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Automated Microplate Drying for Medicinal Chemistry

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Porvair Sciences reports that a major Pharmaceutical company has integrated its Ultravap Mistral blowdown evaporation system with a Hamilton Star robotic liquid handling system to enhance new drug candidate processing in its medicinal chemistry department.

Using the Ultravap Mistral the pharmaceutical scientists have been able to remove the traditional ‘bottleneck’ of solvent evaporation from microplates by automated this time consuming step. Set-up for unattended operation the Ultravap Mistral performs an evaporation every 20 minutes, and after each cycle, the level of liquid is checked by the robot and the needle depth is automatically modified to be about 1cm above the liquid.

The Ultravap Mistral has been designed to allow robots with standard gripper arms to place and remove microplates directly onto its shuttle platform. Through the advanced software on the Ultravap Mistral, scientists are able not only to control all required robotic liquid handling functions but also to program evaporation at a suitable rate for each solvent type.

Designed to be automation-friendly, the Ultravap Mistral gives significant throughput advantages to laboratories looking to optimise microplate sample preparation. Faster than centrifugal evaporation for single plates, significant increases in sample throughput are achieved through advanced evaporator head technology and an innovative manifold design, which directly injects heated nitrogen into each individual well of the microplate simultaneously.

Installation requires only connection to a gas supply and mains electricity. Safety of operation is ensured as this CE-marked compact unit fits into all fume cupboards and boasts full integral fume management within the unit.