What is the Alpillo?
The patented* Alpillo Plate Cushion is designed to compensate for physical tolerances between labware and pipettor that can make automated precision pipetting difficult. Labware tolerances, tip loading variations, calibration errors, mechanical wear, or heat-related shrinkage and warping are but a few of the problems that often lead to inaccurate positioning between pipet heads and tips. The Alpillo helps you avoid these problems.
How does it work?
The Alpillo improves pipetting results whenever the tips need to come close to the well bottoms. Microplates supported by the Alpillo give way, thus limiting the force exerted by the tips as they push down.
By providing a flexible microplate support the Alpillo protects pipet heads and consumables alike and makes it easy to aspirate right down to the last microliter without concern about bending tips and compromised pipetting. It pays for itself in short time by preventing costly tip crashes that lead to loss of valuable sample or reagents, loss of time, and loss of the tips themselves.
Know What's Going On
Finding the well bottom is crucial to successful pipetting in low volume applications. The Alpillo helps by providing visual feed-back as the tips touch down and slightly compress the plate's spring-loaded support, as can be seen impressively in the video above.
With 2 mm of travel the resetting forces of the springs are weak enough to effectively prevent tips from being sealed off. This ensures that no vacuum will build up in the tips.
Without vacuum, no sample will shoot into the tips upon withdrawal. This means no contamination of the mandrels or filters in barrier tips.
Get That Last Drop
The Alpillo Plate Cushion is indispensable in all applications where fluid needs to be completely removed from a well, like in wash or supernatant removal steps. In these situations the tips must eventually reach the bottom, which is hard to do reproducibly in stiff, immovable systems without risking to push too hard. Here the Alpillo really shines by providing the much needed elasticity that allows for a wide range of possible height variations.
* US Patent 6,755,384