Has anyone used a4S or ALPS5000? How are they compared to PlateLoc or ALPS3000 that requires air supply? Things I am concerned are intermittent errors and cross-contamination. Any user experience/feedback is appreciated.
I’m also interested in people’s feedback here, I believe the PlateLoc is the most robust option but the air supply/vacuum lines are a non-starter for a lot of folks.
I’ve used PlateLocs as both stand alone and as part of HighRes integrated platforms. They are very robust but as pointed out do need a dedicated air supply (not an issue in my experience). One item to be aware is that a PlateLoc will require different plate inserts to ensure complete seal (no air bubble). I’ve also used the BioRad plate sealer (this was a manual one seal loaded with one plate at a time) with very little issues. I’ve found PlateLocs to be very configurable (if/when needed) and easy to maintain/troubleshoot.
I wasn’t aware of the ALPS 5000, that looks pretty slick. My default has always been PlateLocs and I’ve been pleased with their performance. Somebody needs to be the guinea pig and let us know how this new one performs.
My last lab integrated the a4S on all of our STARs. The seal was robust on ThermoFisher Armadillo plates (cat. no. AB2596), however plates started to warp if needing multiple seals. I wouldn’t count that as a knock on the a4S though.
Our technicians had a really tough time getting the hang of the seal roll reloading process. They would always just come and get an automation engineer to do it. The a4S model we used has 2 rubber guides that the seal has to be slipped under for it to sit correctly and seal right. It was pretty easy to knock them off or shear them so you had to buy replacements. I am not sure if 4titude (now Azenta) has made any improvements to that design. It has been about 4 years since I was actively using the a4S.
I’ve actually tested the ALPS 5000 as a demo and I thought it was fantastic.
You have all of the options of the a4S with regard to sealing (temp and seal time) but also you can load with a distance or force setting which was is very nice. Loading the tape was also way easier than it was on the a4S since it has a sensor that senses the tape and moves it along.
However I have one use case and a 2 week demo isn’t the same as day in/day out use over the length of a year.
We have used tha A4S in the past. As long as you change out the little rubber suction cups as called for in the user manual, they worked great for sealing PCR plates.
The Thermo ALPS5000 is a rebranded KBiosystems Ultraseal ePRO. I’d recommend getting a competing quote and/or demo from them as the original manufacturer.
Wow I had no clue. I love the green screen, wish they kept that!