LabAutoBox consists of the tools needed to convert a 3D printer into a lab automation liquid handler capable of independently controlling 8 pipette tips. The system consists of the following components:
- Raspberry Pi computer running the LabBot Robotic Schedular software
- Microfluidics components for liquid handling (multichannel syringe pump, 3 peristaltic pumps, pressure compensation vessel (PCV), 8 4-way servo driven stop-cock valves)
- Electronic box that contains the boards for controlling these microfluidic devices and the XYZ motion robot that works with them
- Aluminum extrusion frame for supporting the microfluidics devices
- ATX power supply unit (PSU) normally used with desktop computers
- Tubing 1/8 inch and 1/16 inch diameters for connecting the LabAutoBox to robotics for doing 8 channel pipette liquid handling
- Pipette tip wash station and pipette tip removal module
Electronic box plug reference
The electronic box is used for controlling XYZ gantries (like 3D printers, old laboratory automation systems, LabBots). The attached Raspberry Pi runs the LabAutoBox browser-based software and on the front of this electronic box are connections for hooking the different devices for doing liquid handling-based laboratory automation.
X – X motor and endstop
Y – Y motor and endstop
Z – Z motor and endstop
S – Multichannel syringe pump motor and endstop
H1 – Heater controller unit 1
H2 – Heater controller unit 2
P – Pressure compensation vessel electrocaloric liquid level sensor
L – Liquid pumps (wash, waste, and PCV)
H3 – Heater controller unit 3
Wash stations for pipette tips enable the possibility of recycling these dispensers. Normally these tools work with two peristaltic pumps (one for perfusing the wash station and the other for collecting the waste). Also, these wash stations work with a syringe pump that is used for perfusing the inside of the pipette tip while the tips are also being washed outside using the wash peristaltic pump.
While the pipettes are dried using the dry pad area, it is good to record the positions so that the tips go to a new one every time which is a feature that exists with the LabBot Robotic Schedular software, and there is a link that shows a technique for washing pipettes.
Pipette tip/Tube removal tool
Multichannel Syringe Pump
This is an 8 syringe multichannel stepper motor-driven syringe pump. It works with disposable syringes which can be easily sterilized. The system can be used to do accurate liquid handling which is demonstrated using the LabBot Robotics Schedular in this video. The system includes:
- 8 disposable 1ml syringes (that are autoclavable)
- Arduino based control electronics (command-line interface software can work with any computer)
- Tubing and Luer-lock fittings
- Mechanical endstop homing
Microfluidic 4-way valve
These valves can be positioned in 4 different ways. Input is where the fluid is drawn from the reagent reservoir (like a pressure compensation vessel) to the syringe. The output is where the fluid is pushed from the syringe pump towards the dispensers. The bypass is where the fluid paths are closed. Closed is where the syringe pump to the dispenser is closed but the flow path from the reagent reservoir to the dispenser is open.