The Illinois Biological Foundry for Advanced Biomanufacturing (iBioFAB)
The iBioFAB aims to accelerate the biological engineering process by integrating artificial intelligence/machine learning with automation. This synthetic biology foundry features a 6-degree-freedom articulated robotic arm that travels along a 5-meter-long track to transfer microplates among more than 20 instruments installed on the platform.
The system houses three liquid handling devices: the nanoliter-scale Labcyte Echo 550 acoustic liquid handler in addition to the pipet-based Tecan Freedom EVO 200 and Tecan Fluent 1080 systems. The iBioFAB Tecan Fluent is equipped as a workhorse for most cell-culture related tasks, containing a SciRobotics Pickolo colony picker and PetriPlater spiral plater in addition to a vacuum-based solid phase extraction platform and an array of Peltier blocks and bioshakers. For sample analysis, the iBioFAB includes a BioTek Cytation 5 automated microscope, a Tecan Infinite M1000 plate reader, and an Agilent Fragment Analyzer Infinity. To enable unattended automated operation, the iBioFAB also contains instruments for automating standard laboratory tasks: An Agilent Microplate Centrifuge, Agilent Microplate Barcode Labeler, four Thermo-Fisher Multidrop Combi reagent dispensers, four Biometra TRobot thermal cyclers, a Thermo-Fisher ALPS 3000 automated microplate heat sealer, a Brooks Life Sciences XPeel plate seal remover, as well as multiple plate shaker and Peltier block arrays.
At maximum capacity, this biofoundry can house over 500 96-well plates within its four Thermo-Fisher Cytomat automated incubators. Coupled with an integrated laboratory information management system (LIMS) and scheduling software, the iBioFAB can generate thousands of output samples each day using custom-designed workflows for plasmid assembly, microbial transformations, and more.
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