Contract Laboratory Improves Liquid Handling Quality Assurance

Laboratory Challenge

For LINCO Diagnostic Services, a contract laboratory specializing in ligand binding assays, quality assurance is critical. Performing functions such as bioanalytical services and clinical trials for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, LINCO is under intense and continual scrutiny by its clients and the FDA.

PCS(3)One of the critical processes reviewed by the laboratory’s clients is its pipette calibration procedures. The laboratory must demonstrate that the results it delivers are accurate and that its equipment works to specification.

LINCO previously relied on gravimetric methods for pipette calibration, verifying volume using analytical balances and manually calculating and recording the results. However, this procedure was lengthy, tedious, and prone to human error.

It was also highly volatile, requiring a controlled environment absent of static, vibration, and temperature variations for proper function.


“We decided to incorporate the PCS® Pipette Calibration System in our laboratory to obtain higher degrees of accuracy and efficiency in our calibration procedures,” said Sheba Young, lead laboratory technician at LINCO. “We were especially impressed that the PCS was automatic.”

The PCS’s ease-of-use and speed allow LINCO to calibrate its pipettes in half the time that gravimetric methods require, and this enables more frequent calibration. And because the PCS calculates and records calibration results automatically, transcription errors are eliminated. Liquid handling instrumentation performance is instantaneously verified and supporting documentation can be printed with the touch of a button, helping LINCO prepare for client and FDA audits.

The immediacy of the PCS’s data output also allows LINCO to use it as a training tool. The pipetting technique of new hires can be tested and improved immediately with minimal disruption to the laboratory.


The PCS allows LINCO to more frequently and easily calibrate its pipettes and train its technicians. This has resulted in greater confidence in assay results, increased efficiency, and a deepening of client trust.