Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Illumina's next-gen automation solution

Illumina just bought Advanced Liquid Logic. Never heard of them until now, neither had I but I suspect we'll see some pretty cool devices coming soon.

On the ALL website they have the video below, I could not help but watch at 9sec and see PacMan in action, even PacMan conjoining with his twin! ALL makes disposable digital microfluidic devices allowing cost-effective robotic automation; without the robots. Their technology is based around electrowetting and does not use pumps, valves, pipettes or tubes seen on other liquid handling systems.

What can they do today: They only have one product on their website; the Lysosomal Storage Enzyme Analysis LSD-100. This system performs 4 enzyme assays on 40 dried blood spots with controls, all reagents are added during manufacture.
The LSD cartridge
What might we do tomorrow: In the Illumina press-release they mention that the ALL technology has been demonstrated nucleic acid isolation and NGS library prep. Imagine a system that takes 100ul of blood plasma and completes ctDNA PCR enrichment of 500 cancer genes ready for sequencing, or uses whole blood to automate rapid exome capture.

I'm ready to beta-test one now!


  1. That looks a lot like what Nugen has done with their Mondrian system for mini-scale preps.

  2. The NuGen Mondrian box is made by ALL, NuGen only has rights to market it to the research sector. It has actually been out for more than a year. I'm surprised more people haven't seen/tried it.