October 7, 2013

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
October 7, 2013

Is Your Automated Liquid Handler Working for Your Assays?

This presentation highlights the need of ensuring quality in important assays performed with automated liquid handlers. Nearly all assays performed within a laboratory are volume-dependent.
October 7, 2013

Do You Really Know What Your Robot is Doing?

Automation has certainly led to increased numbers of experiments, as compared to manual testing, particularly for pipetting operations. Because of this advantage, liquid handling robots have become commonplace even in small laboratories. However, in spite of all the advantages that something like a liquid handling robot brings to a laboratory, it also brings a different set of commonly overlooked challenges.
October 7, 2013

Do Plate Readers Agree?

The performance of multiple plate readers, regardless of make or model, is often not directly compared even if those readers are performing the same task(s) for the same assay(s). Unknown performance differences between plate readers introduces an additional source of error to assays at perhaps the most critical step.
October 7, 2013

Optimization of the TechElan TEOS Orbital Shaker

Achieving optimal mixing results, especially in all the various 384-well formats, can be an elusive goal. Artel developed a quantitative method that allows for the testing of a mixer or mixing protocol by using dual-dye photometry. To test for optimal mixing, two solutions are dispensed into a microtiter plate, which is then subjected to a predetermined mixing program.
October 7, 2013

Transferability of Pipette Calibrations

One of the most obvious ways to maintain quality in a laboratory setting is the regular calibration of instruments. Regardless of the measuring instrument, a traceable calibration is achieved by comparison to a standard. If performed outside the laboratory, then the calibration must also be “transferable”.
October 7, 2013

Is Your Liquid Handler Efficient at Removing Sample?

Using one or more aspiration steps to remove reagents and contaminants in wells of a microplate can be an important step in some assays, such as with the removal of ethanol during some DNA purification procedures. In this case, incomplete removal of ethanol likely leads to insufficient elution of the DNA decreasing its overall yield and purity.
October 7, 2013

Understanding Device Behavior, Optimizing Methods, and Uncovering Errors

Measuring and knowing the exact volumes transferred, for specific and/or routine methods, will inherently lead to confidence in the experiment, i.e., the results can be trusted. This presentation highlights the importance of monitoring, evaluating, and optimizing liquid handler performance so operators can get the most out of their liquid handlers and the associated assays.
October 7, 2013

The Cost of Liquid Handler QC – A Case Study

As with most laboratory instrumentation, automated liquid handlers should be assessed, verified and/or calibrated on a periodic basis. When considering an appropriate quality control (QC) method for the liquid handling instrumentation, one of the first questions asked is “How much does it cost to QC each system?”
October 7, 2013

Rapid Verification System for Critical Volume Transfers

Technological advancements over the past decade have led to broad implementation of automated liquid handlers. With these systems, there has been a significant movement toward high-throughput and miniaturization of microtiter plate-based assays. Because high-throughput assays performed within a microtiter plate are volume dependent, the concentrations of biological and chemical components in these assays, as well as the associated dilution protocols, are volume dependent.