Liquid Handler

Agency: Department of Commerce
State: Maryland
Level of Government: Federal
  • 66 - Instruments and Laboratory Equipment
Opps ID: NBD00159909179636434
Posted Date: Oct 2, 2017
Due Date: Oct 20, 2017
Solicitation No: NIST-MML-18-SS4
Source: Members Only
Solicitation Number :
Notice Type :
Sources Sought
Synopsis :
Added: Oct 02, 2017 12:46 pm
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks information on commercial vendors that are capable of providing a liquid handling laboratory instrument for conducting research and experiments.

NIST is seeking responses from all responsible sources, including large, foreign, and small businesses. Small businesses are defined under the associated NAICS code for this effort, 334516, as those domestic sources having 1,000 employees or less. Please include your company's size classification and socio-economic status in any response to this notice.

Background and Purpose:

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) needs to acquire a liquid handling laboratory instrument to conduct research and experiments. Installation and training are also required. The instrument will be used to transfer small volumes of liquid (2.5 nL) from multi-well source plates (96-, 384-, or 1536-well) to multi-well destination plates or to solid agar surfaces.

For well-to-well transfers, the instrument must be able to array liquid from any well in the source plate to any well in the destination plate; small volumes are crucial. The major use for this format is to re-array barcoded yeast libraries quickly and without using plastic consumables (pipette tips). Another use is to generate small volume reagent mixes for PCR or next-generation sequencing (reducing liquid consumable costs).

For well-to-agar transfers, the instrument must be able to array liquid from any well in the source plate to a defined location on the agar plate with enough accuracy to create an array of droplets at a pitch of 500nm (500nm between the center of each droplet). This feature will be used to mate barcoded yeast in dense arrays for recombinase directed indexing (see Molecular systems biology 13 (2), 913).

Interested business organizations that believe they may be capable of meeting NIST's requirement detailed below should respond to this notice with a narrative demonstrating their ability to meet NIST's requirement. Contractors may provide supplemental information at their discretion.


1. The instrument shall not require tips, nozzles, or pin tools to transfer liquids. This eliminates the possibility of samples adhering to the tips, tip carryover, or tip leachates entering the sample.

2. The instrument shall transfer samples from a source plate to a destination plate. The instrument can transfer reagents in the following ways:
a. One well to one well for plate replication in 96, 384 and 1536 well patterns.
b. One well to many wells to distribute solutions to destination plates containing 1-
1536 wells or target locations.
c. Any well to any well which enables cherry picking, hit picking, and reformatting of solutions to destination plates containing 1-1536 wells or target locations.

3. The instrument can transfer 2.5 nL - 10 L of fluid into each well.

4. The instrument can transfer 2.5 nL volume increments with a drop transfer volume accuracy <10% and a CV <8%.

5. The instrument has a hydration accuracy of <8% deviation from target and hydration precision of <5% CV.

6. The instrument performs analysis to determine the height and fluid composition of the fluid in each well. This analysis calculates the power required to successfully transfer the fluid from each well during the fluid transfer operation.

7. The instrument measures hydration of DMSO and reports the hydration level as a DMSO percentage in each well of the microplate. This enables the end user to monitor the quality of the compound library.

8. The instrument reports the fluid height, detected volume, and the list of any wells that the system was unable to transfer during the transfer operation.

9. The instrument performs rapid transfer of compounds, samples, and reagents used in drug discovery, high content imaging studies, ADMET, gene expression, genotyping, synthetic biology, biochemical assays, cell based assays, sequencing applications, and protein crystallography screens. Example of fluids that the instrument transfers include 70-100% DMSO, salts, proteins, small molecules, compounds, nucleic acids, simple buffers, viscous fluids, 0-50% glycerol, genomics reagents, biochemical reagents, oligonucleotides, and surfactants.

10. The instrument can transfer solutions to locations on a surface with or without material present including slides, agar surfaces, microfluidics devices, dry destination wells, or wells that already contain fluids/samples.

11. The instrument performs rapid cherry picking for uses in applications such as pooling of samples, libraries, and barcodes for next-generation sequencing preparations and hit picking in drug discovery.

12. The instrument can transfer multiple fluid types and volumes from one plate into another plate enabling rapid assay creation from one source plate.

13. The instrument performs direct dilutions which enables the elimination of steps when creating standard curves required in some assays including dose response curves, gene expression assays, and biochemical reactions.

14. The instrument can transfer can array onto MALDI chips and glass slides.

15. The instrument allows the installation of a barcode reader inside the instrument to scan microplate barcodes.

16. The instrument integrates with a laboratory workstation. Configurations can include plate handling devices, microplate storage racks, plate handling robots, accessory hotels, and modular workstation tables.

17. The instrument integrates with 3rd party robotics platforms through its application software.

18. Instrument software contains applications that allow for plate replication, plate reformatting, custom assay creation, creation of multipoint curves with controls or references and replicate curves, transfer of fluids from any well to any well, anchor screening, synergistic screening, grid screening, ability to compare characteristics of samples within or across plates, ability to graphically design custom patterns for bottom of microplate wells, slides, or agar plates.

Contracting Office Address :
100 Bureau Drive, Building 301
Room B130
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1410
United States
Primary Point of Contact. :
Heather Bauer
Phone: 3019752752


Not a USAOPPS Member Yet?

Get unlimited access to thousands of active local, state and federal government bids and awards in All 50 States.

Start Free Trial Today >