Spotter components

Components for microarray spotters


Air Filter

Clean, cleaner, HEPA

We think it’s safe to say that we have all struggled to avoid contamination in our labs and within our experiments and processes… Well, we need struggle no longer because a hero is in our midst — the Clean Air Filtration System.

With its presence on the front line of our defence in the battle against unruly particles like dust, we can feel safe in the knowledge that particle contamination will be a thing of the past. Clean air and optimal testing and production conditions will prevail!

The HEPA flow-through air filtration system eliminates particles in air, e.g. dust. This is excellent news, because unwelcome particles in the air within a closed testing environment can be a critical contamination source in non-contact liquid handling, e.g. during the production of biochips.

A large HEPA filter is used as the last filter element, and the HEPA is usually combined with an enclosed M2 automation solution.

    Climate Control

    Make your sample feel comfortable

    If you need a tight control loop between the temperature, humidity, cooling and dew point of system components, this first-class climate control software module from M2-Automation is the best option.

    It is designed it to help you to control the variables by taking care of set points on your behalf. Additionally, it saves time stamped climate data in an Excel-readable format, making results easy to access, without the need for additional special software.

    It gives you the control that you need, therefore, improving your process by allowing you to bypass potential problematic environmental reactions that could affect your data results. For example, the unique humidity overshot control guarantees a very constant level of humidity, which combats the formation of relatively large microdroplets that are usually generated by nebulizer operating systems.

    The ultra-small proprietary M2 humidity and temperature sensor reads the current conditions and is source for a perfect control.


    Let's work together

    An electronic interface that detects electrical either TTL or short cut input signals (which signal is set by a jumper) send from an instrument or device.

    Detection of the corresponding input signal generates a 24 V output signal that can be used to trigger action of a second or more instruments or devices. In short, LCC02 is an electrical low level communication interface supported by many laboratory instruments (e.g., HPLC systems).

    LCC02 can be used for many different tasks, wherever it is required to trigger an action by a simple shortcut or TTL signal sent by an external.


    Make it cooler ...

    M2-Automation’s Cryostat is what you need to keep things cool in the lab. It is designed for the cooling of source vials, MTPS and target substrates such as chips, slides and sample supports.

    It comes complete with options for adjustable and regulated temperature, and with an integrated supply pump.

    Additionally, you have the benefit of being able to choose the cooling version or the cooling and heating version, and cooling liquid is provided by M2 as part of the package.

    The cooled liquid is pumped through cooling units that are mounted on the work platform of the instrument.

    A popular accessory combination for the cryostat includes our CCSM (Climate Control Software Module), a temperature sensor and a humidity sensor. This trio of components enables the Cryostat to control the dew point for source cavities.


    Air bubbles in drinks only!

    In non-contact liquid handling, small air bubbles generated by spontaneous degassing of dissolved gases in liquids can cause all kinds of negative effects, e.g. distortions of the liquid flight path, random volume errors or, at worst, complete loss of function.

    However, online degassing prevents such problems, which is one of the reasons that M2’s Online Degasser is such a popular optional component in all of our non-contact liquid handling solutions. Aside from being totally effective in degassing, it’s also easy to use and built to last.

    Online degassers are used for online removal of dissolved gases (usually, air) from liquids. M2’s Online Degasser includes two degassing chambers that are connected to a 3-way selection valve. This allows the use and automatic selection of two system liquids (e.g. water and isopropanol) to be degassed in parallel, which makes it possible to automate regular service and maintenance tasks such as cleaning and chemical sterilization.

    If an air bubble were to migrate into the dispense chamber of a piezo-driven micro dispenser, it could cause complete loss of function, but with our Online Degasser, this can be avoided if the system liquid is degassed online right after it has left the storage bottle or vial.

    Dispense Controller

    The brain for your instrument

    The Micro Dispense Controller (MDC) is a controller that is compatible for use with all micro-dispensers offered by M2-Automation, and the package also includes all necessary electronic and pneumatic components.

    If you would like to increase the efficiency and accuracy of your project, it makes sense to use hardware that you can rely on to perform flawlessly. That’s why you need M2-Automation’s MDC; it’s the perfect fit for your MDC hardware needs.

