How a Colony Picker Works & How We Save You Time & Money

Excedr - Colony Pickers

Excedr’s lease program can accommodate your lab’s instrument needs and brand/model preferences. Get in touch with us and see how leasing can save you time and money on your next colony picker and high-throughput instrumentation.

All equipment brands/models are available

The Benefits of Excedr’s Colony Picker Leasing Program:

  • Eliminates the upfront cost of purchasing equipment by spreading its cost over time
  • Minimizes equipment downtime with included complete repair coverage and preventive maintenance
  • Takes advantage of potentially 100% tax deductible* payments, providing you significant cash-savings
  • Expedites the administrative work needed for instrument procurement and logistics
  • Conserves working capital,  enabling you to reinvest in your core business and operations (staffing, inventory, marketing/sales, etc.)
  • Accommodates all manufacturer and model preferences

*Please consult your tax advisor to determine the full tax implications of leasing equipment.

a cell, a microplate well, antibodies, and a dot with 6 lines through it

Colony picking is the process of selecting individual colonies of pure, single-strain microbes from a solid media plate—such as agar plate, slide, mini gel, or petri dish—and duplicating them for further use.

Isolating microbial colonies in this stage is vital in various downstream processes, including mass spectrometry, protein purification, and PCR. Food testing, biofuels, genome editing, microbiology, synthetic biology, and immunotherapy are just a few areas that benefit from colony picking.

Colony picking is performed using a colony picker, also referred to as a colony arrayer or colony picking system, as well as a microbial colony pickers or pin colony picker depending on the manufacturer. Some of the most popular manufacturers include:

  • Hudson Robotics
  • Molecular Devices
  • Tecan

Furthermore, automating the colony picking process has helped scientists in the life sciences industry further their work in duplicating microbes. Hand-picking bacterial or fungal colonies used to take hours, and for tasks as complex as sequencing the human genome, this was prohibitively tedious. 

In addition to the massive amount of time it would take to complete, the high probability of human error often made the work useless. Luckily, colony picking has become fully automated and is optimized for both speed and accuracy. 

Many automated devices rely on a multi-pin picking unit, robotic arm, multiple microplate stacks, a media dispenser, adhesive plate sealer, and standalone enclosure. This transition from using a single pin to a picking head equipped with multiple independently controlled pins has greatly sped up the duplication process.

Many devices are designed to pick from SBS-compatible omni-trays, segmented colony plates, 24-well, 96-well and 384-well plates, as well as petri dishes. The device is also capable of inoculating many of these trays and plates, from omni-trays to 24-, 96-, and 384-well plates of various heights, saving even more time.

Additionally, image processing is now performed using software. A picker will accurately identify the necessary colonies that are to be copied and transfers part of the organism to a separate medium to grow. Today, high-resolution image analysis plays a large role in automated colony picking.

Ultimately, this top-to-bottom automation has allowed scientists to go from reproducing a few hundred bacteria or fungi in a day to hundreds of thousands in a day.

Colony Arrayer Applications & Advantages

an outstretched hand face up holding the end of a DNA double helix

These devices are used for a wide variety of applications across multiple fields of study, some of which we will cover below.

DNA Sequencing

To find the order of the nucleotide bases, DNA sequencing must be performed. This research is important to advancing knowledge in various biology fields.

To perform DNA sequencing, the sample genome must be broken down into smaller pieces, cloned, mixed with other material, rebuilt, and analyzed to determine its sequence. Using a colony picker, specifically for the cloning phase in the process, more gene samples can be replicated, meaning larger DNA strands can be analyzed.


Food Testing

Microbial testing in the food industry is very important. Using colony pickers, scientists can screen thousands of samples of food products for dangerous bacteria and mold quickly.

Due to certain food’s shelf life, rapid testing is vital to ensure that the integrity of the food is not compromised. The testing of yeast, mold, and other pathogens in dairy products also poses the additional problem of needing to keep the sample cold.

Having fast colony preparation and testing ensures that additional impurities are not introduced in this testing phase.



Immunotherapy is an important technique in treating cancer. This biological therapy boosts a person’s immune system by using living tissues to duplicate cancer-fighting substances.

Monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, are one such type of treatment that benefits greatly from the use of colony pickers. In this treatment, researchers create specific antibodies that target specific antigens found on cancer cells.

In order for this to be effective, tens of thousands of these mAbs need to be made in a relatively short period of time. This treatment is effective due to the huge throughput of mAbs and monoclonal hybridoma colonies that a picker can create.


Genetic Engineering

When the human genome was mapped it marked a huge step in our understanding of ourselves. This discovery has helped progression in multiple existing fields of study as well as opened up many new fields of study.

Genetic engineering, once thought to be science fiction, has become very real. Similar techniques to those involved in the charting of human DNA are used to break down and change parts of our genetic code.

Companies such as CRISPR have even given people the ability to do simple gene editing in their own homes. Colony pickers have not only contributed to the advancements in our knowledge of our own DNA, but have also continued to be of use to us in altering them now.


We Offer Colony Picker Leases to Fit Every Need

a petri dish with a sample inside

A vital piece of equipment, one should not have to debate whether they can or cannot afford to go without a microbial colony picker. Our leases reduce the upfront costs of purchasing colony picking systems, making this debate a non-issue.

Additionally, regardless of whether you’re looking to lease a QPix® 400 Series from Molecular Devices or a RapidPick™ Colony Picking System from Hudson Robotics, we can help. Our leasing program is brand-agnostic and can accommodate any brand preference.

Furthermore, you can complete your workflow with the addition of automated liquid handling technology offered through Excedr. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at +1 888-927-3802 so that we may discuss your leasing options in further detail.

Operating Lease

This off-balance sheet financing structure provides three options at the end of the term. The lessee has the option to return the equipment to the lessor, renew at a discounted rate, or purchase the instrument for the fair market value. Monthly payments are also 100% tax deductible which yields additional monetary savings.


If you recently bought equipment, Excedr can offer you cash for your device and convert your purchase into a long-term rental. This is called a sale-leaseback. If you’ve paid for equipment within the last ninety days, we can help you recoup your investment and allow you to make low monthly payments. This also frees up money in your budget rather than tying it down to a fixed asset.

Colony Arrayer Manufacturers & Models on the Market
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Hudson Robotics:
RapidPick, RapidPick Complete, RapidPick Lite, RapidPick SP Single Pin Colony Picker, RapidPick Harvester

Molecular Devices:
QPix 400 Series, QPix 420, QPix 450, QPix 460, ClonePix 2, Colony Counter, CloneSelect Imager

Bulldog Bio:
Cell Counter, IncuCount, RSIC150

Pickolo, GFPickolo, PickoloCell, PetriPlater

Stuart Equipment:
Colony Counter SC6PLUS

Oxford Optronix:

ProtoCOL 3, Protos 3, ProcScan, aCOLyte 3 HD, aCOLade 2

Pol-Eko Aparatura:
LKB 2002

IUL Instruments:
SphereFlash, DOT

Reichert Technologies Analytical Instruments:
Quebec Darkfield Digital, Quebec Darkfield Manual

InterScience International:
Scan 400, Scan 1200, Scan 500, Scan 300, ScanStation 100, ScanStation 200

K6-3, K8

Singer Instruments:
PIXL, Rotor HDA, PhenoBooth

and more!


Operating Capital Benefits

Operating Capital Benefits

Excedr's operating lease structure allows you to keep your business credit line open for expansions, staffing, and other operational expenses. Additionally, it strengthens the cash flow of your business and keeps cash reserves free for business development opportunities.

Effects on Credit

Effects on Credit

Leasing / renting provides you with non-dilutive financing and does not hinder your future borrowing ability. You're able to acquire the equipment you need without the baggage associated with traditional financing.

Speed of Approval

Speed of Approval

Excedr's program allows you to respond quickly as your need for equipment and technology arises. You can be approved with minimal documentation and have the equipment you need in operation and generating revenue for your business quickly.

Refurbished Equipment

Refurbished Equipment

Unlike traditional financing and leasing companies, the Excedr program can accommodate refurbished equipment in addition to demo units. If you are looking for additional cost-savings, we recommend considering this option.