Now more than ever, businesses around the world are placing a premium on keeping not only the environment and planet healthy, but employees as well. Pipette manufacturer Sartorius details that more than 40% of lab professionals suffer from pipetting-caused disorders. In the industries where lab technicians work such as education, healthcare, medicine, and biology, injuries associated with repetitive tasks like pipetting are on the rise.
Hundreds of labs across the globe still use manual pipetting methods without realizing the negative effects this monotonous task can have on the accuracy of test results and the body. Grenova products such as the TipNovus and TipNovusMini save approximately 95% of the CO2 that would be created from throwing a rack of polypropylene-made pipettes away (Moore & Conti). But Grenova’s machines do not just give a green return on investment. They can do this while being ergonomically friendly. Automating the tip washing process and integrating with a CNC machine, such as a the PreciseFlex robotic arms that Grenova uses, saves the environment while allowing lab scientists and technicians to get back to doing what they do best.
The Pipetting Process and Repetitive Strain Injuries
Currently, the common procedure when pipetting in labs is a five-step cycle. The technician sets the volume of liquid to be aspirated, secures a pipette tip on the end, aspirates the sample, dispenses the sample, and then ejects the tip to be discarded. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), this process can be carried out between 6,000 and 12,000 times a day for the average pipette tip user.
Throughout this process, there is potential for there to be a repetitive strain injury. In the United States, lost productive time as a result of repetitive strain disorders is estimated at 61 billion dollars, and a workplace repetitive strain injury can result in up to 185 days of missed work per year (AndrewAlliance.com). One of the most common forms of Repetitive Strain injuries seen in the lab is Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). CTS symptoms begin with numbness in the hand and can lead to tingling, shooting pains in the forearm, and weakness of the hand. This debilitating injury can be caused by flexing, extending, and rotating the wrist as well as inserting and ejecting pipette tips. One of the main causes of injuries like CTS are the fact that lab personal exert too much force when manually pipetting. Up to 166% and 135% the relative maximum force needed to insert and eject a tip can be seen (AndrewAlliance.com). This is why laborious, but necessary, tasks such as pipetting should be automated in a lab setting. Que the Grenova line of products and integrations.
Grenova’s Line of Products have Automated Integration Options
According to John Brophy, Vice President of Marketing at the Salt Lake City-based Sorenson Biosciences, his tip manufacturing company uses 80,000 pounds of plastic a month. Brophy goes on to say in The Scientist, “We believe 70% of this ends up in landfills”. It is for these concerning environmental reasons that Grenova exists primarily, but Grenova features a product line that will not add to the repetitive strain of the pipetting cycle. Automating the pipetting process will lower the startling 40% of lab professionals that suffer from pipetting-caused disorders such as CTS and Grenova cleans tips with its smart appliances and robotic integration.
A PreciseFlex PF400X-7 or PreciseFlex PF400X-12 robotic autosampler arm has grippers that allow these robots to pick up a wide variety of different size samples without using expensive and complicated tool changers. Both of these collaborative robots feature an easy-to-use Guidance Motion interface that is accessible from any web enabled device, this allows technicians or operators to quickly and easily setup and teach the robot to load, grasp, and extract loaded pipette racks to and from Tipnovus or TipnovusMini. With minimal physical stress put on the technician, less attention can be paid to aching extremities and more time can be spent on lab research. All while rethinking laboratory waste one tip at time.