    The MDC is used to control M2-Austomation’s non-contact liquid handling solutions across all of our product lines. It provides accurate regulation and adjustment of pressure supply, precise generation and amplification of signals, and it includes electrical input and output ports for the use of external hardware.


    It‘s getting hot in here

    At M2-Automation, we offer a number of heating devices to service the needs of your project, and in order to enhance their value and accuracy, we have designed the heater (i804 Temperature Controller).

    It is an electronic controller for heating devices offered by M2 that contain one or more temperature sensors, and one or more heating elements.

    The i804 Temperature Controller heats up target substrate holders such as slides, TXRF sample discs and micro-dispensers. It reads the current temperature and turns the heating element on or off accordingly, allowing the set target temperature to be reached and maintained, with a maximum deviation of less than 0.5°C. The employed regulation algorithm has been optimized for this task and can be calibrated for each heatable device.

    An excellent example of the value of this product is evident with the heat element equipped M2-micro-dispenser, where the optional temperature controls significantly improve the dispense volume accuracy.


    Masterpiece needs protection

    The Safety Housing for iTWO-400 is designed specifically to house the iTWO-400 product line. This safe environmental enclosure accommodates the iTWO-400 X,Y,Z-stage system, and is able to house all of the additional components that are available with the iTWO-400, as well as a micro-dispenser controller, e.g. M2-Automation’s MDC07.

    The enclosure provides the safe environment needed to achieve uncontaminated, reliable results. The design reflects the many years of experience and understanding of necessary environmental conditions for accurate testing, which M2-Automation has perfected over the last 10 years of its automation solution development history.

    The Hous-400 houses the iTWO-400. It provides dust and light protection, making it possible to safely operate kinematic components, like those of the iTWO-400 X, Y, Z stage system, without fear of environmental factors affecting the outcome of your tests and experiments.


    If your air is thirsty

    When automated active regulation of the relative humidity in a small room or cabinet is essential, M2-Automation’s humidifiers with superior proprietary humidity sensors will provide exactly what you need.

    We offer two types of humidifiers, which gives you the option of choosing which would best suit your needs, and enables us to provide you with a more tailored solution. The first option is an ultrasonic nebulization humidifier, and the second is an evaporation humidifier.

    Do you have any questions about which humidifier would be of greatest value to your project? If so, we would be delighted to assist you with answers and advice, so please get in touch. We’re here to help.

    The active regulation of relative humidity offered by a humidifier can be imperative during an experiment or process. Some examples of processes that require relative humidity regulation are: the handling of cell cultures and suspensions, the generation of microarrays, and the minimization of water evaporation during long spotting experiments.

    Ultra-small and very accurate, the proprietary M2 humidity and temperature sensor reads the current conditions and is source for an excellent control.

    Imaging System 2D

    When a droplet is a celebrity

    The IMBA (Imaging Basic) from M2-Automation is a 2D imaging hardware tool for non-contact liquid handling within the picolitre (pL) and nanolitre (nL) volume ranges. Although the system is a more basic version of our advanced imaging system (the IMAD), it is still a first-class piece of hardware.

    The 2D Droplet Detection software module is designed to monitor and analyse droplet formation before and after spotting. This is an invaluable function when it’s necessary to establish optimal dispensing parameters for each and every sample on a fully automated run.

    The imaging software provides automatic quality control of the droplet ejection process during a spotting run. This process is typically performed after each sample aspiration step.

    Specific actions can be triggered if there is a failure of function, e.g. when no droplet is detected, when there is a deviation in the determined droplet volume and/or flight velocity in the X direction, or when the flight path falls outside acceptance limits specified by the user.

    Imaging System 3D

    When two dimensions are not enough...

    The 3D Droplet Detection soft module from M2 is the big brother of the 2D Imaging System. Its purpose and functions mirror those of the 2D but with one significant difference, which is an additional droplet camera that enables 3D data gathering.

    3D improves real time droplet flight path detection by offering a forecast of the droplet hit point coordinates. This forecast can be applied for an XY coordinate correction of the target substrate and, therefore, results in accurate sample deposition and perfect feature alignment. With this software module, bad feature alignment and crooked microarrays will become a thing of the past.

    3D is a software module for the SOFT-iX instrument control software that enables automatic 3D optical detection of droplet ejection. Also, it enables analysis of droplet volume, velocity and flight path in X and Y directions during a spotting run.


