The fusion laser sealer is a new type of sealing machine, just to seal black multi well plates. This is done by tacking a special, non-fluorescent clear seal to the plate that needs to be sealed. The plate is then pressed against a glass sheet to get the seal as close to the plate as possible. A focused laser beam then hits the plate and melts the plastic from the plate and the seal, creating a fusion between the two plastics, sealing the plate completely air and watertight.
The fusion is controlled by pc software, which is easy to use. The fusion can be set according to different user restrictions, but the setup is very flexible and allows an advanced user to change a whole range of settings, or to add his own plates to the database. The variables that are most commonly modified are the laser speed and the laser output power, both determine the thickness and strength of the weld. By tweaking the two components, you get faster welding or more welds with the same laser. (Using a higher laser output shortens the lasers lifespan.) Once the parameters are set, all it takes to start the machine is loading a roll containing the seals and pressing the start button. Then the machine cuts a seal from the roll and attaches this to the plate, after that the laser welds the seal to the plate.
A big advantage of this type of sealer is that it is quite fast; it only takes 45 seconds to seal a 384 well plate and most importantly, the seals are very rugged and are not easily removed.
This is very important in our application. We do SNP validation and SNP screenings with a waterbath-based thermocycler. Since the seal is non-fluorescent, we can put the plates from the thermocycler straight into a fluorescent reader without having to remove the seals.
There are some downsides to this machine, mostly due to the fact that this is a new instrument and there have been some startup problems. In the first line of machines, the cooling was insufficient, resulting in very long waiting times between seals. This was necessary to prevent the laser from overheating. In the newer version, this has been solved. One more small thing is that the sealing works best with black plates that do not contain a tower on each well, something used in all other types of plate sealing. The best plates are currently only being produced by KBiosystems, but it is possible that there will be more suppliers of this type of plate. Currently, only 384 well and 1536 well plates are being sold by KBiosystems.
Overall, I find the fusion very nice and easy to work with and any problems that may arise are solved very fast. So if you need your plates to be perfectly sealed, air and water tight, I would recommend buying this machine.
Fusion Laser Plate Sealer From KBiosystems
Very good sealing in little time.
The machine only works with special black plates.
The Bottom Line
A very good automated sealer, if you can use the special black plates in your application.