Stay on top of your pipette and automated liquid handler calibrations and verifications

Because data quality depends on the accuracy and precision of liquid handling, keeping handheld pipettes and automated liquid handlers calibrated is critical. Fortunately, this important job doesn’t have to be a lot of work.

Improve data quality with efficient and effective calibration for single-channel handheld pipettes, multi-channel pipettes, and automated liquid handlers

Every lab wants their data to be correct and reliable, and an important part of how lab managers and PIs ensure data reliability is through periodic instrument calibration. For liquid handling instruments—single-channel and multi-channel handheld pipettes, and automated liquid handlers—calibration and performance verification can be a time-consuming and expensive operation.

With products and services dedicated to streamlining liquid handler calibration and verification, Artel can simplify your workflows whether you’re in a regulated environment or just want to ensure the integrity of your data.

Melinda Gold
Melinda Gold, PhD

Product Manager

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If you’d like to learn more about calibration for your own lab or have any calibration-related questions, feel free to contact us.

Calibration for automated liquid handlers part 1—an in-house approach

Whether you maintain one automated liquid handler or a roomful of them (or more!) you can keep your liquid dispensing on target with the MVS Multichannel Verification System. With the same dual-dye ratiometric photometry technology used in the PCS Pipette Calibration System but designed for high-throughput, automated instruments, the MVS is a mobile workstation for calibration, verification, and optimization of liquid handling precision and accuracy. And unlike gravimetric methods which cannot simultaneously assess each individual channel on a pipette head, the MVS can measure the amount of liquid delivered by pipette heads with anywhere from one to 384-channels in less than 10 minutes.

Why choose Artel for calibration?

While there are many ways to calibrate liquid delivery, the dual-dye ratiometric photometry system used in the PCS and MVS instruments is a fast, easy-to-use, and exceedingly robust method for measuring dispensed liquid volume. When combined with Artel’s expertise in dye chemistry and metrology, you get extremely accurate and precise systems that can calibrate and verify liquid delivery and a whole lot more.

See how dual-dye ratiometric photometry compares to other liquid delivery calibration methods—read the Volume Verification Methods Comparison article at the Artel Digest and then download the comparison poster.

Pipette Calibration

Calibration for automated liquid handlers part 2— Artel Accredited Calibration Service

Keep your team focused on what they do best—generating data that touches people’s lives—with the Artel Accredited Calibration Service.
Designed for labs that would like to maximize productivity while meeting regulatory requirements, the Artel Accredited Calibration Service takes care of all the steps involved in calibration from start to finish.

Simply schedule a service and one of our team members will come to your lab with all the equipment needed for the calibration. Upon successful calibration, you will receive a calibration certificate from our ISO 17025:2005-accredited service.

• Save Time

• Meet Regulatory Requirements

• Ensure Quality

• Be Confident in Your Volume Transfers

Calibration for single-channel pipettes

Increase quality, productivity, and compliance when you manage single-channel pipette calibration with the PCS. Portable and easy-to-use, the PCS out-performs other calibration methods in; consistency, speed, simplicity, accuracy and precision—even at volumes as low as 0.1 µL. The dual-dye ratiometric photometry technology used in the PCS is highly resistant to environmental conditions which ensures accurate volume measurements. The results are traceable to the International System of Units, enabling straightforward comparison of pipettes, operators, methods, and locations.

CASE STUDY: A LEAN approach to pipette calibration brings it in-house and saves money

The team at Sorenson had been sending out handheld pipettes for calibration, but were plagued with problems–their pipettes weren’t always returned in a timely fashion, pipettes were sometimes damaged during transit back to their labs, certificates were not immediately available and their staff spent large amounts of time prepping, shipping, and receiving pipettes that needed calibration.

After investigating different pipette calibration options, they decided to analyze their pipette calibration workflow using LEAN principles. With this approach, they realized how much waste there was in their current system–sending pipettes off site for calibration–and realized they could save time, money, and labor by bringing pipette calibration in house and using the PCS.

Read the whole story to see how much money the PCS helped Sorenson save, as well as the other secondary benefits that resulted from bringing pipette calibration in-house.

Calibration for multichannel pipettes

Multichannel pipettes function in the same way as single channel pipettes, but they utilize multiple tips at the same time for measuring and dispensing equal amounts of liquid. Multichannel pipettes are ideal for high-throughput applications and are an easy way to increase productivity. Lab Report 8 discusses the use of multichannel pipettes and how you can easily scale up.

Calibrating multichannel pipettes can be an especially time-consuming task, with some labs sacrificing the ability to calibrate each individual channel for speed. With the MVS, you can turn a one-hour or more ordeal into a fast 5-minute process with simultaneous measurement of each channel on a multi-channel pipette. Based on the same robust dual-dye ratiometric photometry technology used in the PCS, the MVS brings all the advantages of the PCS to multi-channel pipette calibration.

Calibration and verification: a word on terminology

The terms “calibration” and “verification” are sometimes used interchangeably but can also have slightly different meanings depending on how your organization uses these terms. For metrology purposes, these two terms are used differently1 and, for the specific case of liquid delivery, the definitions can be summarized as follows:

Calibration (of liquid delivery devices): An operation that compares the volume indication of a pipette or automated liquid handler to a traceable measured volume.

Note that calibration does not require any adjustment of the pipette or liquid handler, which is a second independent step that needs to be followed by another calibration.

Verification (of liquid delivery devices): A pass/fail process where the systematic and random errors of a calibration are compared to tolerance limits, which need to be met in order to pass the verification. Typically, verifications are regularly scheduled events, and the pass/fail tolerance limits should be based on the laboratory’s required process tolerances.

Verifications can also be unscheduled and in response to laboratory needs. In these cases, the terms interim verification or quick check are sometimes used. Interim verifications can be performed as a precautionary measure before critical work, or if any malfunction of the pipette or liquid handler are suspected.

1) Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology (2012). International Vocabulary of Metrology – Basic and General Concepts and Associated Terms (VIM 3rd edition) JCGM 200:2012 (JCGM 200:2008 with minor corrections). Retrieved July 2, 2019 from

Customer Stories

See all the ways Artel helps big pharma, biotechs, CROs, instrument manufacturers, and diagnostics companies generate data and deliver services that they and their customers can trust.

Moving pipette calibration in-house saved a surprising amount of money and time.
Read the case study

With an MVS, XenoTech gained the confidence in their liquid handlers to miniaturize assays while maximizing instrument uptime.
Find out how

Assay accuracy improved and assay transfer was streamlined by the MVS.
Learn more

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automated liquid handling process?