    Get your charges arranged...

    M2’s Ionizer is a device for the removal of electrostatic charges. Such charges can generate strong local electrical fields while residing on non-conductive surfaces such as MTPs, plastic slides and lab-on-a-chip devices.

    With plastic substrates and MTPs in particular, this interference can completely ruin the dispensing (spotting) results, but you can rely on M2’s Ionizer to prevent this by neutralizing the charges, allowing your dispensing process to run smoothly and accurately.

    Also, in many non-contact liquid handling applications, the ejected droplets can become electrostatically charged. If they are very small, as is the case with Piezo dispensers, this means that the local charges can significantly change the flight path of the droplets, with the consequence that they are no longer able to reach their target position. But, once again, the Ionizer prevents this problem, ensuring an unhindered flight path for the droplets.

    * The ions produced are harmless for humans. Healthy air contains many ionized air molecules.

    * A power supply and connection cable for the ionizer are included in this package.

    The device is mounted above the work platform of the instrument. When switched on, it ionizes air molecules entering it (O2 and N2) with a typical alternating polarity of 50 Hz. As a result, a stream of positively and negatively charged ions reaches the work platform and neutralizes the charges.

    To increase that stream, and thereby the effect, air can be actively pumped through the device. For this purpose, a small adjustable membrane pump is available upon request.

    Liquid Path

    Make your life easier without bubbles

    Is air bubble formation causing problems in your dispensing process? If so, the Liquid Path Air-free is your solution. Developed by M2 to make your life easier, it’s aneffective means of avoiding problems caused by spontaneous degassing of dissolved air.

    Therefore, it improves the overall process and reliability of non-contact liquid handling in the pL- and nL-volume range.

    Liquid Path Air-free includes all tubing, ferrules and special fittings for connecting the installed micro-dispenser directly to the supply bottle. Also, it can first be connected to a liquid degassing unit (ODE or ODEs) and/or syringe pump, should that be necessary, and connection tubing for a self-regulating negative pressure supply unit is included.

    The Liquid Path Air-free tubing is guided through a second pneumatic tubing that includes a T-connector, which is connected to a self-regulating negative pressure supply unit.

    This tubing-within-tubing connection works as an impenetrable barrier. It embeds the liquid supply tubing in anegative pressure environment (vacuum), and it stops the air from the room diffusing into the liquid through the wall of the tubing.


    Everybody needs a piercer

    Sealing the wells of an MTP is an efficient means to prevent solvent loss by evaporation or sublimation during storage, but when a well needs to be opened efficiently and safely, without other wells being affected, a piercer is needed.

    The Piercer from M2-Automation is a tool for just that purpose. It can automatically pierce the sealing foil of individual wells, allowing access to their contents while all unpierced wells remain sealed.

    * This package includes a head-mounted piercing tool and a motor driven axis that moves it up and down via motor controller.

    The piercing of the MTPs is performed by a conically shaped stainless steel tip positioned above the well, and then moved downward until it has penetrated the sealing foil, just before sample uptake.

    A piercer enables on-demand access to any sealed well, which can be very useful when, for example, aspirating only part of the content for a planned dispensing program.

    Pneumatic Unit

    Under pressure

    Here at M2, we have designed and built two excellent pneumatic units. The PNU03-P is the first of those, and it’s a product that will improve the levels of precision and flexibility within your processes.

    This adjustable and regulated positive pressure supply unit can provide a positive pressure of up to 1000 mbar, which can be regulated down to +/- 1 mbar (adjustable hysteresis). The pressure is adjustable from 10-1000 mbar and, for your convenience, the pressure level is displayed on the front side of the device, while the pneumatic and electronic connections are located on the rear side.

    The important features that both this model and the PNU03-V share are that they both include a membrane pump, a pressure pilot valve, a pressure sensor and electronic components for precise pressure regulation.

    Using a PNU03-P, you can manage the generation and precise regulation of a positive pressure difference in a chamber, bottle or vial. A typical application of this device would be the provision of a constant driving force for liquid transportation in non-contact liquid handling.

    Power Socket

    Power wherever you like

    You got the power! Well, you will have it when you invest in M2’s POW01, a professional 24 V DC power distributor.

