Library preparation workflows are labor-intensive and difficult to scale while maintaining quality. As such, they are ideal candidate workflows for automation, allowing scientists to focus on analyzing data rather than generating it.
The firefly liquid handling platform from SPT Labtech provides complete automation of the liquid handling steps in complex workflows such as library preparation. It does so by combining pipetting, dispensing, shaking, and incubation within a compact benchtop system. The instrument's easy-to-use software makes firefly accessible to anyone in the lab. A unique non-contact dispensing technology helps to reduce plastic waste, while low-volume accuracy enables the miniaturization of common workflows to drive down reagent costs.
Here we will present an overview of this next-generation liquid handler, along with a case study of its use to generate libraries using the NEBNext Ultra II FS DNA library kit for Illumina. The work we will present is the result of a collaboration with a UK university core facility. We will showcase comparative data for samples run both manually and via the automated workflow, including QC and sequencing data.
The total run time for the protocol was less than 4 hours – a dramatic reduction in hands-on time versus manual preparation. This and other protocols can be downloaded from the firefly community, a cloud-based peer-to-peer network that makes protocols available from SPT Labtech and other firefly users.