Dispensing to active shaking position

Biomek 5 software with the i7 has a feature - which I assume is a safegaurd - that prevents dispensing onto an actively shaking orbital ALP. Instead, the shaker will pause specifically during the dispense step targeted on the shaker, and resume after the step is completed.

Does anyone know a way to override this “feature”?

Learning question for me–I won’t have anything of value to share answer wise unfortunately–what sort of labware is on the ALP? It feels like dispensing into a moving target could pose some challenges as far as tips colliding with the sides of the wells?

I’ve never tried to do that/worked with someone who did, so I’d love to hear more about it! If that question is better handled offline, happy to send you a DM to talk/learn there :slight_smile:

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Just a standard full-skirt PCR plate. For this application specifically, I’m looking to add a dense reagent that I don’t want it to settle before mixing, as I’ve found that the max safe shaking speed I can use is not sufficient to provide lift for this rgt.

Most times I dispense onto a moving shaker, it’s been with a part/jet-style dispense since the target to hit within the well becomes smaller as the orbital radius increases. As you can imagine, the tip tends to fall off when it’s jostled by the well & shaker, especially when it’s mounted by pressure alone. I was able to mix while shaking on a fluent but the teaching and troubleshooting required to get it working was not feasible for deployment onto other instruments. You’d need skinny tips with size smaller than the well diameter less the orbital diameter, and tenth-mm precision with arm movement. In my experience, most liquid handlers can hit that level of precision so it mostly comes down to length of tip and pipettor alignment aka how “sawtooth” the 8ch is or how well aligned the tips are on a 96ch (which tends to be somewhat unreliable when tips are pressure mounted).

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Do you absolutely have to dispense into a moving plate?

I would do this on the Fluent all of the time and we moved it over to many systems and it was fine. You have to teach the X/Y while it’s shaking (low speed) which was easy enough. Other option is to select a shaker with a wider orbital and/or deeper plate for a faster speed. If you have a saw tooth 8-channel, yeah the longer tips are not it…

For others asking, usually shaking + mixing at the same time is used as a substitute for particularly crummy vortex steps.

Not absolutely. I used tipmixing instead to have a deliverable product in the meantime - but I would prefer shaking to save on tip consumption.

Really I was wondering if this is possible on i7 as a direct command or something - documentation and help are sparse with this instrument.

In retrospect, my development fluent was a demo unit…

Just to add to the benefits of shake+mix, it also helps tremendously with physical lysis - imo its the most effective mix you can produce besides vortexing.

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Biomek software is very low. You can move this shaker ALP to outside. Then build a normal ALP at old position. Then you can do anything.

I imagine you can create a dummy single ALP position where the shaker is and put the labware on instead then you can control the shaker and pipetting separately. You’ll probably have to put a dummy plate in the actual shaker ALP position to activate the shaking.

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I confirmed this same solution with my service engineer just today. You just gotta lie to the robot to gain this particular functionality.


I’m surprised they’re willing to condone that~!