COVID-19 monitoring using I.DOT liquid handling technology

Highly precise and sensitive tools for the surveillance of COVID-19 infections.

Given the challenges of combating the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists in both research and diagnostic environments are looking to optimize their workflows for crucial time and cost savings. An influential example is a study conducted by Dr. Nicola Crosetto’s lab at Karolinska Institutet, in which the I.DOT (Immediate Drop-on-demand Technology) liquid handler was used to automate and streamline a versatile technique (COVseq) for preparing multiplex DNA sequencing libraries from low-input samples with high accuracy, speed and significant reductions in liquid reagent volumes.

Featured Workflow



Viral RNA extraction from nasal swabs



Reverse transcription & multiplex PCR



Barcoding and normalization



DNA purification



Sequencing and data analysis

The study revealed that the COVseq technique can be easily applied to ongoing pandemic genomic surveillance and adapted to monitor other pathogens such as influenza viruses. In addition, an analysis of costs showed that the technique could be used to sequence thousands of samples per week at less than $10 per sample, including library preparation and sequencing costs.

Massive volume savings using the I.DOT

According to the analysis from Crosetto’s lab, the most cost-effective approach would be performing all reactions in nanoliter volumes, starting from the RT-PCR step up to pooling all samples for in vitro transcription. These massive volume savings are possible thanks to the I.DOT, the premier solution for non-contact liquid handling experiments that brings intuitive automation, accuracy and speed to all workflows by achieving a significant reduction in your liquid reagent volumes. The I.DOT uses eight individually controlled positive pressure channels to generate droplets from 8 to 50 nanoliters from a small hole at the bottom of each well, while simultaneously allowing each channel to generate up to 100 droplets per second and minimizing cross contamination.

Pipette tip shortage

Demand for pipette tips spiked by 100 percent at the end of 2020 as a result of increased hospitalizations in the U.S., according to The Hill. Although supply levels have marginally improved, labs that use pipette tips for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests are still reporting significant and costly delays, sometimes as much as several weeks. Consider going tipless like many of our customers who have turned to the I.DOT non-contact liquid handler for PCR sample prep because it eliminates the need for pipette tips. Plus, with the tipless I.DOT, you minimize the risk of carryover contamination while also reducing your lab’s carbon footprint. Go tipless!

Nicola Crosetto, MD, PhD

Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

I.DOT has a small footprint, requires no special maintenance and offers a very intuitive user interface, which enables you to create custom workflows in a few clicks or simply by importing premade Excel templates. We were able to easily create new workflows for PCR and NGS applications. It is a great system for making serial dilutions and for parallelizing simple biochemical reactions like restriction digesting, ligation and in vitro transcription, all while keeping reagent volumes small, making the whole process highly cost-efficient. I highly recommend this system for all labs running high-throughput assays that require complex liquid dispensing schemes, as well as those aiming to lower assay costs by reducing reagent volumes.”

High-Throughput Next-Generation-Sequencing for COVID-19 Surveillance

Enabled by low volume non-contact dispensing

Explore the I.DOT

Noncontact liquid handling for everyone

The I.DOT (Immediate Drop-on-demand Technology) is a nano-dispensing device that has been used by laboratories around the world since it first launched. This versatile benchtop instrument requires minimal maintenance and training while offering intuitive automation, accuracy and speed for all workflows as well as a significant reduction in liquid reagent volume needed.

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Multiple liquid classes

Dispenses multiple liquid classes on demand, including aqueous solutions, PCR buffer, DMSO (up to 100%) and glycerol (up to 50%)—and defines liquid class at the well level.



Droplets are dispensed into the target plate below the source plate which eliminates carryover and cross-contamination.

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Dispenses 10 nanoliters across a 96-well plate in 10 seconds and across a 384-well plate in 20 seconds.

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Low dead volume

Further optimizes your workflow enabling assay miniaturization.

Our patented approach for non-contact liquid handling tasks


Individually controlled positive pressure channels.


Nanoliters droplets generation.


Max droplets per second and channel.

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Featuring Immediate Drop-on-demand Technology (I.DOT), the I.DOT is a premier solution for noncontact liquid handling tasks. Optimizing your workflow to bring intuitive automation, precision and speed to every lab.


Automated, rapid, and highly reproducible washing of entire 96-, 384-, and 1536-well plates.