    Experiments can be tricky, and often require quite a bit of equipment, which is why we designed the POW01 to streamline your power supply set-up and to save on space. It has one switchable 24 V DC input and four switchable 24 V DC output ports, which are all located at the rear side. The status of each port (on or off) is indicated by a blue LED on the front side.

    POW01 is most useful when between two and four additional devices require 24 V DC power supply. Therefore, instead of supplying each device with a separate power supply, the power of one 24 V DC supply can be distributed between four devices. Simple.

    Pump Unit

    Pump It!

    A dual channel pump unit. It includes two membrane pumps, a smaller and a larger one. The flow rate of both pumps is adjustable by internal potentiometers. The liquid and electronic connection ports are located on the rear side. The activity of the pump is indicated by a blue status LED on the front side.


    The core of the instrument

    The instrument software is a result of more than ten years experience in micro-dispensing and arraying; guiding the user easily through all features such as target layouts, array formatting and all necessary liquid handling.

    • Main window reflects the current instrument status and run configuration
    • Substrate Designer assists with designing dispensing patterns via simple
    • Wash Designer offers effortless drag and drop programming of the dispenser rinsing procedure
    • Individual dispensing parameters for diverse samples, all in a single run

    Optional software modules like collision prevention to maneuver around obstacles, substrate imaging to find fiducials on your substrate automatically and many more are available.


    The Beginning ...

    A holder with flow through cooling option for small vials, tubes and 8-well strips that fits into the source vial positions of Instrument One and Two. For cooling the holder must be connected with a cryostat. Support and cooling of small vials, tubes and 8-well strips as source and/or reagent vials during dispensing runs with an M2-Automation liquid handling solution.

    Syringe Pump

    We bet you‘ll like that kind

    The Syringe Pump from M2-Automation is a multifunctional tool that is built to guarantee accurate and thorough performance, whilst maintaining simplicity of process.

    It is linear, motor driven and chemically inert, with a 3-channel ceramic valve and an integrated bypass function. The inlet and outlet ports are directly connected and the default syringe volume is 100 µL, with a resolution of 0.1 µL.

    The main functions of the M2 Syringe Pump are: the aspiration and dispensing of sample liquids or cleaning and coating reagents; the washing of the dispenser tip; and the resuspension of sample sediments, living cells and other particles.

    Another extremely useful feature of this product is that the valve position of the syringe pump can be used to block the flow path to the system liquid bottle, e.g. when no micro-dispenser is installed due to exchange or maintenance, or when a PDMD is treated with coating solution and no liquid is flowing into the dispenser. To utilise this feature, one must simply connect the syringe to the outlet port of the valve.


    Goal accomplished!

    A heatable adaptor (holder) with integrated temperature sensor and heating element that accommodates up to four glassor plastic slides. The footprint of the holder matches that of an MTP. The slides are easy to insert and are gently hold in a defined position by a spring loaded lever. The holder tolerates little deviations in the dimensions of the slides and accepts both formats: 75x25 mm and 3x1 inch. For regulated heating the heat controller HEA02 and connection cable are required.

    Wash Station

    She's a smooth customer

    Wash procedures are a standard part of every experiment and are implemented between the dispensing of every sample. Throughout such a procedure, flexibility is key, and that is a feature we guarantee with the WASH and its components.

    One example of this flexibility is the user-defined procedures that allow you to create sample-specific wash procedures to ensure that cross-contamination is never a problem. Another example is the multiple options for wash solutions that allow you to tailor the wash to your specific project needs.

    You can be sure that your experiments are always efficient and contamination free when you use M2’s WASH station. It is yet another product that we have designed with the ease and efficiency of your experimentations in mind.

    The WASH comprises all hardware components necessary for the implementation and operation of a wash station. A pump unit is not included due to the fact that we have a number of pump unit options, giving you the choice of how you would like to tailor this element of the overall solution to your specific needs. The station itself is mounted on the base plate of the instrument and includes a supply line for the washing liquid, a wasteline, all necessary tubing, containers and connectors. We’ve even created the Chemical Compatibility Manual, which is available upon request to help you choose the safest and most effective wash solution for your specific experiment.

    The WASH is built for the external washing of an installed micro-dispenser tip during an automated liquid handling programme (wash programme). In addition, the wash station provides the perfect environment for manual or automated inspection and tuning of the droplet generation (ejection) process.

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