Philosophy behind opentrons flex

Removed at the request of the original poster


If I just need to repeatedly dispense the same volume, why not buy a 96 well dispenser like a gilson platemaster?

haha, same thought. Full-plate operations in small lab are handled by 96-well pipettes. In my lab at least

For me flex could be an interesting solution if it came with hotel and a barcode scanner, so I could go through the plates first, then pull expected operations for the plates from web resource, and then run the operation. So operator basically just loads plates, runs pre-check, then follows instructions. Without hotel though it is indeed not as valuable.

And if I could have multiple hotels, that would be incredible.

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If you buy the NGS Opentrons Flex, you can envision a gripper being used to move plates around the various modules. From magnet to heat/cold blocks and even an ODTC. The single channel can allow for precision pipetting for reagents that are very expensive, say PCR or sequencing mastermixes that you may want to keep in single tube formats to minimize what we refer to as dead volume. And a full 96 allows for full plate stamps of water or PBS or transfers from one labware format to another if you need to make full plate replicates or save some for storage or transition to the next process.

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A bit of clarification on what instruments can be used on the Flex. You can use the gripper with up to two pipettes(50/1000 uL or 1/8-channel) or the 96-channel head. You can also use the 96-channel to pick up 1 column (8 tips).


My bad. Indeed pipette module (2 pipettes or one 96 one) is indeed independent from the gripper! I dont understand how I got confused. This is indeed an amazing, then! I can think of many applications, including in my work.

@ Ethan: as a side note, could you please comment on sealing. Is there a possibility to use gripper to cover the wells with some sort of lid for evaporation prevention (I did so when briefly using Hamilton star). Or did you ever come across seals that can be easily punctured and resealed reproducibly?

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No worries at all; great questions! I am happy to make it clearer.

We are still developing that method for Flex specifically, so I cannot guarantee anything at this moment. I will ensure your comment is documented and brought to the attention of our product team, though!

You can also use the 96-channel to pick up 1 column (8 tips).

as I understand, this is implemented by shifting pipette, there is no separate actuator on 8 channels, and all 96 channels moved together?

That is correct, all channels are controlled by one motor. When we implement this offset feature it will be native to the Flex as well.