SPT Labtech delivers end-to-end automated NGS library preparation with firefly®+


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firefly+ sets a new efficiency standard in genomics by delivering maximum walkaway time in a compact and intuitive benchtop instrument.

Cambridge, UK, 5 February 2024 - SPT Labtech, a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of automated instrumentation and consumables for life science applications, announces the release of firefly+, an expansion to its established firefly genomics liquid handling platform, integrating an on-deck thermocycler and increased labware capacity to enable complete hands-free Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) library preparation. 

These additional capabilities build on the strong foundation of the firefly platform, which incorporates technologies of multiple instruments, including modules for pipetting, dispensing, shaking and incubating. An internal robotic gripper ensures seamless transfer between all functionalities without the need for manual intervention, granting scientists more walkaway time to focus on critical tasks such as data analysis and experiment design. 

Central to firefly’s development is its compact design and usability. Unlike traditional liquid handlers, firefly+ offers the benefits of integrated automation without the need for extensive lab space or specialized programming knowledge. The complete system occupies just over one metre in width and sits comfortably on a standard lab bench. Its operation is powered by firefly’s visual and intuitive software that makes protocol development, execution and sharing effortlessly straightforward. 

With firefly+, researchers maintain full access to firefly’s liquid handling and process modules capabilities even while the thermocycler is in operation. This versatility caters to different laboratory challenges, offering unparalleled freedom and efficiency in genomics workflows.  

SPT Labtech_firefly+ side view"With this newest development, we’ve added even more functionality whilst retaining firefly’s signature compact footprint and standardized architecture, so labs don’t need to sacrifice premium lab space to achieve complete end-to-end automation,” says Paul Lomax, Head of Genomics at SPT Labtech. 

“firefly+ is a testament to SPT Labtech’s commitment to customer-driven innovation to advance genomics research. After actively engaging with the scientific community and understanding their real-world challenges, we have developed a solution that offers complete versatility to support labs of different sizes, applications and throughput requirements. By decoupling firefly+ from firefly’s existing liquid handling capabilities, we’re providing genomics scientists with the freedom and tools to reach maximum efficiency.”