General Description

The Genetix ClonePix automates the screening and selection of cell colonies to increase throughput in cell based research. Microbial colonies growing on solid media are automatically screened based on criteria determined by the operator. Once chosen, the instrument places a colony in a single well of a 96-well microplate filled with solid or liquid media. Selection criteria include cell volume, proximity, morphology, and expression. The technology this instrument utilizes facilitates finding optimal procedures, reducing development times, and eliminating cell lines that, based on early stage expression levels, fail to perform to expectations. Screening microbial colonies with this efficiency allows scientists to spend more time designing new projects and procedures, making this instrument valuable in research and industrial labs.

In order to screen colonies, this instrument executes the following workflow: (1) illumination of the colony, (2) imaging of the colony, (3) selection of the colony based on user-defined criteria, and (4) moving of the colony to a microplate. Illumination depends on what criteria the user needs for selection: white light for basic imaging and picking, fluorescence to indicate expression levels. Once detected, colonies can be imaged, allowing the system to then analyze the images for selection criteria. The instrument then uses a picking head to select the colony and deliver it into the well of a 96-well microplate. In the microplate, colonies can further develop as growth assays. Coordinates of the location of the colony, plate number, and assay plate automatically save to the system.

Finely tuned instrumentation is necessary to carry out the operation of the ClonePix. The primary tool for colony selection is the 8-pin picking head. This component picks colonies from 5x100 mm petri dishes and transfers them into microplates at the rate of 200 clones per hour. To produce images for processing, the instrument uses white light illumination with a CCD camera for imaging. QSoft Cell Picking Software installation automates analysis of selection criteria from the images produced by the CCD camera. This automated selection efficiently screens large volumes of development plates.

A wide range of cell types can be used with the assurance of careful handling and viability. Cell types used in prior experiments include endometrial stem cells (ES cells), macrophages and adherent cells, bacteria, and viral plaques. Viability for ES cells measures at over 85 percent. Efficient ES cell handling lends the instrument to efficient stem cell screening and maintenance of stem cell lines. Minimal restrictions to what microbial colonies can be handled mean applications for this colony picker are extensive. There are many applications for immunobiology, as antibody development and discovery capabilities create many opportunities in research and biotherapeutics. Protein expression and development extends beyond antibody development, establishing extensive applications for this instrument.

Genetix - ClonePix
Genetix (now Molecular Devices) ClonePix automated colony picking system from 2005.
  • Max Source Capacity: 5 x 100mm or 25 x 35mm petri dishes
  • Max Destination Capacity: 15 x 96-well microplates
  • Max Stacker Capacity – Up to 70 Genetix plates
  • Illumination: White Light Illuminator
  • Imaging System: Integrated CCD Camera
  • Picking Head: 8-Pin Picking Head
  • Picking Speed: Approx 200 Clones / Hour
  • Automated Pin Washing Station
  • Computer: With Genetix QSoft Software