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The Affymetrix GeneChip Fluidics Station 450 (FS 450) is designed for the preparation of probe arrays used in the GeneChip System for expression and DNA analysis. The FS 450 is a fully automated system meant to hybridize, wash, and stain GeneChip microarrays used in this system of genomic analysis. Automation gives it the ability to drastically improve the workflow of any research lab. In eliminating the need of the operator to attend the system during operation, not only are fluidics tasks done faster, but goals that would otherwise be postponed can be completed simultaneously. All that needs to be done manually is the selection of a fluidic script and loading of the cartridge and vials for the system to run to completion. In addition to fast results, a modular design allows the operator to run anywhere from two to four modules at once. This can increase processing capabilities as well as permit the replacement of failed modules.
The FS 450 has many automated features that guarantee the ability to reproduce products. Liquids are integrated with the instrument via a three-position sampling area on the side. This area can accommodate one to three different reagent vials, all dependent on what is necessary for the fluid script. This sampling unit has real-time detection to ensure the presence of vials necessary for operation. The instrument is also designed to minimize liquid spills. Resistance is measured across needles that penetrate the array to detect for the presence of fluid. Through this design, false positives and negatives are eliminated due to missing fluid or fluid carryover. A linear cartridge design that produces a more secure fluid connection also reduces the possibility of leaks that create similar error due to contamination.
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