Abstract by Enoch Councill
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Modification of a commercial liquid handling robot for automated preparation of proteomic samples within nanoliter volumes
NanoPOTS is a proteomic sample preparation platform that enables greater data output from samples 500 times smaller than were previously needed. However, nanoPOTS requires a custom pipetting robot capable of accurately dispensing and aspirating nanoliter volumes, which cost >$50k. We aim to modify a commercial robot (Opentrons OT-One) to provide similar or equal results as the custom robot at a tenth of the cost. Using 3D printed parts designed with nanoPOTS in mind, we replaced the included pipettor with a low-volume syringe, thus allowing lower volume control. Because the software included with the OT-One was unable to accommodate the new modifications, we wrote a python program to control the machine. New protocols are written in Excel, translated into G-code by the program, and sent to the robot via Pronterface. After testing, we found the robot capable of consistently handling volumes as low as 20 nL in 2mm wide wells. Further research will include preparing various samples using the new system and original robot and comparing their results.