Qube stacker module

Qube with stacker for increased laboratory throughput and efficiency

Sophion-Stacker

Qube stacker for unattended compounds feeding

Increase the efficiency of your drug discovery process with high-fidelity electrophysiology at reduced labour costs. With the Qube stacker module you can run unattended overnight operations on your Qube 384. The Qube stacker enables you to feed compounds and QChips, and with the onboard cell hotel supplying the cells, you can now run hours of screening, freeing up valuable research time.

Qube stacker enables:

  • Feed up to 16 QChips or 6,000 wells in one operation
  • 6-10 hours of true walkaway operation for increased laboratory efficiency
  • Take advantage of overnight runs to increase laboratory throughput
  • Automatic data analysis for online data monitoring
  • Automated dilution of DMSO stock to avoid compound adherence

Cat. No. SB3310 refers to
the stacker and autofill module

Depending on the assay length and cell viability, one click can enable unattended operation for 6-10 hours, creating results from more than 6,000 compound wells with single addition per QChip or up to over 30,000 compound wells with cumulative concentration-response assays with five concentrations per site.

Using Sophion Qube with the integrated stacker frees up labour to make more critical tasks like preparing your following experiments, interpretation of data etc. The data generated on Qube are analysed continuously and automatically in the Sophion Analyzer project analysis. Every time a QChip has been assayed, fresh data can be enjoyed anywhere connected to the company network.

Also, the Qube is highly robust, so it can be re-loaded and started at the end of the day to conduct overnight runs. Unattended use generates data at a high and cost-efficient pace:
“Further overall savings could be gained from shorter screening campaigns; if a compound discovered in the initial HTS or developed in the follow-up on the same APC platform is successful and reaches the market, an extension of 3-6 months to the patent life of a compound at the end of its period of exclusivity could be worth a significant amount of money, certainly enough to cover the difference in cost between HTS campaigns utilising APC or traditional HTS technologies”. Please see the paper here: Chambers et al. 2016

Qube can potentially shorten campaign time since it runs with stacker and no user intervention long beyond regular office hours (Fig. 2).

Automated stock dilution

When compounds are exposed to plastic, which they commonly are in HTS, they can adhere to the surfaces, thus decreasing the concentration in the media. To reduce the risk of inaccurate measurements caused by compound adherence, Qube can dilute stock solution 1,000-fold directly in the compound plate before the assay run. This feature makes data more precise and reduces the need for other laboratory equipment.

Easy and flexible analysis

High throughput can be used to do primary screening and to characterise many compounds in many replicates. Regardless, the Sophion Analyzer makes the data analysis easy and quick, freeing up the time to interpret and plan for the next steps in the drug discovery process.

Automated 384-tip exchange

The tips used by the Qube 384-liquid handler are reusable and are washed in water and/or solvents after each liquid addition. Qube can also automatically exchange tips during a run at any desired frequency if needed. In the run depicted in Fig. 2 tips were exchanged for every third QChip.

Short time needed between runs

When 16 QChips have been assayed, it takes 5-10 minutes of operator time to supply news cells and exchange the cell waste container before pressing “run” again to initiate the assay of a further 16 QChips. The QChips and compound plates are designed to be preloaded into each of the two stacker towers. The towers detach easily from the stacker base and can pick up the entire stack of plates by lowering it on the stack. It is also possible to load the plates from the top of the towers so Qube can be started as soon as the first compound plate is ready, with the rest being loaded continuously. The barcode reader in Qube will, of course, keep track of everything. The capacity of the towers is 40 plates of each type.

Modular approach

Qube comes in three configurations 1) Qube 384 basic, 2) Qube 384 w stacker 3) Qube 384 integrated into an HTS line. The Qube can be up and downgraded at your convenience.

A stacker can be mounted to convert a basic Qube model to a stacker version, and the user can be trained in less than a day. The Qube maintains its ‘good looks’ with all connections and supplies to the stacker coming directly from inside the instrument and all communication achieved via the Sophion ViewPoint software. The stacker unit is manufactured by Hudson® robotics, but other brands can be requested. In such cases, customisation would be required. At Sophion, our first choice was integrating a Hudson stacker because they provide the best software interface and sensor output.


  • "We let Qube 384 run our large screening campaigns unattended during the night, so we can develop new assays on the same instruments during the day"

    Juha Kammonen, Charles River Laboratories, Senior Research Leader Early Discovery

  • "Using a QPatch or Qube is fairly simple. You can train someone up very quickly, within half a day, to use the instrument. In a few more days, they can generate data, conduct analysis, use the software and plot their data "

    Gary Clark, PhD, Metrion Biosciences, Director of Screening Technologies

  • "For over a decade, we have used Sophion QPatch to support hit-to-lead and lead optimization, in addition to cardiac safety profiling. The addition of a QPatch II and a Qube 384 upgrades and extends our capacity for these efforts and now adds a Sophion platform for electrophysiology-based high-throughput screening. "

    Caterina Virginio, PhD, Evotec, Discovery Electrophysiology Senior Manager

  • "We use the Sophion Analyzer software every day to check the quality of our cells and the variability of the results. This is important to decide if further re-runs or adaptations are necessary"

    Simon Hebeisen, PhD, B’SYS GmbH, CSO

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