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Manual vs Robotic Instrumentation for Sample Preparation and Acquiring Spin Column Eluates

A considerable number of steps are required for preparing the samples, preparing the GPC spin columns, obtaining the eluates and operating the HPLC and mass spectrometer instruments. For secondary screening studies of small numbers of samples, these steps can be performed manually. However, for primary screening of large numbers of mixture samples, these operations are best performed robotically. The required robotic operations include: (i) preparation of compound mixtures, (ii) preparation of protein-compound mixtures, (iii) incubation of protein-compound mixtures, (iv) preparation of 96-well plate GPC spin columns, (v) loading of protein-compound mixtures onto the GPC spin columns, and (vi) centrifuging the 96-well plates and collecting the spin column eluates. A home-built robot for these sample preparation steps has been described [15] and is illustrated in Fig. 2.8. A number of these steps can be performed semi-

Fig. 2.8 Broad (A) and detailed (B) views of a gel and sample preparation robot (WARPA7) for the GPC spin column/ESI-MS methodology. For panel (A) note the centrifuge (right end of table), shaker, sample reservoirs and robot arm with a 96-well pipettor. Reprinted from reference [15] with permission from the American Chemical Society.

Fig. 2.8 Broad (A) and detailed (B) views of a gel and sample preparation robot (WARPA7) for the GPC spin column/ESI-MS methodology. For panel (A) note the centrifuge (right end of table), shaker, sample reservoirs and robot arm with a 96-well pipettor. Reprinted from reference [15] with permission from the American Chemical Society.

automatically with commercially available solvent handling systems and human intervention. The final sample handling step is to load the 96-well collection plates, containing the GPC spin column eluates, into an HPLC autosampler for the injection of each sample into the mass spectrometer for analysis.

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