The PlasmaKnife is optimized to quickly clean standard depth or thinner microplates in any format. The production version cleans one microplate every 30 seconds. There are two modules, one for rinsing and one for plasma treatment, that run concurrently. Depending on the scheduling of robotics to move the microplates, throughput can be over 100 plates per hour.

Extensive testing confirms that PlasmaKnife is highly effective at renewing HTS screening plates, clear bottom optical plates, acoustic source plates and most other microplates. Cleaning is effective for all polymer types, glass, and gold electrodes. These plates after cleaning have all shown results that are indistinguishable from new. Many other less commonly used microplates plates have been tested and show similar exceptional cleaning.

Features of this innovative product include:

  • Run within a work-cell, automated with a dedicated robotic arm or manually
  • API Communication
  • Use any size/shape microplate smaller than the SBS standard and standard microplate height
  • Programmed to attempt self-recovery from an error. Restarts if successful.
  • High throughput cleaning that can keep up with HTS demand
  • Uses High Precision sensing to prevent breakage
  • Most Components can be replaced in 15 minutes or less
  • Minimal maintenance as Rinse Module has monthly self-cleaning protocol and self-dries between runs


PlasmaKnife Rinse Module

PlasmaKnife Rinse Module


PlasmaKnife Plasma Module

PlasmaKnife Plasma Module


How it works

The PlasmaKnife System has two component modules. The Rinse Module uses low pressure and high-pressure rinses and a centrifuge spin to remove all assay material in the wells. Typical reduction exceeds 10,000 X. Following the Rinse Module microplates go to the Plasma Module where the microplate is plasma treated for 30 seconds. During plasma treatment, remaining organic material included those from the plate manufacturing process is ionized and the surface of the wells is restored. Plates are clean, sterile, dry and ready for immediate reuse.

IonField can provide information on how to implement microplate cleaning into your laboratory. We provide consulting services as part of our offering to help you get all the benefits of the PlasmaKnife possible. We also work with other consulting organizations with assay and automation expertise.

Processing time

For the current version, the rinse and centrifugation take approximately 30 seconds per microplate processed. The Plasma Treatment takes approximately 30 seconds per plate. Allowing for robotic transit time and data processing of sensor data, the overall system will produce a renewed microplate approximately every 35 to 45 seconds, generally, exact throughput depends on the type of automation used. Specialty microplates may require more time as they may need very gentle processing: lower rinse pressures, slower spin speeds, and different air flow rates in the plasma.

Plasma Treatment has been proven effective for most standard polymer microplates and optical plates with polymer and glass bottoms. Labs running cell assays are encouraged to contact IonField for our latest research regarding the importance of microplate brand selection on cell assays results and the use of our Assay Analytics AI software to improve assay results.

  • Optimized wash solvents
  • Integrated Plasma Treatment Confirmation
  • Robust API
  • Full Automation with Robotics
  • Fast, Reliable Cleaning



system integration

System Integration

The PlasmaKnife was designed and engineered for ease of use in an automated environment. System integration was designed in not added on as an afterthought. Our Engineering Staff will work with your current system integrator to ensure a smooth integration to your existing or new laboratory systems. Each PlasmaKnife module is configured as a network node providing real-time status and estimated time for completion of the current process on request. Error conditions and pre-programmed recovery options for common issues are provided for on the fly correction and rescheduling if supported by the scheduling software for your system. The PlasmaKnife can control many of the common pick and place robotic automation products used when in standalone mode.