The nano Litre Dispense Module (nLDM)
Schivo Medical’s nano Litre Dispense Module (nLDM) is a non-contact nanolitre dispensing syringe pump designed for 2D and 3D dispensing of reagents, proteins, live cells, hydrogels, etc. Combining a traditional syringe pump driven design with a proprietary droplet generation system, the nLDM is capable of accurately dispensing from single nanolitre to full syringe volumes in a single dispense.
Dispense parameters are configured in the nLDM’s software guaranteeing that individual droplet sizes are repeatable and the velocity of the dispense can be controlled. This ensures that solution viscosity is accounted for and eliminates the risk of damage to delicate items such as stem cells. The nLDM dispenses nanolitre volume droplets at rates up to 20Hz. Nanolitre dispensing rather than microlitre dispensing substantially reduces reagent usage and waste.
The nLDM’s four button manual functionality has been designed to simplify user experience and minimise the need for user training.
- The Prime function fills the system from a bulk source with a compatible backing solution or with the solution to be dispensed.
- The Aspirate function aspirates a user-determined microliter volume of reagent into the syringe through the probe, typically from a microplate.
- The Dispense function will dispense reagent through the probe with preselected parameters such as dispense volume, velocity, and the number of dispenses.
- The Purge function fully Purges the instrument and probe of the reagent. Washing the system in preparation for a different reagent consists of a combination of priming and purging routines.
In addition to the four manual push buttons on the front, there is also an electrical connector on the back of the machine that allows for remote operation from a PC or host controller*. Rather than pushing the dispense button, a signal comes from the PC or robot’s host controller to initiate the desired function. The robot can be programmed to move to the desired location and send a signal to the unit to perform one or more of the desired functions such as dispense. The appropriate button on the front of the nLDM will illuminate providing the operator with a confirmation of the process being executed.
*standard and extended syringe pump command structure is optionally available.
The nLDM system can also be programmed to send a confirmation signal to a host controller such as a robot so that the robot can move to the next location. After a predetermined delay or receiving a signal back from the robot, the nLDM can initiate the next function. Once calibrated, the pump can send a command to the robot, having it move to the desired location. The pump then dispenses the programmed quantity of reagent before commanding the robot to move to the next location.
Live Cell Printing
Protein and live cell printing are the typical applications of the nLDM. Unlike generic liquid handling machines, the nLDM is designed to dispense live cells without the risk of cell death. These cells can then be tested/treated as needed.
The nLDM’s unique method of non-contact dispensing ensures zero cross contamination due to surface contact vs microarray pin type printing.
Tissue Engineering & Biological 3d Printing
The nLDM’s remarkable control of droplet size and dispensing parameters over a wide range of viscosities means that it is ideally suited to the 3D printing of complex scaffolding structures required for the engineering of human tissues and systems.
In the area of Mass Spectrometry, the nLDM is capable of achieving ideal sample injection volumes. Being able to accurately and repeatedly dispense samples at this ideal level is vital to ensuring the sensitivity of the Mass Spectrometer as well as eliminating the need to dilute samples resulting in minimized reagent waste.