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Microbial screening colony picker with sample tracking and plate handling

The QPix 400 Series Microbial Colony Pickers combine intelligent image analysis with precise automation for fast and efficient screening of large libraries. Capable of picking up to 3000 colonies per hour, it will streamline your workflow. In addition to microbial screening, the system automates several sample preparation and plate handling processes such as transfer of bacterial liquid culture and plating on agar. With a variety of data tracking and assay tools, the QPix Software streamlines the control and management of complex and iterative processes.

Identify colonies with a desired phenotype

The QPix colony pickers support a wide variety of microorganisms and multiple selection modalities, including fluorescence intensity, blue/white selection, size and proximity, and zone of inhibition.

Select colonies efficiently

A suite of organism-specific pin and agar sensor ensure efficient picking. The system delivers a picking efficiency of >98%, allowing you to walkaway with confidence.

Maintain Sterility

A host of sterility features are available including a UV light for sanitizing the interior of the instrument, as well as pin washing, and halogen drying of pins.


Camera (white light only system): CCD Camera, image resolution: 22 pixels /mm. Field of view: 62 x 46 mm

Camera (white light and fluorescence system): CCD Camera, image resolution 22 pixels /mm. Field of view: 32 x 24 mm

White light imaging: Trans-illumination

Fluorescent imaging (optional): Epifluorescence illumination, five standard wavelengths included:

  • Ex /Em: 377 /447 nm for DAPI /Hoechst
  • Ex /Em: 457 /536 nm for FITC /GFP
  • Ex /Em: 531 /593 nm for Cy3 /DS Red
  • Ex /Em: 628 /692 nm for Cy5
  • Ex /Em: 531 /624 nm for Rhodamine /Texas Red

Colony statistics: Colonies selectable based on size, proximity, roundness. Selection performed on whole tray image

Tracking: 1 x barcode reader for tracking of source and destination plates. Data tracked through all applications for plates with same I.D.


Plate replication: Software license and additional head

Re-arraying: Software license and additional head

Gridding: Software license and additional head

Zone of inhibition detection: Software license

Colorimetric colony selection: Software license and filters

Low contrast colony detection (plaque picking): Included with Software 2.0 and newer


Spreading capability (QPix 460 System only):

  • Sampling and spreading source plate: 1 x 96-well (30 minutes for 96 samples).
  • Aspiration volume 10-130 µL.
  • Destination plate: 2 x 22 cm 48 region QTrays.
  • Samples spread from pre-set or customizable pattern.

Destination plate capacity

  • QPix 420 System: Picking: 12 plates; replicating and re-arraying, maximum of 20 plate positions
  • QPix 450 System: Up to 210 low profile plates, 70 per stacker lane, maximum 3 stackers
  • QPix 460 System: Up to 140 low profile plates, 70 per stacker lane, maximum 2 stackers

Source plate capacity

  • QPix 420 System: Without manual intervention: 1 x 15 cm petri dish; 5 x 9 cm petri dishes; 2 x OmniTrays; 1 x 22 cm QTrays
  • QPix 450/460 System: Without manual intervention: 2 x 15 cm petri dish; 10 x 9 cm petri dishes;4 x OmniTrays; 2 x 22 cm QTrays

Picking destination plate type: Various, 24-, 48-, 96-, or 384-well, including deep well

Picking height: Integrated ultrasonic agar height sensor to set agar height per plate for accurate picking

Picking head: Fully pneumatic, 96 pin picking head. Interchangeable heads for other applications

Picking pin types: Range of organism-specific pins

Picking capacity: 3000 colonies per hour in white light, 2000 colonies per hour in fluorescent light

Fluorescent picking:

  • Colonies imaged in white light for location identification and fluorescence for data analysis.
  • WL and FL image multiplexed.

Fluorescence data:

  • Multiple parameters available e.g. interior mean.
  • Fluorescent intensity recorded for picked colonies.

Wash bath: 3 x static wash baths

Pin drying: Proprietary halogen pin drying station


  • QPix 420 System (without table): 1460 mm (width) x 770 mm (depth) x 750 mm (height)
  • QPix 450/460 System: 2200 mm (width, excluding monitor arm) x 800 mm (depth) x 2140 mm (height on table)

Compressed air specifications

Air: Clean, oil-free with sub-micron filtration

Minimum operating pressure: 6 bar (~90psi)

Minimum operating volume: 80L/min

Optional compressor specifications

Compressor unit: Clean, oil-free compressor with sub-micron filtration

Dimensions: 250 mm (width) x 600 mm (depth) x 750 mm (height)

Weight: 60 kg

Minimum operating pressure: 6 bar

Minimum operating volume: 80 L/min

Noise level: 61 dB(A)

Regulatory approval: Compliance CE