Artel Liquid Handling Service Overview

Liquid handlers continue to be integral to most laboratory processes, but the significant impact of the liquid handling component of overall assay variability is often underappreciated or ignored.

Only Artel specialists can provide expert testing using the Artel MVS® — under the real conditions in your laboratory — giving you confidence that your assay results are grounded in reliable liquid handling performance.

Consult with Artel Specialists about your liquid handling verification requirements

— you discuss how you use your liquid handlers in your everyday work and we customize the testing to cover your specific volumes, liquid types and labware.

Artel measures and verifies instrument performance for virtually any volume and any liquid handler

— using the standardized and fully traceable Artel MVS technology, accuracy and precision measurements are collected for each test volume.

Summary of measurements is provided in an auditable form

— we provide a report summarizing your liquid handler performance and providing recommendations for getting the best performance from your instrumentation.

Increase productivity and be confident in your assay results

— with Artel’s world-class expertise and liquid measurement technology, liquid handling can be removed as a source of error in your processes.

Service Options

Artel Liquid Handling Service Options

Artel provides the only completely customized liquid handling service

You know your liquid handlers need to be verified, but you don’t have the time or resources to test them as often as you or your auditors would like. You need an expert service partner with a reliable measurement method to provide you with liquid handler accuracy and precision measurements for all of the liquid handlers in your lab, regardless of make or model.

Artel offers the only completely customizable on-site liquid handler performance measurement and optimization service providing standards-compliant, NIST-traceable results from an independent, third-party expert for all instrument types.

Once the as-found performance of your liquid handlers is established, we can help you adjust the method parameters to get the very best performance from your investment and all results will be delivered in a format that best fits your quality control process.

Customized services may include:

  • Ensuring instrument and method compliance
  • Measuring performance of a variety of equipment (e.g. bulk dispensers, plate washers, mixers)
  • Testing the available consumables choices
  • Testing results at the assay level by mimicking the same parameters used in an actual experiment
  • Site acceptance testing of new equipment
  • Thorough performance validation after repair or maintenance
  • Side-by-side comparison between methods and devices
  • Development and evaluation of new volume transfer strategies: Reverse mode pipetting vs. forward mode; air gap use; tip touches; dispense rates/heights;  wet dispense vs. dry dispense


Artel Liquid Handling Service Frequently Asked Questions

What is Artel Liquid Handling Service?

Artel Liquid Handling Service provides on-site performance assessment for a broad range of automated liquid handling systems. This unique, customizable service brings Artel expertise into your laboratory, where the performance of your liquid handlers can be measured, evaluated and optimized.

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What kind of impact can Artel Liquid Handling Service have in my laboratory?

Artel Liquid Handling Service will benefit liquid handling quality in any environment. Concentration of reagents in microplates is volume dependent. If the correct volume is not dispensed, the reagent concentrations could differ from the required theoretical values. Without correct concentrations, assay results can be called into question or falsely interpreted. Artel Liquid Handling Service strengthens liquid handling quality – so that users can trust their assay results.

Here are a few of the many ways Artel Liquid Handling Service can benefit you:

  • Parallel liquid handler performance measurement efforts within and between labs/sites can be streamlined;
  • experimental, assay and data integrity are preserved;
  • laboratory productivity, motivation, and confidence are maintained;
  • GMP/GLP compliance and documentation are facilitated;
  • method transfer and setting up automated tasks to deliver the proper (correct) volume are facilitated;
  • equipment downtime and costs are reduced; and
  • volume verification results are standardized; they can be compared regardless of make, model, manufacturer or location of the liquid handler.

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What are the advantages of Artel Liquid Handling Service?

Artel Liquid Handling Service is faster than other services, provides you with expert Artel scientists and employs Artel technology – the acknowledged global measurement standard. Artel technology provides NIST-traceable volume measurements, whereby the volume transfer tests can be directly compared regardless of liquid handler make, model, location, or operator. Test reports, which include well-by-well and tip-by-tip measured volumes, are supplied during or immediately following the service event. Where applicable or required, summary tables and trending plots can be created. The test reports are available in HTML format and can be opened in Explorer, Excel or other spreadsheet programs. Alternatively, XML-tagged test reports can be fed into your LIMS.

Our mission is to help you meet your quality, productivity and compliance requirements. As the volume measurement experts, our professional, efficient, organized service team will communicate directly with you before, during and after the service event.

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What is included in an Artel Liquid Handling Service visit?

