The CytKick Max Autosampler is for use with the Attune NxT Acoustic Focusing Cytometer. It enables rapid processing of multiple samples by automatically analyzing samples from 96- and 384-well plates (standard and deep), as well as some custom plate types and microfuge tube racks. The CytKick Max Autosample features a boost mode that enables faster sample processing, as well as passive cooling for some plates/racks. A CytKick Max Accessory Kit is included that contains four accessory plates: two cooling plates and two tube adaptors, as well as a Max dongle key. A computer is not included with the autosampler since one is provided with the cytometer.
Features of the CytKick Max Autosampler include:
• Reliable—intelligent probe design minimizes clogging and carryover (0.5%) and prevents damage to the instrument
• Mixing by aspiration—mixing of sample by aspiration instead of shaking ensures homogeneity of the sample and maintains cell viability
• Easy transition—no disassembly, no additional QC, no reboot required for conversion between plates and tubes
• Boost mode—reduces processing time from 42 min to 22 min for 96-well plate (using one rinse and one mix and full analysis of a 20-µL sample)
• Sample cooling—passive cooling available for 96-well U-bottom plates and microfuge tube racks
• Maximum compatibility—96- and 384-well plates (standard and deep), 96- and 384-well standard-depth foil-covered plates, some custom plate types, and 1.5-mL and 2-mL microfuge tube racks (up to 24 per rack)
• Auto-cleaning—performs automated cleaning when the instrument is shutting down
The CytKick Max Autosampler has two options for processing samples in a high-throughput environment: high-throughput mode and boost mode. High-throughput mode enables plate screening by collecting 20 µL of sample at a rate of 1000 µL/min, while Boost mode shortens the time between samples and allows the user to select the sample volume and sample input rate.
The CytKick Max Autosampler was designed to minimize system down time. Automated sampling devices are often plagued by clogging or probe crashes. The Intelligent Probe, with a 200-micron diameter that is larger than most probes available in the industry, minimizes instances of clogging.
To prevent probe crashes, which may require expensive probe replacement, the CytKick Max Autosampler automatically performs a probe self-calibration to help ensure consistent positioning of the probe within every well. The self-calibration verifies proper function of the probe, reduces variability in probe positioning over time to prevent failures during plate runs, and helps improve reliability over the life of the system. Self-calibration of the probe also allows the autosampler to be easily moved, so it can be shared between multiple instruments.
The CytKick Max Autosampler is compatible with a 96-well standard-plate universal cooling block that will keep samples at 2-8°C for ∼60 minutes, a 96-well standard-plate extended cooling block that will keep samples at 2-8°C for ∼100 minutes, and a microfuge-tube cooling rack that will keep samples at 2-8°C for ∼100 minutes. The user will need to chill the cooling block/rack in the refrigerator overnight prior to use.
The CytKick Max Autosampler allows use of many different plate formats, including 96-, 384-, and deep-well plates, without being restricted to a single manufacturer. The CytKick Max Autosampler also enables 1.5- and 2.0-mL microfuge tubes to be run in an automated format. In addition, the autosampler initiates automated cleaning procedures when the instrument is shutting down to help ensure proper maintenance with little user interaction.
Mixing by aspiration
Unlike other plate loaders that mix samples by shaking, which may not ensure homogeneity of the sample, the CytKick Max Autosampler mixes samples by aspiration and stirring, enabling uniform mixing while preserving sample viability and resulting in consistent data with CVs less than 10% across the plate. The CytKick Max Autosampler also has a gentle mix mode for fragile cell lines.
Easy to transition
To maintain system flexibility, the manual sample probe is always accessible even when the loader is present, and switching between tubes and plates is detected via software and does not require additional user intervention.
Simple to operate
The instrument design and software were developed with customer ease-of-use in mind. The CytKick Max Autosampler has fluidic bottles with sensors that inform the user when the fluids need to be replaced. The autosampler’s indicator lights and warning systems have been designed to ensure that a user who has walked away from the system can easily see the system status at all times.
Setting up an experiment with the Attune NxT cytometric software is simple. Using a plate layout view, users can create compensation wells, define instrument settings, and identify samples. The intuitive software allows quick learning and data analysis. For example, a heat map view allows rapid screening and confirmation of samples while the instrument is acquiring data.
Autocleaning of autosampler is done during the instrument shutdown process therefore no additional user steps are required to maintain system.