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Automated Desealer for Microtiter Plates




  • Removing the seal on storage plates in biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical laboratories
  • Automating the removal of the seal on storage plates used in genome sequencing production lines


  • Reduces risk of ergonomic injury
  • Increases productivity
  • Functionality superior to other devices on the market
  • No extra operating costs: requires no disposables
  • Potential for adaptation to robot-assisted production lines


The adhesive seals of plastic multiwell plates used for storage and analysis in chemical and biological research are typically removed manually. This involves a considerable risk of ergonomic injury to laboratory workers, who often must remove the foil or plastic film from 42 to 80 plates three times a day.

Mark West, Charles Reiter, and Martin Pollard of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed an automated device into which microtiter plates can be inserted so that their seals can be mechanically removed. It consists of a deck for seating a sealed container, with a clamp and pressure-controlled cylinder to hold the container in place; a lifter blade to push up the exposed edge; an air-actuated sliding gripper with clamp jaws, and a piston to slide the jaws forward. Unlike competing approaches, this device does not require any disposable supplies, such as rolls of adhesive sealing film.

This automated desealer is somewhat faster than manual seal removal and minimizes the risk to workers of repetitive strain injury. The present design allows for the addition of a plate-feeding mechanism, which would significantly increase operator productivity. The device could also potentially be re-engineered to peel containers of varying depth.


  • Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.

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