATE MCS, rerunning the assay to look for any carryover of active compound. The compounds used had various solubilities in water and some had been placed using DMSO. The PurePLATE MCS was developed with an additional microdispense step to solubilise the compounds only soluble in the aprotic solvent. This microdispense can also be used with other solvents, if the protocol requires it.

These results are courtesy of IonField Systems Early Technology Partners, Dr Helen Plant and Dr Mark Wigglesworth, Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca plc, Alderley Park, Cheshire, SK10 4TG, United Kingdom.

IonField MCS Results on a cell assay, courtesy Dr Helen Plant and Dr Mark Wigglesworth, AstraZeneca plc

System Integration

The IonField Systems PurePLATE MCS was designed and engineered for optimum ease of use including system integration! The Ionfield Systems Engineering Staff will work with your current system integrator to ensure a smooth integration into existing or new laboratory systems. Both of the MCS stations are configured as a network node providing real-time status and estimated time for completion of the current process on request.

Error conditions and recovery options are provided for on-the-fly correction and rescheduling, if supported by the scheduling software for your system. The PurePLATE MCS can control many of the common pick and place robotic automation products used when in standalone mode. The PurePLATE MCS software will optionally keep a history of each microplate’s use and monitors system sensor data for end of life indicators.

IonField Systems assists integration by providing the required Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) upon approved request.

The IonField Systems control interface
The IonField Systems Plasma Power Supply

 

What about high value plates?

Covaris® Plates can be returned to 'as-new' by the PurePLATE MCS and MCS Max

There are some microplates which can be very expensive, such as the Corning EPIC® and Covaris® plates (such as that pictured below). When reusing microplates, less are required for assays so more expensive plates can be used economically and reduce the cost of the assay to the company.


Please contact us to inquire how PurePLATE MCS has performed on your plate types. and if you would like to receive further information at info@talaverascience.com.

The IonField Systems PureTIP LHC

96-channel PureTIP LHC generating plasma

About the IonField Systems PureTIP LHC

The IonField Systems PureTIP LHC family are cleaning stations that generate a self-contained, low-temperature, atmospheric plasma for cleaning pipette tips used in automated life science laboratories and are the Gold Standard for pipette tip cleaning. The patented technology, which applies to all of our products, uses a dielectric barrier discharge (or gap plasma) that is generated in small, well-like cavities. The cleaning stations conform to the ANSI standard SBS footprint. The PureTIP LHC is a passive device. The plasma generation is triggered via the insertion of the pipette tips into the cleaning station, typically breaking a sensor beam, and it turns off as soon as the tips are removed, making it easy to install and integrate with most automated liquid handlers. The result is the ionization and molecular breakdown of biological and organic contaminants on both the exterior and interior surfaces of the tips. Unlike traditional solvent-based pipette tip wash methods, plasma as a state of matter (neither a gas nor a liquid) generates no solid or liquid waste and only small amounts of gaseous by-products. Plasma cleaning does not dilute contaminants, but removes them at a molecular level, allowing laboratories to reuse polypropylene tips and reduce the number of tip boxes needed. The blue glow is the light emission from the excited nitrogen and oxygen species in the plasma.

Once the pipette (or pin tool) is dropped into the cleaning station, the plasma generation is activated. The plasma surrounding the pipette tip cleans the outside and to clean the inside requires a short series of aspirate and dispense steps to draw plasma into the tip, expel it (and reaction products) and repeated for, typically, five times. The cleaning cycle takes up to 30 s to complete.

The IonField Systems PureTIP LHC is perfect for cleaning a wide variety of tips on deck with exceptions for tips with filters and large volumes such as 1 ml. For filter and/or large volume tips we recommend the IonField Systems PureTIP SaS!

Which Liquid Handlers are compatible with the IonField Systems PureTIP LHC?

As mentioned above, the cleaning stations have an ANSI standard SBS format compatible with a wide range of liquid handler providers such as (and not limited to): Beckman, Tecan, Hamilton Robotics, Hamamatsu, Agilent, Perkin Elmer, etc.

The IonField Systems PureTIP LHC are available in the following formats:

  • 96 channel for pipette tips;
  • 384 channel for pipette tips;
  • 384 channel for pin tools;
  • 1536 for pin tools.

The IonField Systems PureTIP LHC consists of the cleaning station and its control module. Between the cleaning station and the control unit is a power cord and the cleaning station exhaust. The exhaust is vented into an active fume hood or other exhaust system.

The cleaning station power cord and exhaust is depicted in the image to the right of an 384-channel IonField Systems PureTIP LHC on a Beckman FX liquid handler deck.

384-channel IonField Systems PureTIP LHC on the deck of a Beckman FX
 

How many times can I clean my pipette tips?

