IonField Systems was award a SBIR Contract to develop an “Automated Instrument to Clean Microtiter Plates”. The project summary is:
Single-use microtiter plates are a significant cost factor in high throughput screening (HTS) campaigns for new drugs and many applications for in vitro diagnostics. The RFP sought to develop technology to clean plastic microtiter plates so that they can be reused multiple times, targeting a purchase cost reduction >90%, as well as reductions in hazardous waste.
IonField’s reply to the proposal describes the development of a system that uses a combination of liquid rinse and cold plasma exposure to clean used microtiter assay plates so that they are functionally indistinguishable from new plates. Cold-plasma cleaning, which is achieved through exposure of the microtiter plates to plasma created by a high-voltage discharge, has already proven effective in cleaning plastic pipette tips used in HTS. Proposal objectives include the development of a prototype mechanical and electronic system to clean microtiter plates, together with the development of several evaluation and cleaning validation assays representative of industry end use applications.
The project was completed on schedule. IonField continues an ongoing testing program to improve the performance and reliability of components in production systems currently in the market.
A photo of the production system is below.