Educating the next generation of scientists with the help of VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipettes

· Customer Testimonial

Educating the next generation of scientists with the help of VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipettes

Looking after the next generation

Founded in 1987, Edvotek is a leading biotechnology education company in the United States, dedicated to bringing these higher technology sciences to the classroom. Thomas Cynkar, Vice President of Manufacturing at Edvotek, explained: “If teachers don’t have access to the equipment and kits necessary to teach children about the latest scientific discoveries, this could negatively affect the education of those wanting to pursue a career in science. Edvotek was created to address this issue, and was actually the first company to make biotechnology products exclusively for high schools, colleges and middle schools. We make a range of products that teachers don’t usually have access to, including DNA technologies, proteins, enzymes and antibodies – as well as some lab equipment designed exclusively for training purposes – helping to inspire the next generation of scientists.”

An accurate pipetting tool

Thomas continued: “My department is responsible for producing these educational kits, procuring the chemical and biological components that go into them and aliquoting the various reagents required for each experiment. Our founder pretty much started the business out of his garage and, in the early days, used a single manual pipette to dispense different volumes of various materials into the tubes. As the company began to grow, we experimented with different pipettes over the years, but we always found them to be very susceptible to breaking down or creating large dispensing errors. Pipetting accuracy is of utmost importance to us; we very much rely on positive feedback from our customers, so we want to make sure that our products are top-notch.”

“I first heard about INTEGRA pipettes at an automation conference in Washington DC. I noticed the booth, saw all the different pipettes, and thought this really could be something that would help with our business. We acquired our first VOYAGER pipette in 2017, and immediately noticed a world of difference in terms of speed and accuracy for dispensing reagents. We were so pleased with the impact the pipette made on our workflow, we ended up buying a second VOYAGER for smaller volume applications. Between these two pipettes, we can cover a wide range of volumes – from 5 to 1250 µl – to dispense the different parts of our kits. The VOYAGER pipettes have revolutionized our in-house manufacturing workflows, and we now really rely on them.”

Edvotek employee using the VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipette
Photo courtesy of Edvotek

A faster and more accurate workflow

Using an adjustable spacing multichannel pipette such as the VOYAGER makes the whole pipetting process much faster and more accurate, and dramatically increases throughput. Thomas continued: “It’s so easy to process numerous tubes in racks with different spacing, which we simply couldn’t do with our previous single channel or fixed spacing multichannel pipettes. We have much more confidence in the pipetting performance, helping to maintain the quality of our kit production, and have more than doubled the speed with which we're able to fill the tubes – it’s perhaps even three to four times faster than before, which is amazing.”

“The main thing that we really love about these pipettes is the flexibility to automatically change the spacing between the tips, and with only one hand. This ability to easily fill tubes in a variety of formats with various spacing helps us tremendously, especially as we have so many different reagent kits. It’s such a simple concept, but having the right tool to do it effectively makes all of the difference to our work. Programming the pipettes is very simple, they’re incredibly easy to use, and the GripTips that we use are convenient and reliable. They’re invaluable to us now.”


VOYAGER Electronic Tip Spacer Pipette

Supporting growth

VOYAGER pipettes have helped to support the increase in workload as Edvotek has grown as a company. Thomas explained: “As our kits have become more popular, we’ve gone from pipetting a couple of hundred samples a week to processing thousands of tubes. When you're pipetting small volumes of around 10 to 12 microliters into thousands of tubes with a single channel pipette, it’s likely that you're going to miss one or make a mistake. Such a small volume can be difficult to see, and we don’t want our customers accidentally ending up with an empty tube while they’re in the middle of performing an experiment with their students! We therefore use INTEGRA’s reagent reservoirs in combination with the VOYAGER pipettes, making it easy to reliably dispense into each row, which guarantees that we won’t miss a tube. The staff at INTEGRA have been incredibly helpful and supportive of our work. We've not had any technical issues with the pipettes, but our interactions with the sales and customer service teams have been fantastic; it has been a pleasure to work with them,” Thomas concluded.

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