Beckman 384 Pipette Tips

One frequently asked question regards how many times can a pipette tip be cleaned with the IonField Systems PureTIP LHC? As a rule of thumb, we recommend that tips should be treated around 10 to 20 times before disposal. As the pipette tip is cleaned, minor surface damage will be caused to the tip and eventually it will fail. The image below is representative of an investigation into pipette tip life after a series of cycles of IonField Systems PureTIP LHC plasma treatments on standard Beckman pipette tips. These are, from left to right; 10 times, 20 times, 30 times, 40 times and 50 times. At 50 times, the surface of the pipette tip is starting to look pitted. However, the pipetting accuracy of these tips was unaffected.

We recommend the following:

  • Standard Tips, 10 to 20 uses or up to 10 minutes of plasma exposure;
  • Maximum Recovery Tips, tested to 100 uses;
  • Conductive Tips, about half of that as for standard tips;
  • Pin Tools, (see below) no degradation occurs and they can be cleaned indefinitely to 'as-new'!

One way to look at this is that going from 1 to 10 uses, saves 90% on pipette tips. To gain a further 9% saving then requires going to 100 uses!

Is there an IonField Systems LHC for Pin Tools?

A PureTIP LHC 1536 for pin tools on deck

YES! The IonField Systems PureTIP LHC for pin tools is available in 384 and 1536 channel versions and there is an optional non-optical triggering device available to prevent stray light.

The IonField Systems PureTIP LHC for pin tools returns pin tools to as-new condition (even for old pin tools) and can do this indefinitely. One huge advantage of the technology is that of time as the IonField Systems PureTIP LHC for pin tools treatment time is short AND the pins are dry after the treatment improving the productivity of the LHS.

Please contact us if you would like to receive additional information at info@talaverascience.com.

The IonField Systems PureTIP SaS

Taking Pipette Tip Cleaning to the Next Level!

IonField Systems PureTIP SaS Mandril with pipette tips

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, there was a commensurate increase in qPCR testing which consumed, and still does, huge quantities of pipette tips. These pipette tips were often Hamilton conducting tips with filters and large volumes. These laboratories were consistently busy and could ill afford time to interupt testing to place the PureTIP LHC on the decks of their liquid handlers. What was needed was a very fast and thorough work cell which would arrive at the customer laboratory ready to run and the IonField Systems PureTIP SaS concept came into being!

The currently available liquid handlers have a variety of issues which had to be overcome. Amongst them are: the mechanism to fill the inside of the pipette tip is the 'syringe' in the head, and; each head/mandril has its own dimensions to attach tips to.

The IonField Systems PureTIP SaS is designed to draw a vacuum through the pipette tips which pulls, continuously, plasma through the pipette tip AND the filter. This allows the concentration of plasma to reach its optimal level very quickly and be maintained for the time the plasma is on and allows tips up to 1 ml volume to be cleaned thoroughly and quickly.

The mandril is designed for minimum insertion force to prevent damage to the pipette tips so that they can be reused for up to the chosen number of cleaning and re-use cycles.

The protoypical IonField Systems PureTIP SaS was placed in a well known laboratory which was performing COVID-19 qPCR testing. It cleaned pipette tips, which had been used to identify positive COVID-19 cases, to background (no detectable COVID-19 after 42 cts).

This testing also demonstrated several areas for improvement and the IonField PureTIP SaS about to be launched includes these enhancements:

  • Several deck positions including user assignable ones which can accommodate a 96 channel and, in the future, a 384 channel cleaning station;
  • User removable side shields on three sides for manual or robotic access for placing boxes of used pipette tips and retrieving boxes of cleaned pipette tips;
  • A light curtain option is available;
  • Patent-pending brand-specific (liquid handler brand) user changeable mandrils so that multiple brands of pipette tips can be cleaned;
  • Mandrils available for manual pipetting tips;
  • Continuous pull of plasma makes the cleaning more powerful than the IonField Systems PureTip LHC;
  • Tips of all types can be cleaned, including large volume (1 ml) pipette tips;
  • Cleans filter and non-filter pipette tips;
  • Cleans the exterior and interior of the pipette tips;
  • Very high throughput, less than 2 s cleaning time at maximum plasma generation;
  • No liquid waste!

If the IonField Systems PureTIP SaS is of interest, please do contact us as orders are currently being received for the first production run.

Please contact us if you would like to receive additional information at info@talaverascience.com.

How IonField Systems Products Help the Environment

IonField Systems are preparing information for corporate sustainability officers on how the PurePLATE MCS, MCS Max, PureTip LHC and SaS can reduce your laboratory's environmental foot print. To that end we have commissioned a competent consultancy to gerenrate Life Cycle Assessments of the PurePLATE MCS and the PureTIP LHC. These shall become available shortly. This is a 'work in progress' and will continue to develop as will this section. Please visit often to view its development.

Please contact us to receive further information concerning how the IonField Systems help improve your environmental footprint at info@talaverascience.com.