Apparatus and methods are disclosed for processing samples on the surface of supports that are contained in support housings. Biopolymer features are attached to the surfaces of the supports. An apparatus comprises an input element, a holding device for holding a plurality of support housings, one or more fluid dispensing stations, and an output element. Each of the support housings contains a support having attached thereto a plurality of biopolymer features. The holding device is movably mounted with respect to other components of the apparatus. The holding device is adapted to receive a support housing from the input element. The output element is adapted to receive a support housing from the holding device. The apparatus is adapted to index each support housing for a predetermined operation. In use, each of the support housings is moved to one or more processing stations by means of the movable holding device. The location and identity of each of the support housings is indexed. Fluid is applied to the surface of each of the supports at the processing stations to process the samples. Each of the support housings is moved away from the fluid dispensing stations, and fluid is physically removed from each of the supports within the support housings.
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