Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Micro-dispenser for liquids

Drug discovery, liquid handling and equipment with ultra-high throughput screening may soon be significantly more accurate, reliable and cost effective thanks to a new dispenser well plate.
Micro-dispenser for liquids
The trademarked Dispensing Well Plate (DWP) was originally developed by a German research institute for non-contact dispensing of a lot of liquids simultaneously into a microplate. The developed prototype includes several individual dispensing units configured in close arrangement that corresponds to the well plate format. Each dispensing unit comprises a reservoir, a connection channel and a nozzle that enable the liquid delivery.

The operation of the device starts when the reservoirs are filled with priming liquids, which are driven to the nozzles via the connection channels. The liquids in the nozzles produce free liquid jets by applying pressure a pulse on the whole upper surface of the DWP. At that time, pressure changes across connection channels are so insignificant that no considerable flow from the reservoirs occurs. Refill of the nozzles takes place after the pressure pulse is completed.

Until now, DWP prototypes of 96 and 24 separate reservoirs and nozzles have been developed in silicon. The actuation driving mechanism allows the ejection of a fixed volume of 50nl from all nozzles simultaneously. Compared to the pitch of a 1536 well plate, this innovation is very suitable for use in an ultra-high throughput screening environment. In addition, another configuration at a pitch of 384 plates has been realised for low volume assays.

The DWP is a unique liquid-administering device that offers significant potential for precise and accurate small-volume handling of liquids. Unlike most conventionally used liquid handlers, this micro-dispenser is capable of delivering hundreds to thousands of different liquids within the range of 10-100nl at the same time. Its future potential lies in its commercialisation as a disposable plastic device which is compatible to conventional microplate handling and storing equipment.
Record Number: 81556 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Biology, Medicine