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Pressure-Based Volume Measurement Technology for In-process Measurement of Microplate Contents

Modern drug discovery and research labs are utilizing complex automation systems to assist in high throughput screening of novel drug candidates. A large portion of these laboratories are using ANSI-SBS-standard 96- and 384-well plates to achieve the necessary throughput. The vol¬ume of sample transferred into and out of these plates can be critical to the success of assays or validation of procedures. One specific example is in the preparation of mother/daughter plates from compounds pulled from library stores. It is not uncommon to find a compound storage tube containing less volume than expected, which in turn may result in incorrect volumes delivered to mother plates to be used for screening tests. A simple approach to determining volumes in these prepared mother plates is needed.

Using a new pressure-based volume measurement technology, it is now possible to make direct measurements of volumes in microplates. This new measurement technology is found in the Artel SDS, which provides precise and accurate volume measurements in 96- and 384-well micro¬plates. The SDS technology determines well volume by sealing and pressurizing individual wells and is able to accurately and repeatedly measure the contents of a well without regard to the shape of the well, type of plastic, color of material, or type of sample.

Using four common plate types and a variety of precision metal cylinders of known volume, the basic operational principles of this volume measurement technology is demonstrated herein.