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Molecular Devices - FLIPR TETRA System

Manufactured by  Molecular Devices
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Monitoring GPCR, Ion Channels

The FLIPRTETRA system steps forward to deliver an entirely new screening platform to address real-time kinetic cell-based assays. This instrument broadens the FLIPR system´s capabilities to include 1536 simultaneous liquid transfer, multi-wavelength kinetic reading, agile internal plate handling in addition to elevated instrument intelligence. Combined, these features enable users to save time and money while directing instrumentation towards targets you want to screen.   
The FLIPRTETRA® system from Molecular Devices is an industry-renowned instrument for monitoring GPCRs and ion channels. The system provides a reliable and flexible high throughput screening solution for identifying early leads in the drug discovery process.  
FLIPRTETRA is optimized for use with both fluorescent and luminescent assays, including aequorin and Molecular Devices’ no-wash FLIPR® calcium and ion channel assays.  
Flexible Platform for Cell-Based HTS  
The ability to configure instruments through varying stages of the drug discovery screening process is a challenge that requires instrument hardware flexibility and an easy-to-use software interface. Molecular Devices addresses these challenges with the FLIPRTETRA system for kinetic cell-based screening. Since its introduction, FLIPRTETRA has developed a reputation for reliability and ease-of-use. The system can be configured based on library size, detection mode, screening format, assay, and target, making the transition from assay development to lead optimization a seamless process.  
Increase Assay Flexibility  
Two camera options—standard for fluorescence only, or aequorin for both fluorescence and  
luminescence—allow the user to tailor the system to their needs.  
The aequorin camera can be adjusted to the appropriate signal window to detect signals from bright fluorescence or dim luminescence assays. User-exchangeable, proven LED banks and emission filters provide the flexibility to perform experiments using dyes that are most appropriate for selected assays, whether they are single wavelength or ratiometric.  
Rapidly Exchange Pipettors  
User-exchangeable pipettor heads—available in 96-, 384-, 1536-well formats, as well as pin tools in 384 and 1536 format—allow for the adjustment of screening rates based on throughput, material consumption, and assay requirements. The pipettor heads have a proven track record, with the 1536 pipettor utilizing the elastomeric positive displacement technology. Regardless of the format used, each pipettor can be exchanged by a system operator in minutes and can pipette reagents, compounds, or cells.  
Deliver Cells in Suspension  
Delivering cells in suspension is an important option that simplifies luminescence calcium mobilization assay protocols while increasing throughput. Spinner flasks maintain a uniform cell suspension to promote assay robustness. A variety of flask sizes are available to scale the volume for assay development or highthroughput screening. FLIPR pipettor heads deliver cells in up to 1536 format from the user-installable, universal cell suspension reservoir, eliminating the need for cell plating. Cell handling can be optimized for different cell lines by adjusting the stir and pump speeds and pipetting parameters through ScreenWorks software. The cell suspension reservoir is autoclavable and user-defined protocols can include up to four wash solvents to automate system cleaning.  
Unique and Uniform Cell Dispensing  
The cell suspension module (left) and cell suspension reservoir (right) allow users to uniformly distribute cells into the read plate via FLIPRTETRA pipettor heads (96, 384, 1536). Continuous stirring keeps the cells in suspension, while flexible protocols and manual control of pump speed give room for assay optimization.   
Customize Protocols and Data Processing  
ScreenWorks is both flexible and user-friendly. During protocol set-up, only relevant options are displayed, based on the installed fluidics and optics hardware, making it easy to choose parameters that are right for each assay. Live and information-rich data in 96-, 384- or 1536-well plate format is displayed while testing. Specific wells can be grouped for analysis or data export purposes. Graphs and tables can be easily copied and pasted into documents, presentations or worksheets, and different reductions can be selected for group statistics, making results readily accessible.  
accelerate throughput  
The FLIPRTETRA system is just one example of the innovative, high-performance products from Molecular Devices that significantly enhance research productivity and effectiveness. Designed expressly to meet the needs of research professionals in drug discovery and other advanced research, FLIPRTETRA delivers the industry-leading capabilities required for accelerating our customers’ time-to-market for new products.
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Features of FLIPR TETRA System
  • Standard fluorescence or optional aequorin luminescence detection  
  • User-configurable 96-, 384-, and 1536-well pipettors  
  • User exchangeable cell suspension option  
  • Unique, configurable excitation optics for expanded dye capabilities  
  • Intuitive, user-friendly software interface  
  • TETRAcycler™ internal plate handler for accelerated throughput  

Molecular Devices' ScreenWorks™ Software  

Used to define and run experimental protocols. Using a drag-and-drop interface, protocols can be easily set up to include:  

  • Fluorescent or luminescent read modes  
  • Simultaneous transfer of 96, 384, or 1536 liquid or cells in suspension  
  • Complex quadrant, multiple aspirations or multiple dispensing liquid handling  
  • Single or ratiometric kinetic cell-based reading  
  • Tip washing with up to two solvents  
  • Cell suspension delivery with automatable cleaning protocols  
  • Simple-to-create automation protocols  


TETRAcycler, the optional internal plate handler on FLIPRTETRA, exchanges microplates between the system plate stage and an external third-party plate handler. TETRAcycler minimizes downtime between experiments, thus increasing throughput, by exchanging plates and tips while the experiment is in process. The TETRAcycler features:  

  • Ability to exchange one read plate and up to 12 source plates and tips during one experiment  
  • Ability to run 20 read plates in one hour, including a two-minute read-time and exchange of one source plate and tip rack  
  • Compatibility with low-profile plates using TETRAcycler gripper  
  • Elevated instrument intelligence creating an efficient interface between the FLIPRTETRA system and the external plate handler
General Specifications
Detection ModeMid-level
Wavelength Range400 to 750 nm
Depth 27 in
Height70 in
Width 39 in
Weight850 lbs
Additional Specifications

Excitation Optics  
Source: Light-emitting diodes (LED)  
Wavelength range: Calcium (default): 470–495 nm  
Membrane potential: 510–545 nm  
Voltage sensor probes: 390–420 nm  
Emission Optics  
Cooled CCD camera: Frame transfer operation  
3-position filter slider: Filter wavelength ID  
Calcium (default): 515–575 nm  
Membrane potential: 565–625 nm  
Voltage sensor probes: 440–480 nm; 565–625 nm  
Data acquisition rate: 3 Hz  
Ratiometrics: Up to 4 EX/EM pairs per experiment  
Data acquisition rate for ratiometric emission: 1 Hz (2 EX/EM pairs)  
Lower detection limit of fluorescein: 5 nM with Z´= 0.5 (whole plate)  
Simultaneous transfer: 96, 384 and 1536  
Quadrant transfer:  
96 pipettor head: 384-well plate  
384 pipettor head: 1536-well plate  
Pipettor range 96: 5–200 µL  
Precision @ 75 µL: 3% CV  
Pipetting increments: 1 µL  
Pipettor range 384: 1–25 µL  
Precision @ 25 µL: 4% CV  
Pipetting increments: 0.5 µL  
Pipettor range 1536: 0.5–3 µL  
Precision @ 3 µL: 6% CV  
Precision @ 1 µL: 10% CV  
Pipetting increments: 0.1 µL  
Plate Stage  
Throughput: 20 plates/hour (2-minute read time)  
96-well: 1,920 data points/hour  
384-well: 7,680 data points/hour  
1536-well: 30,720 data points/hour

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