From your message, I would assume that you are interested in augmenting
and speeding up the manual weighing process and not developing an
If you are not at all interested in any kind of automated system, skip
the next few paragraphs.
It has been a number of years since I have thought about automated
Pharmaceutical companies with large compound libraries have looked into
this technology and the results have been mixed.
A number of laboratory robotics companies looked at the problem,
declared that would be easy, and then failed.
Of those that have succeeded my personal favorite was the Haystack
System that had an automated dispenser called the Haywain. It was
developed by TTP Labtech Ltd., Cambridge, UK.
However such a system is designed to manage a collection of 100,000 or
more potential pharmaceutical compounds and not the small collection of
vials that you have.
Mettler has also introduced an automated weighing system that may fit
Automated weighing generally falls into one of four categories.
1. The sample bottle is held horizontally over the balance pan while
vibrating. The vibration stops after the desired weight is reached.
2. A robot moves a spatula into the compound bottle, holds the spatula
tip over the balance, and then vibrates. As before, the vibration stops
once the desired weight is reached.
3. The cap is equipped with some sort of Archimdes screw that a robot
4. Some automated weighing systems use a vacuum to aspirate and
dispense the compound.
If you really want to pursue some type of automated system, then your
best place to look for more information would be the The European
Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (https://elrig.org/)
One of the reasons that so many automation companies have tried and
failed to automate the weighing process is that drug discovery compounds
are not all dry, free-flowing powders. They clump, are static
sensitive, form very hard crystals, or are sticky.
You will really need to experiment and try different things to learn
what works best for your standards.
Best of Luck!
Formerly the Robotocist for the Research Compound Bank, Wyeth
On 9/30/2019 10:35 AM, Sevasti Eleni Modestou wrote:
> Hi all,
> Does anyone have any experience with powder pipetting very small amounts (in the 100 microgram range, or smaller)?
> If so, I'd love to hear about the tools you're using.
> We weigh multiple batches of powder standards for daily runs on three GS-IRMSs, and it would be amazing if we could simplify/speed up the process.
> Sevasti Modestou, PhD (she/her)
> Postdoctoral Researcher, Clumped Isotope Research Group
> Department of Earth Sciences
> University of Bergen
> PO Box 7803
> 5020 Bergen, Norway
> +47 55 583 529
> Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
> Jahnebakken 5
> 5007 Bergen, Norway
“Of all the inanimate objects, of all men's creations, books are the nearest to us for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to the truth, and our persistent leanings to error. But most of all they resemble us in their precious hold on life.”
― Joseph Conrad