Automated Liquid Handling Platforms for Sample Preparation for HPLC/ LCMS/GC/GCMS

HPLC, GC, LCMS and GCMS are commonly used in many processes within the pharmaceutical drug discovery and production process. Often, these samples are in large quantities so there are substantial benefits to automating as much of the sample preparation process as possible.

Many processes that are standard for chromatography sample preparation can be automated for higher throughput and reduced manual workload.

tube to plate

Labware reformatting

Incoming samples are typically not in the correct labware for placement into the sampling devices of the analytical equipment. This will require transfer of the liquid samples from one type of labware to another, for example, from vials to plates, tubes to plates, vials to different size vials, etc. Sample dilutions and serial dilutions may also be performed during this process.The fast variable-spacing 8-probe arms of the Zinsser robotic sample processes combined with flexible deck layouts makes this chore simple.


Solid Phase Extraction (SPE)

SPE extraction is typically used as a clean-up step prior to chromatography. Automated SPE can be performed on Zinsser platforms using not only a vacuum-based solution for filter plates, but also using monitored positive pressurization on either filter plates, filter discs, or individual cartridges as shown here. Please visit this web page for more details:


Liquid Liquid Extraction (LLE) (click picture to enlarge)

The system can be used to automated various steps of a LLE process, including adding the organic phase, vortexing (either tubes or microplates), drydown, and re-dissolution.

Filter Probe

One Step Filtration

Sample clean-up is made even easier by using one of Zinsser's filtration probes to aspirate liquid from the source container. The probe can be fitted with a frit from 2 to 60 microns, allowing particulate matter to be left behind. The filtration probe is cleaned ultrasonically to reduce carryover to the lowest possible levels.

HPLC Probe

HPLC Piercing Probe

This very thin and beveled probe is used to dispense sample, standard, or diluent directly into pre-crimped HPLC vials. The thin probe will reliably pierce the septa in the caps.


Automated Decapping and Recapping

What if your incoming samples are vials with screw-caps? Instead of manually removing all of the caps, you can install an automated decapper on your Zinsser platform. The same device can also be used to put caps back on the vials if this is necessary. It is even possible to remove caps from one size vial, move the samples to another size vial, and then put a cap on the second vial.


Automated Crimping

If you would like to use crimped-cap vials for the final destination for loading onto LC or GC, this also can be accomplished automatically with the automated crimping tool. The robotic gripper can move the septa and caps to the vials, then the gripper will locate an electrically-powered crimping tool over each cap and the system will trigger the crimper. The destination vials are ready to go directly to the chromatography system.

vials stacked

High Capacity in a Small Area

Racks for 2 ml vials are stacked into position on the deck. The robot gripper picks up the racks for processing and then returns them to a storage position. Using this method, as many as 1,000 HPLC vials can be processed on a deck that is only 1.5 meters wide.

nmr prep

NMR Sample Preparation

Reproducible and documented results by producing accurately defined solutions under argon based on the actual weight of the sample. Contaminaton-free pipetting of deuterium-labeled solvents such as CDCI3 (deuterium-labeled chloroform). Samples are vortexed for thorough mixing and up to 100 samples per day can be automatically prepared.


Specialized Mixing

Mixing is traditionally accomplished in automated liquid handlers by repetitive aspirate/dispense cycles using the dispensing tip. For some samples this process may not result in sufficient or ideal mixing of the solutions. You can select from a variety of mixing tools from Zinsser to ensure that you achieve optimum results. These include high-efficiency vortexers and also sonicating probes or baths for the sample tubes or vials.

Dry Down

Automated Dry Down

Often it is preferable to completely dry down a sample prior to analysis. This allows it to be brought up to a targeted dissolution volume and concentration with the desired solvents to match the chromatographic procedure. Zinsser offers a software-controlled drydown manifold that will automated this process directly on the liquid handler deck.

drydown and inert

Evaporate and Inert

This automated sliding devices working in conjunction with the robot gripper can evaporate the samples and inject them with an inert gas in preparation for crimping. This allows inert vials to be prepared without the necessity to pierce the cap septa.

clot detection

Blood Clot Detection

Blood clot detection reduces inaccurate pipetting results when working with plasma samples. The Zinsser liquid handler performs clot detection via a capacitance level detection method, or a more advanced clot detection is available that uses pipetting combined with weighing of the source tube to verify whether liquid has been properly aspirated.

fraction collection

Fraction Collection Management (click picture to enlarge)

This system is set up to handle a large number of fractions collected from an HPLC system. The fractions are loaded onto the deck and the system is programmed to reformat the contents as desired. Four integrate single tube vortexers provide mixing. The pooled fractions are then dried down offline and brought back for dissolution and transfer to deepwell blocks and tube racks.

autosampler load

Load Autosampler

The Zinsser robotic gripper can be configured to transfer the HPLC vials from the liquid handling platform into an autosampler tray.

The combination of a reliable and high-speed robotic sample process and a selection from Zinsser's many unique tools will offer you the opportunity to automate your sample preparation processes for the best benefit of speed, labor-savings, efficiency and accuracy. Please CONTACT US for more information or to configure a system for your own needs.