Why Is My Assay Failing?


Assays can produce unexpected or failing results for a multitude of reasons. Variability may be introduced at any point within the assay process. Some potential sources of error could include: 1) incorrect, contaminated or expired reagents, 2) technician error, 3) equipment error, etc. Even simple assays include multiple steps where errors could be introduced, which greatly increases the difficulty of finding the source of the error. Therefore, determining the cause of unexpected results commonly presents a time consuming and expensive task for laboratory researchers.

One approach to reducing assay failure is to ensure equipment errors are removed or at least reduced. This may be accomplished by optimizing the equipment employed prior to running the assay. Traditionally, tools used to optimize the performance of this equipment have been varied, not standardized and not traceable. In this poster presentation, the use of the Artel MVS® Multichannel Verification System and PCS® Pipette Calibration System will be discussed for optimization of the laboratory equipment used at each step of any given assay including plate washers, plate mixers, large volume liquid dispensers, manual pipettes and automated liquid handlers.

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