To help laboratories improve pipetting technique and reduce laboratory error, ARTEL held a Pipetting Proficiency Training and Certification Seminar, including the industry’s first certification for multichannel pipetting technique.
All participants succeeded in measurably improving the repeatability of their pipetting. Twenty-seven technicians from biopharmaceutical, clinical and university laboratories attended.
Operator technique is a major source of pipetting error and inaccurate data, especially during use of multichannel pipettes. Compared to single-channel pipettes, multichannel devices are more prone to mechanical and operator error. Technique problems common to multichannel pipettes include incorrect rocking motions or excessive force when mounting tips, and the hand-warming that results when fingers are used to tighten tips. These and other critical issues were addressed during the training.
Participant Melissa Emberger, Associate Compound Archivist at pharmaceutical company Eisai, remarked: "There are so many variables in pipetting that I was unaware of before I took this training."
Attendees were trained using the ARTEL Method™, which includes a pre-skills assessment of pipetting technique, education about the impact of poor pipetting skills on laboratory results, hands-on technique coaching with immediate feedback, and a post training skills assessment. The ARTEL Method also includes instruction on how pipettes fail, ergonomics, and best practices for determining calibration frequencies and setting tolerances.
“Our pipetting training programs are not just simple tutorials. We employ our proven, consistent training method to educate attendees on the science behind pipettes and to teach a standardized pipetting technique,” said George Rodrigues, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Manager, ARTEL, and speaker at the seminar.
“We also provide certification using an objective measurement tool so that laboratory technicians can demonstrate proficiency to meet regulatory and internal quality requirements. At any laboratory worldwide, ARTEL certification indicates an objective, quantified and identical standard of excellence,” Rodrigues added.
To receive certification, participants must achieve superior precision and pass a written test covering class material. After this training session, attendees using single-channel pipettes improved their precision by nearly a factor of five, with the average CV falling from 1.9 percent to just 0.4 percent. Multichannel pipette users improved more than two-fold, with the average CV falling from 1.3 percent to 0.5 percent.
Pipetting performance is verified using the ARTEL MVS® (Multichannel Verification System) and PCS® (Pipette Calibration System). Providing immediate, traceable measurement of dispensed volume accuracy and precision, these systems facilitate hands-on training and supply documentation of competence. In addition, the MVS is the only system that can instantly provide an assessment of each individual channel of multichannel instruments, facilitating its use for multichannel pipetting technique training.
As a guest speaker at ARTEL’s seminar, Hans Ulrich, Director of Product Technology at Eppendorf North America, provided an overview of the mechanical function of pipettes and proper instrument repair and maintenance. "For data accuracy, it is crucial that laboratories standardize all critical tasks and minimize sources of error, and this most certainly includes pipetting technique,” said Ulrich.
ARTEL also offers training for Pipette Quality Management Certification. These two-day seminars assist laboratorians with establishing or improving their internal quality assurance programs for liquid handling devices to meet regulatory requirements.