Your service plan will be customized to meet your laboratory’s needs, and can cover such areas as:

  • liquid handler tip configuration(s), target volumes of interest, plate type, number of replicates per tip, etc.;
  • evaluating pipetting techniques, methodologies or even different tip types (forward vs. reverse mode; air gap usage; wet vs. dry dispensing; sequential dispense vs. single dispense, etc.);
  • directly comparing multiple liquid handlers under the same test conditions;
  • liquid handler performance for low-volume DMSO transfers;
  • facilitating method transfer from one liquid handler to another;
  • determining the best liquid handler for a specific task;
  • and many others.

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How is liquid handler performance verified?

Artel Liquid Handling Service uses the Artel MVS to measure volumes of solution delivered by the instruments under test. The MVS employs a dual-dye, ratiometric absorbance-based measurement method for calculating the volume of sample dispensed into a well of a microplate. The results of the verification tests are traceable to national and international standards.

Specially formulated sample solutions containing dyes of known concentration are dispensed into Artel verification plates – specialized microplates with dimensionally-characterized wells. Plates are mixed on a plate shaker to ensure homogeneity of samples. Absorbance readings are taken in the plate reader at 520 nm and 730 nm and a summary report containing the calculated dispensed volume for each dispensing tip is created.

Accuracy and precision of the dispensed volumes are measured against user-defined tolerance limits and failing values are flagged in the report. Summary statistics by well, by row, and by column are also contained in the summary report. Results are saved in a secured database and are available for printout or export in HTML or XML format.

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What are the advantages of Artel measurement technology over other volume verification methods?

Artel technology provides analysis of accuracy and precision for each independent dispensing channel simultaneously, which saves labor and liquid handler down-time. The technology is virtually immune to environmental conditions and provides traceable measurements. The sample solutions are manufactured by Artel to precise tolerances using ISO-acknowledged methods. There is no need to generate standard curves. The technology provides standardized results making it possible to compare instrument performance between makes and models of liquid handlers as well as between locations, i.e., 2 µL dispensed by liquid handler X on Tuesday in Boston can be directly compared to 2 µL dispensed by liquid handler Y on Friday in San Diego. Compared to other methods, more testing events can be conducted in a shorter period of time with standardized, accurate results.

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Can Artel Liquid Handling Service be used to verify any liquid handler?

Yes, Artel can assess, calibrate, optimize and document the performance of virtually any liquid handler that is capable of dispensing into a standard 96- or 384-well microplate.

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Will I need to allocate any of my own personnel or labware resources?

A person from your laboratory, who is proficient in the operation of each liquid handler being tested, will be required to work with the Artel applications specialist during the service visit. Disposable tips, system fluid, pumps, source reservoirs, and other labware required for the specific liquid handler, must be supplied by your laboratory. Artel provides all testing solutions and microplates required.

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What will I need to purchase?

Artel Liquid Handling Service is available in 8-hour, daily increments. Costs to you include:

  • the per day charge, plus travel and living costs for the Artel applications specialist, and
  • the time required for your automation-proficient technician to work with the Artel applications specialist for the duration of the service visit.

At the conclusion of the service event, Artel will provide a complete, customized summary of the testing which can include, at your option, summary tables and analysis in hard-copy or electronic form. Additionally, at your request, we can review the overall testing results with your key stakeholders.

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How many liquid handlers can be tested in one day?

This depends on your lab’s needs, and your specific goals. For instance, your prime concern may be well-characterized, scheduled performance verification for regulatory compliance. On the other hand, you may be engaged in a complex and critical method transfer that you would like to optimize. With your primary requirement as a framework, the number of liquid handlers that can be processed is then dependent on:

  • the length of time required to execute the liquid handler method for the test solution and diluent buffer additions;
  • the number of methods/robots to test;
  • the amount of replicate testing events required;
  • time required to fix/optimize a method/robot; and
  • any unexpected events that may affect the testing process.

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Can I schedule Artel to come periodically to verify the performance of my liquid handler(s)?

Yes, Artel Liquid Handling Service can be purchased one day at a time or, alternatively, can be contracted for periodic frequencies (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) to satisfy your liquid handling quality requirements.

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What are the specifications for accuracy and precision of the measurements?

The Artel technology performance claims may be viewed here. For a detailed uncertainty budget, please contact Technical Support.

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Can an Artel Liquid Handling Service calibrate multichannel pipettes?

Many quality-minded labs use the Artel MVS for calibration of their multichannel pipettes. However, Artel does not offer a service for calibration of these instruments at this time.

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Is the measurement technology FDA approved?

The technology is not subject to FDA approval because it is not directly associated with human samples or specimens. However, all measurement results are traceable to national and international standards.

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Why is liquid handling quality assurance important?

Superior liquid handling quality assurance leads to superior assay data. Read more about the importance of liquid handling quality assurance.

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