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Old 08-22-2018, 10:42 PM   #1
Junior Member
Location: San Francisco

Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 2
Default Sequencing library prep automation selection

Hi, we are looking into purchasing an automation platform for NGS library prep. We are now comparing Tecan freedom evo to Eppendorf epMotion. Does anyone here have experience with either platform? How do you like or dislike it?
Any advice will be helpful.
Thanks a lot!
whe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2018, 02:08 AM   #2
Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 57

Hi Whe,
Have you considered a Sciclone NGS, Zephyr NGS og Janus NGS Express from Perkin Elmer? See for a list of automated methods.
I am NOT related to Perkin Elmer, but we have been using their robots for several years and are very happy with them.
Good luck.
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:06 AM   #3
Location: New England

Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 12

Hi Whe,

We have a Tecan Freedom Evo 150 in our lab (8 channel head only). We for the most part like it. There is a learning curve to it, but if you take the time to learn the software there’s a lot you can do with it. Writing the protocols is fairly easy. Optimizing the liquid classes is the really difficult part. Unless you want to pay for one of their courses, its hard to get the right volumes delivered without a fair amount of trial and error.

They validated a Full RXN Volume NExtera XT protocol on it. Ran real samples on it and they worked perfectly. I have cut it to Half RXN Volumes and the volumes are all still delivered accurately. Have not been able to test that with real samples yet.

We currently use it a lot for Ampure XP bead cleanups and 1/4 RXN Quant It Reactions. I used a lot of commands from the Nextera XT protocol to help me write these scripts. We also have a normalization script for it. That is going to be tested next week and if it is as accurate as it was in "Fake Sample" tests, then it should significantly speed up our normalization.

The only other thing is that if you working in very small volumes to be careful. When writing my normalization script, I could not get <2uL volumes delivered both accurately and consistently. Even when working with the smallest tip size they have (10 uL). So if you plan on doing a lot of liquid transfers <2 uL, then you may want to be careful.

Finally, if you do decide to get a Tecan Freedom Evo, make sure you get one large enough for what you want to do. If you want to get a MCA96 pipetting head or MCA384 petting head, then you will want to consider a 200 series. I know a lab that has a 150 series with a MCA head, and they constantly have to refill tips. For tip heavy protocols like Ampure Bead cleanups, our instrument has just enough space to have enough tips to not refill during the run.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:21 AM   #4
David Eccles (gringer)
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 835
Default OpenTrons

If you want cheap, there's the OpenTrons OT-2. The basic system is $3500 USD, with additional modules ordered separately:
  • single channel pipette $500
  • 8-channel pipette $1000
  • temperature module $1000
  • aluminium block (for temp module) $500
  • magnetic deck $1500
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:28 AM   #5
Senior Member
Location: Basel (Switzerland)

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 208

I am a big fan of the Tecan Freedom Evo 200. For medium/high throughput project it's fantastic. Our configuration includes the 96 and 384 head adaptor. Having a 4 channel LiHa arm (4 independent channels for single dispensing, i.e. cherry-picking) is also very useful. A newer and better version of it would be the Fluent 780, also from Tecan. The software for the Evo is rather easy and you wouldn't need too much time to master it, even if you want to create complex programs. To cut the costs we combine it with a Nanodrop Express (BioNex). Reagent addition steps are done with the Nanodrop while sample pooling, bead cleanup and primer addition is done with the Tecan.
On the other hand, I would never recommend an Agilent Bravo. Too many limitations on the instrument, expensive consumables and the software is much more complicated than the Evo (at least the version I used a few years back). The EpMotion is ok but is not meant for complex application or high-throughput projects. As far as I know a 384 channel pipetting head is not available for the EpMotion.
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