firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Ground-breaking all-in-one liquid handling combines several technologies within a single compact design for highly effective library and sample preparation workflows and the utmost output.

Underpinned by strong, intuitive software, firefly® opens the way for the ability of automation to expedite genomic research.


firefly simplifies users’ genomic liquid handling workflows, combining pipetting, incubating, dispensing, and shaking technologies within an ingenious all-in-one-solution.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Compact Design

The firefly’s small and streamlined design makes smart use of a valuable laboratory footprint, enabling users to do more genomics research with less space availability.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech


firefly links scientists and makes inspiration for greater discoveries via a leading peer-to-peer cloud-based network. Users can share custom protocols and quickly access validated tools to intensify collaboration and expedite innovation.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Intuitive, Powerful Software

The firefly has established a new standard in robust liquid handling software. Its intuitive interface opens the automation ability for all, putting users in control of their workflows with no need for complicated programming.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Field Application Scientists

Working with Users to Advance Genomics Research

SPT Labtech technologies convert how researchers work in genomics together with solutions trusted by leading academic centers, biopharmaceutical companies, and technology collaborators worldwide.

The specialist team of application scientists functions closely with users to ensure that the protocols for their applications are scientifically strong, providing you the confidence to implement new genomic liquid handling workflows.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Boost Efficiency and Flexibility with Novel Dispensing Technology

Novel dispensing technology has been harnessed by firefly to reduce tip use, decrease reagent dead volumes, and miniaturize protocols enabling users to maximize their research output. Users can use three or six dragonfly tip options in any combination to dispense flexibility and speed.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Setting a New Standard for Software

firefly sets a new standard in liquid handling software, streamlining automated workflows with log-in access control, highly accessible user interface, and presumptive “intelligence.” The potential to author on any PC enlarges efficiency in the laboratory, while complete version management guarantees a complete audit trail.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Book Users’ Tailored Demo of firefly®

Users can see how firefly streamlines genomic liquid handling with a personal demo customized to users’ laboratory workflow difficulties.

The revolutionary platform for genomics shapes the future of NGS library prep by integrating several technologies within a robust all-in-one solution. A personalized demo will help users comprehend exactly how firefly can help users expedite and streamline their process.

Shaping a New Era of Genomics Research

The liquid handling portfolio offers users precise and repeatable nanoliter to microliter pipetting and dispensing every time, regardless of environmental conditions and liquid viscosity.

The company harnesses ground-breaking technology to simplify workflows and expedite research. The products' robustness, user-friendliness, and trustworthiness help defeat challenging technical challenges and allow scientists to focus on the best science.


System Architecture

firefly consists of a 384 pipetting module and three or six dispense heads to offer adaptable high-performance methods to various applications, such as PCR setup and NGS library prep. An ingenious two-tier moving deck system with an extra sub-deck layer for accessories packs much ability into a highly compact footprint.

Pipetting head functions in various configurations: 384, 96, columns of 16 (384 format), and 8 (96 format) from 0.5 uL to 125 uL (extending to 500 uL with optional adapter). Users can make use of strong and proven air displacement technology along with disposable tips and a range of tip types, such as filtered and sterile options.

Dispense heads offer three or six positive displacement syringes for non-contact and liquid agnostic reagent dispensing. Syringes have the potential to function entirely separately for several reagent dispensing or in parallel (any combination) for speed.

The gripper module functions jointly with the pipetting head and can move labware between the decks and sub-deck levels.

Optional application accessories have offered higher walk-away capability with options for cooling and heating tiles, magnetic plates, and shakers.

The safety enclosure safeguards users from moving parts while protecting samples and reagents from airborne contaminants. A huge interlocked door offers simple and safe access to load the system.

World Class User Interface

firefly establishes a new standard in genomics liquid handling software with secure log-in and audit trails, simple accessible user interface, multiple user levels, and smart programming. With cloud-based sharing and the potential to author on any PC, firefly software makes automation accessible to any laboratory user.

The graphical interface is highly intuitive and accessible to users of all levels. Researchers quickly scan and build new protocols on any Windows PC or compatible device. Simple drag and drop enables easy protocol setup with accessible extended features for fine-tuning by advanced users.

Protocols could be locked down and customized to offer the most straightforward setup for any user, with clear running instructions to make the system truly accessible to anyone in the laboratory. Robust audit trails and user access guarantee that techniques are safeguarded and offer tools to assist compliance in regulated surroundings.

firefly could be programmed and protocols performed at the instrument via the combined tablet. The software could be installed on external Windows-based devices to allow protocol writing away from the system. Users can easily share protocols with the instrument through the cloud connection, network, or even a USB stick offering eventual convenience and flexibility.

firefly software offers cloud access to a user community allowing the sharing of protocols between users and access to SPT labtech-validated protocols and tools.

Pipetting Head

The pipetting head consists of a 384-core capable of parallel pipetting up to 384 individual samples ranging between 0.5 uL and 125 uL (extended to 500 uL with adaptor plate in 96 format only). Disposable tips come in other formats to aid working in 384 and 96 well labware.

Tip Formats

  • 96 standard, sterile, filtered and sterile; 125 uL, 50 uL, and 15 uL
  • 384 standard, sterile, filtered and sterile; 125 uL, 50 uL, and 15 uL
  • 8 strips (96 format) standard, sterile, filtered and sterile; 125 uL, 50 uL, and 15 uL
  • 16 strips (384 format) standard, sterile, filtered and sterile; 125 uL, 50 uL, and 15 uL

Strip tips allow users to work with partial plates or across plates to assist processes like serial dilutions.

