Microdispensing Technology

The non-contact micro-dispensers are dedicated for spotting of up to few hundred different samples on different targets. The volume of the dispensed sample is controlled by the micro-dispenser and the spot size is determined by properties of samples and targets surface. The spotting is carried out without touching the target surface, which ensures perfect reproducibility, no contamination and no damage of the target. Our non-contact micro-dispensers are based on piezo driven direct displacement of the liquid or flow-based liquid displacement based on solenoid valve.

The main advantage of using contact micro-dispensers is enabling printing of more than thousands of samples. The sample solution is printed on the target by a pin, where a small drop is hanging at the blunt end of in case of a solid pin, flowing out of a small gap (split pin) or one end of a capillary (capillary pin). The pin is contacting the surface for variable time, releasing a certain requested volume, creating a spot, which size is dependent on the viscosity of the sample and duration of the contact between the pin and surface. Our contact micro-dispensers are purely passive, have no electrically induced forces, and are mechanically and materially different to their non-contact dispensers.

Non-contact microdispensing

Piezo Driven MicroDispenser (PDMD)

Piezo Driven Micro-Dispenser (PDMD) for picoliter volume ranges

The PDMD ultrafast liquid displacement of the microdrop is caused by a short contraction of a piezo ceramic actuator bonded to a thin glass capillary, which enables to eject drops of single volume from 20 pL up to 300 pL with high precision and frequency of 1-1000 drops per second. The liquid is aspirated into and dispensed out via tapered and polished end of the glass capillary with orifice diameter of 40-60 µm. The capillary is made of material extremely inert to any chemical and biological liquids.

Ultrafast operation: 1-1000 drops/s
Drop volume range available: 20-80pL, 35-150pL, 60-300pL
Precise volume control: in 1pL steps
High volume accuracy: c.v. = 1.5 - 2 %
Drop ejection velocity control: 0.5 - 4m/s in 0.1m/s steps
Dynamic viscosity range: 0.5-10mPas
Typical spot size: >= 25 µm

M2 non-contact piezo microdispenser glass tip

M2-MicroDispenser version 03 (M2MD03)

Non-contact microdispenser for highly accurate nanoliter volume applications.

The M2-microdispenser version 3 is based on a new, highly flexible micro-dispensing technology, which is based on fast liquid displacement, but is much less temperature dependent than flow-based dispensing (like M2MD02) and therefore delivers significantly better volume accuracy and viscosity tolerance without any dilution of the sample by the system liquids. The microdispenser is equipped with a temperature control (optional), which is improving the variation and drops the cv below 2 % with minimum drop volume of 10nL and frequency of 20 drops per second. The dispenser supports a broad range of dispensing tips including disposable plastic pipetting tips. The M2-Microdispenser version 3 is suitable for non-contact nL- dispensing of liquids, spotting and dispensing cells.

Ultrafast operation: up to 20 drops/s
Drop volume range: 10-500 nL
Precise volume control: in nL steps
High volume accuracy: c.v. = <2 % (depending on the temperature control)
Dynamic viscosity range: 0.5-20mPas
Typical spot size: approximately 500 µm

M2 non-contact nanoliter microdispenser disposable plastic tip

Solenoid valve Driven MicroDispenser (SDMD)

Non-contact microdispenser for highly flexible nano- and microliter volume applications.

Solenoid Valve Driven Microdispensers are small flow-based micro-dispensers dedicated for single ejection volumes from 25 nL up to hundreds of microliters with the maximum dispense frequency of 250 drops per second. The liquid is dispensed from a thin stainless steel capillary which is tightly connected to the outlet port of the valve. The flow is driven by a constant pressure difference and the dispensed volume is determined by the opening time of a small solenoid valve. The flow-based nanodispensers are very sensitive to the temperature changes due to high temperature dependence of the dynamic viscosity of most liquids. An increase by 1 °C increases the dispense volume of water by 3-5%. The advantage is, that the solenoid valve microdispensers are small and light, dedicated for use where size and weight is a critical parameter.

Ultrafast operation: up to 250 drops/s
Drop volume range: 25 - 10,0000nL
Precise volume control: in nL steps
High volume accuracy: c.v. = <5-10% (depending on temperature)
Dynamic viscosity range: 0.5-10mPas
Typical spot size: depending on target- and sample properties

solenoid microdispenser

Contact microdispensing

Pin Driven MicroDispenser (PinDMD)

Solid pins

Solid pins have either flat or concave tips to accommodate relatively small volume of the sample. The technology is suitable mostly for low density arrays.

Split pins – pins with a splited end.

Split pins have a fine slot at the end of the pin for sample holding. When the split pin is dipped into the sample solution, the sample is loaded into the slot, which generally holds 0.2 – 1.0µL of sample solution. A small volume of sample (0.1 – 2.5 nL) is deposited on the target by tapping the pins onto the slide surface with sufficient force or touching the pins lightly on the surface. The split pins hold a larger sample volume than the solid pins, more than one microarray can be printed from a single sampling loading.

microarray solid pins mounted at microarray contact printer iSIX

Capillary pins

The capillary pin construction with the tubular capillary inside is protecting liquid to evaporate during printing run and allows deposition of equal liquid amount (0.1 - 35nL) independently on viscosity and outer conditions. The volume uptake (5 – 300 nL) sufficient for generating 1000 – 50,000 spots is controlled, which saves amount of the sample. The pin is made from chemically inert material, which doesn’t contaminate the printing substance.

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Customers and co-operation partners

HTW Berlin
Ruhr Uni Bochum
Microfluidic Chipshop
George Washington University