Artel Demonstrates Latest Technology for Optimizing Automated Liquid Handlers at ELA 2011
Product News May 20, 2011
Artel, will present its MVS® (Multichannel Verification System) at European Lab Automation (booth # 28), June 30 - July 1, 2011 at the CCH - Congress Center in Hamburg, Germany.
The MVS is a rapid, user-friendly system that provides accuracy and precision data documenting the volume transfer performance of each channel of any automated liquid handler. Able to function within a volume range of 0.01 μL to 350 µL, the system provides automatic reporting of volume statistics on tip-by-tip and well-by-well basis within minutes of dispensing. It can be fully integrated into existing automated quality control protocols and implemented by a technician of any skill level.
“Over the years, the Artel MVS has become the industry standard for liquid handling quality assurance in labs across the United States and in some select labs in Europe,” said Dr. Stefan Schork, Artel Business Development Europe.
Schork continued, “The more frequently laboratories verify the performance of their automated liquid handlers, the stronger their confidence is in their assay results. The Artel MVS can help laboratories understand their automated liquid handlers, allowing them to take steps to measurably improve quality, productivity and data integrity.”
The use of automated liquid handling equipment to rapidly test and reproducibly screen thousands of compounds is an essential component to life science laboratories on a global scale. Along with an increase in use of automated liquid handlers, transferred volumes have become increasingly small and, yet, demands for the accuracy and precision of such transfers are constantly increasing.
Automated liquid handlers are generally used to increase the repeatability of volume transfers, but they are still prone to error. The Artel MVS allows laboratories to implement regular calibration programs and verification checks for volume transfer accuracy and precision to quickly identify those robotic systems that are failing or are misadjusted for the assay in question, reducing liquid handling error.
The MVS uses ratiometric photometry, a technology that measures the absorbance values of two dye solutions to calculate the dispensed volume in each well of a microtiter plate. Measurement results are traceable to the International System of Units (SI) through NIST reference standards and the system is portable and does not require rigorous environmental controls.
In addition, the MVS is compatible with 96-well and 384-well microtiter plates and can verify automated liquid handlers with 1 – 384 dispensing tips.
The photometric method is applicable for all volume measurements and is particularly successful for small volumes. In one single measurement, the MVS uses ratiometric photometry to calculate both the precision and accuracy of the transferred volume for each tip of the liquid handler.
Moreover, volume verification using the MVS can be performed by using assay specific reagents, such as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).
In contrast to the Artel MVS, other methods for verifying liquid handler performance, such as gravimetry, display limitations, including increased measurement uncertainty with decreasing volumes, and failure to provide channel-specific data without arduous operator effort.
And, while some laboratories rely on single dye methods to monitor precision, this approach neglects the importance of accuracy verification.
“Whether you are working in drug discovery, biopharmaceutical QC, clinical diagnostics, forensic analysis or any other demanding field, you need assurance that the liquid handlers used for your processes are all performing to a common, dependable standard,” added Dr. George Rodrigues, Senior Scientific Manager, Artel. “Dispensing and measuring one microliter at your lab in Frankfurt should be the same as dispensing and measuring one microliter at your lab in Berlin.”