An optional adaptor plate expands the pipetting range to 500 uL (96 format only).

Dispensing Module

The system has been fitted with either 3 or 6 dispensing heads that could be synchronized for high throughput or regulated independently for reagent flexibility.

True positive displacement disposable syringes offer liquid class agnostic non-contact dispensing of volumes ranging from 200 nL to 4 mL. Every syringe could be utilized as a 4 mL reservoir to multi-dispense smaller volumes, dispensing to a complete 96 or 384 well plate in as little as 30 seconds.

The non-contact dispensing mechanism allows tips for several operations per reagent and considerably decreases tip consumption versus standard pipetting methods. No cleaning, calibration, or maintenance is needed, and there is zero chance of clogging or blocking.

Gripper Module

The pipetting head consists of a gripper module that has the potential of moving labware between the deck and sub-deck layers and moving labware on and off functional modules like shakers and heater or cooler plates and magnetic blocks.

The gripper has the potential to move certain accessories, such as incubation adaptor plates, so a microplate being retained below deck on a heater or cooler plate could be moved to the deck on its adaptor plate to maintain the temperature while on the deck for pipetting or dispensing, before being returned to the heater or cooler to return to active temperature control.

The gripper has the potential to move labware with pipette tips in place for high workflow efficiency. Alternatively, tips could be eliminated before working with the gripper.

It moves in tandem with the pipetting head concerning Y and Z movement as well as having an additional Z motion so that it could reach down below the pipette tips to grip labware. The grip mechanism could be trained to pick and position an extensive ANSI or SBS labware range.

Igniting a Brighter Future of Genomics Liquid Handling

We are excited to have created firefly, marking a step change towards a brighter future of genomics liquid handling. By democratizing access to intuitive, multi-functional automation, we will empower laboratories to drive even bigger genomic breakthroughs.

David Newble, CEO, SPT Labtech

Technical Specification

Source: SPT Labtech

. . . .
Instrument variants firefly 3 and firefly 6 Pipetting module 384 pipetting core capable of loading 384, 96 or columns of 8 (96 format) or 16 (384 format)
Pipetting range and performance 0.5 uL to 125 uL, extended to 500 uL with 4in1 adaptor (96 format only) <3%* cv at 1 uL and above; +/- 2%* error at 1uL and above *Based on QC performance checks using aqueous reagents and specific microplates Particle sizes less than 0.032" diameter to prevent tip blockage
Tip options (NS = Non sterile, S = Sterile, FS = Filtered and sterile) 384 tips 125 uL 125-384-EZ=NS/S/FS
50 uL 050-384-EZ=NS/S/FS
15 uL 015-384-EZ=NS/S/FS
96 tips 125 uL tbc
50 uL tbc
Strip tips 384 format 125 uL 125-016-EZ-NS/S/FS
50 uL 050-016-EZ-NS/S/F
Strip tips 96 format 125 uL 125-008-EZ-NS/S/FS
50 uL 050-008-EZ-NS/S/FS
4in1 adaptor option p.n. Tbc converts 384 core to 500 uL core (96 only) Tips 500 uL 550-096-EZ-NS/S/FS
250 uL 250-096-EZ-NS/S/FS
Gripper Module Compatible with most SBS/ANSI labware Dispense Module  
Dispense volume range 200 nL to 4 mL Bulk dispense speed starting from 30 seconds per 96 or 384 well plate
Dead volume 30 uL or 200 uL recoverable dead volume depending on reservoir type Reservoir options Standard and low dead volume disposable troughs
Auto feed reservoirs
Primary SBS/ANSI plate formats 96, 384 and 1536* well labware, including deepwell blocks and 96 format tubes up to 45mm in height. (*1536 is compatible with dispensing module and a limited range of pipetting options) Optional accessories Microplate cooler/heater block
Microplate shaker
Microplate cooler/heater/shaker
Dispense module reagent cooler/heater
4in1 pipetting adaptor
Dimensions (W x D x H) 660 mm x 560 mm x 780 mm Weight 100 Kg


Application Ready

With a rolling program of new validated protocols in development, firefly is completely application ready programmed with pre-validated protocols for library preparation kits NEBNext Ultra II DNA; NEBNext Ultra II FS DNA; NEBNext Ultra II RNA, and Illumina DNA Prep. Accessories for cooling, heating, and shaking, along with magnetic blocks, extend the abilities of firefly in the laboratories.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Accurate and Precise Pipetting for Genomics Research

firefly gives exact and accurate air displacement pipetting in the range of 0.5 ul to 125 uL accommodating a range of 96 or 384 well plate formats. Automated tip loading simplifies tedious processes and adaptable column loading eases partial plates or partitioning management.

Firefly for Genomic Liquid Handling

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

firefly+: Maximize walkaway time with complete hands-free NGS library preparation

firefly+ expands on the current liquid handling capabilities of firefly with an integrated thermocycler and additional labware capability, all while maintaining our commitment to usability and compact design. firefly+ grants genomics researchers the ability to run completely automated NGS library preparation, giving even more time for critical thinking tasks like data analysis and experiment design. 

Image Credit: SPT Labtech

Image Credit: SPT Labtech