dragonfly® discovery

Robust and reliable reagent dispensing

​dragonfly discovery enables innovative, low volume liquid dispensing that is compatible with a wide range of applications including molecular biology and genomics​, biochemical assays​ and cell and bead-based assays.

Reagent dispensing re-imagined

just walk-up and use

simple set-up and minimal maintenance

greatly improve assay robustness

accurate dispensing irrespective of liquid class

maximise precious reagents

ultra-low dead volumes​

dragonfly discovery

save time

rapid plate fill times even for complex DoE

flexible configuration

choice of 3, 6 or 10 independent positive displacement dispense heads

suitable for low or high throughput assays

compatible with any SBS plate format 96 - 1,536 well

Our innovative dispense technology offers a number of key technical advantages

  • superior low volume dispense performance
  • suitable for all liquid classes
  • inherently reliable
  • broad dynamic dispense range from a single syringe type & economical syringe usage
  • no risk of blocked ducts or nozzles

developed in partnership with world-leading scientists, dragonfly discovery not only delivers exceptional performance, but also provides an optimal user experience to facilitate adoption into novel application areas.

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dragonfly discovery tips dropping on a plate

Non-contact dispensing from a disposable, positive displacement tip

In each of the channels (up to 10) there is a tight fitting piston that travels within a pipette barrel, when coupled to the instruments piston rod the positive displacement syringe is formed. The distance and rates of acceleration and deceleration of the piston control how and when liquid is ejected from the tip.
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We’re revolutionizing liquid handling

dragonfly discovery enables accurate and repeatable nanolitre to milliliter dispensing, every time, irrespective of liquid viscosity or environmental conditions.

Customized to suit your application and budget

  • 3,6, or 10 independent dispense heads
  • synchronize dispense heads to increase throughput, or choose independent head control for reagent flexibility 
  • autofeed reservoir module
  • plate stacker & automation package
  • dedicated genomics accessories that are fully compatible with our mosquito liquid handlers
  • assay development software

dragonfly discovery

Our true positive displacement syringes are controlled by independent dispense heads located inside the instrument.

Key features:

  • 200 nL – 4 mL dispense range​
  • liquid class agnostic, with no calibration requirement​
  • non-contact dispensing, for minimal syringe consumption​
  • no cleaning or maintenance requirement​
  • zero chance of blocking or clogging


Built for pure performance

  • outstanding accuracy: <5% error at 1 µL (Artel multichannel verification system)​
  • unrivalled precision: <5% CV at 1 µL​
  • minimal head to head variation: <5% CV across all dispense heads

dragonfly discovery hit-to-lead

Built for pure performance

The dragonfly software is as focused on usability as it is on functionality:

  • Highly visual, easy to use UI​
  • Flexible sequencing of liquid additions​
  • Automation of time point experiments, allowing for maximum walk-away time​
  • Saving and loading of full experiment setup data, for full reproducibility​

The dragonfly designer software is a complimentary software package designed to specifically meet the needs of assay development scientists:

  • Intuitive definition of multiple concentration gradients, both linear and high dynamic range n-fold
  • Definition of technical replicates and controls​
  • Calculation of all well dispense volumes, as well as overall reagent requirements​
  • Open source .CSV file output that loads directly into the dragonfly software package​


Versatile workflow integration

The dragonfly software includes a fully documented API for 3rd party integration with a wide variety of other laboratory instrumentation, including robotic plate handlers, stackers and bulk liquid handlers, to achieve walk-away operation in many application areas.

dragonfly discovery and mirrorball intergration

What our customers say

"So far it's been an incredibly fruitful collaboration...working together in collaboration we can make sure that we end up with a technology that really addresses our needs..."

Melanie Leveridge
Head Screening, Profiling & Mechanistic Biology, GSK.

Customer review - DFD

Featured applications

dragonfly discovery is a versatile tool to address a wide range of applications. Positive displacement dispensing offers reliable dispense performance across different liquid viscosities and surface tensions - from aqueous buffers to DMSO, glycerol and biological sera - yet is gentle enough to handle even precious cells. With a choice of 3, 6 or 10 dispense heads, it’s no wonder that dragonfly discovery has become the go-to dispenser for many laboratories.

Assay development

dragonfly discovery offers seamless integration between assay development HTS and hit-to-lead. Choose benchtop operation for low throughput tasks, or the autofeed reservoir and stacker modules to increase throughput where needed.
seamless transition between assay development and HTS by a dragonfly discovery liquid handling robot
seamless transition between assay development and HTS by a dragonfly discovery liquid handling robot

High throughput screening

Realise significant time and consumable savings with non-contact dispensing. A single set of our high-quality syringes will last an entire screening day, while our patented positive displacement technology ensures stringent plate QC metrics, even with “difficult” liquids.

With a fully documented API for 3rd party integration, as well as stacker and autofeed reservoir modules, dragonfly discovery addresses a wide range of throughput requirements.

High throughput screening by a dragonfly discovery liquid handling robot
High throughput screening by a dragonfly discovery liquid handling robot


dragonfly discovery is a novel dispensing technology designed for seamless integration between assay development HTS and hit-to-lead.
close up of a dragonfly discovery liquid handling robot in action
close up of a dragonfly discovery liquid handling robot in action

PCR and qPCR

dragonfly discovery® enables automated, rapid dispensing of PCR and qPCR reagents with outstanding accuracy and precision.

Non-contact, low volume dispensing from disposable syringes offers significant time, reagent and consumable savings and carries no risk of sample carryover or cross contamination.

Next-Generation Sequencing

dragonfly discovery is the ideal companion to our mosquito liquid handlers for low-cost NGS sample preparation workflows at reduced volumes including; NGS library preparation, magnetic bead clean-up, DNA quantification and normalisation.

Offering unrivalled low-volume precision and accuracy, this powerful instrument duo can realise up 25-fold reagent savings with market leading kits such as Nextera XT and NEBNext Ultra II.

NGS image
NGS image

cell based assays

dragonfly discovery® enables gentle and even cell plating across 96- to 1536 well microplates. Chilled reagent reservoirs are ideal to hold temperature sensitive 3D cell matrices (e.g. Matrigel), while the autofeed reservoir module enables gentle offline agitation of cell stocks to prevent sedimentation.
Assay development cells
Assay development cells

functional genomics

unrivalled low-volume dispense performance, ultra low dead volumes and chilled reagent reservoirs make dragonfly discovery the ideal tool to dispense precious CAS9 enzyme preparations in CRISPR-Cas9 screens.

Technical specifications

Instrument variants
3, 6 or 10 heads
Dispense volume range
200 nL – 4 mL
Dead volume
30 or 200 µL recoverable dead volume, depending on reservoir type
Bulk dispense speed
starting from
30 seconds per 96 or 384 well plate
90 seconds per 1,536 well plate
Primary SBS plate formats
96, 384 and 1,536 well microplates
PCR plate adapter, chilled reservoir blocks, incubation stage lid
HTS modules
Plate stacker, autofeed reservoirs
46 kg/ 101.4 lbs
Dimensions (W x D x H)
600 mm x 433 mm x 635.5 mm
23.6 in x 17 in x 25 in
Lab image

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