Overview

MVS® Overview

Compatible with virtually all automated liquid handling systems and multichannel handheld pipettes, the Artel MVS sits on a mobile workstation for portable, rapid calibration, verification and optimization of volume precision and accuracy.

The MVS’s unique, dual-dye photometric measurements are robust against environmental influences and traceable to SI units to enable comparison across operators, protocols, equipment, and locations. Using the Calibrator Plate, Verification Plates, and an Artel-certified Plate Reader, the MVS supports an unbroken chain of traceability to national and international standards.


Simple Volume Verification

See results in under 10 minutes

1. Dispense Solutions

  • Dispense Artel sample solution and diluent into a verification plate & mix
  • No need to prepare in-house dyes or generate a standard curve
2. Read the plate

  • MVS measures absorbance values and generates volume measurements independently in each well of the verification plate
  • No weighing is involved; environmental controls are not required
3. Verify and record performance

  • The system automatically calculates individual volume values, accuracy and precision for each tip or channel and summary statistics by well, row, and column
  • Results are saved in a secure database on the system’s portable computer using MVS Data Manager software, and reports are ready to print or export to HTML or XML formats


Key System Capabilities

  • Verifies the accuracy and precision of all automated liquid handlers (1–384 dispensing tips) and handheld multichannel pipettes
  • Measures performance over a wide volume range of 0.01 to 350 µL
  • Uses virtually all 96-well and 384-well microtiter plates
  • Dispenses into any container, including tubes, v-bottom, or non-optically clear microtiter plates
  • Measures aqueous and non-aqueous volume transfers, including dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)
  • Obtains volume statistics tip-by-tip and well-by-well
  • Provides highly accurate, standardized results, traceable to national and international standards
  • Eliminates the need for rigorous environmental controls
  • Simplifies verification and calibration—easy-to-use for technicians of any skill level

Flexible Applications

  • Assessment of step-wise dilution accuracy
  • Seamless integration with liquid handlers
  • Facilitating of scale-up and method transfer
  • Developing, troubleshooting, and validating assays, methods, and SOPs
  • Ensuring reproducibility
  • Site acceptance testing and establishing baseline performance of new equipment
  • Verifying performance before and after maintenance
  • Assessing performance of other essential liquid handling equipment such as plate shakers, plate washers, and bulk dispensers

Components

MVS® Components

Artel ELx800 NB Plate Reader

Artel ELx800 NB Plate Reader

The Artel ELx800 NB Plate Reader has been customized for the MVS by including wavelength-specific interference filters for measuring the absorbance values of Sample Solutions. The plate reader was selected for inclusion with the MVS because of its robust performance and reliability. The reader measures the absorbance values from each well of a 96-well plate at two wavelengths in approximately two minutes. A 384-well plate, in comparison, requires approximately four minutes.


Calibrator Plate

Artel Calibrator Plate

The MVS Calibrator Plate is a unique, highly sensitive device used to account for local drift in the daily performance of each MVS Plate Reader. Drift is removed from the MVS calculations by correlating the absorbance measurements from a Plate Reader with those made by the reference spectrophotometer at the Artel Laboratory, which is traceable to national and international standards. The MVS Data Manager software obtains critical information from the plate bar code concerning the absorbance of each standard as read in the reference spectrophotometer. The Calibrator Plate therefore allows any compatible Plate Reader in the field to generate standardized, traceable results at any location in the world.

The plate is composed of an aluminum frame with alignment apertures and a set of four sealed, custom-manufactured, precision cuvette absorbance standards. These solution-filled standards are manufactured to strict specifications which cover the working absorbance range of the system. This allows for more accurate wavelength-specific corrections of the plate reader for performing MVS calculations. Additionally, temperature dependencies of the Sample Solutions are accounted for by the Calibrator Plate. A pane of neutral density glass is included to monitor any unlikely change in absorbance of the solution-filled standards.


Q Instruments Bioshake 3000

Plate Shaker

The Q-Instruments Bioshake 3000 is interfaced with the MVS Portable Computer to ensure consistent mixing of the MVS Sample Solutions.

 


Bar Code Reader

Honeywell Xenon 1900

The HONEYWELL Xenon 1900 is a high-performance, hand-held 2D bar code scanner. It allows for easy recall of liquid handler devices and ease of use to enter required MVS bar code data into the Data Manager software.

 


System Software and Portable Computer

The MVS Data Manager software guides the user through the verification procedure and retrieves the data from the Plate Reader and Bar Code Reader. The data are used to determine liquid handler performance relative to set targets and pass/fail tolerance limits. Out-of-tolerance values are automatically flagged. The data output is automatically stored in a database and can be easily exported for further use in other commercially available software programs via HTML or XML formats.

Software Features

  • 21 CFR Part 11 compliance ready
  • Immediate display of pass/fail, dispense patterns via heat map, and volumetric results for each channel
  • Automatic flagging of all deliveries exceeding tolerance limits
  • Compatibility with Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit)
  • Easy data export for analysis or viewing with other programs (such as Excel)
  • Re-evaluation of data visually by modifying pass/fail criteria after analysis
  • Testing of multiple liquid delivery devices using a single plate
  • Compatibility with conventional microtiter plates when traceability is not needed
  • Support for alternative test solutions, such as Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)
  • Software validation guide for IT departments

Portable Computer:

Processor Intel P4/M or Mobile AMD Athlon XP 1GHz, minimum
Memory 128 MB, minimum
I/O Ports 2 USB connectors, minimum
Network 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11b Wireless
Storage 3 1/2 inch floppy drive
24x CD-ROM, minimum
20 GB Hard Drive, minimum
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Pro or Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit)


MVS Mobile Workstation

Mobile Workstation

The mobile workstation allows for convenient verification of equipment in multiple locations throughout your facility. The mobile workstation is equipped with two easy-to-clean shelves and an enclosed bottom shelf with locking door to secure supplies.

 

 


96-well and 384-well Verification Plates

Calibrator-Plates

Verification plates are black, optical-bottom microplates that significantly improve the overall measurement capabilities of the MVS. When a microplate lot is manufactured, a statistical sampling plan is used to pull plates from throughout the manufacturing run. Proportional dilutions for volumes that span the entire MVS volume range are made on balances calibrated with mass standards traceable to national and international standards. These dilutions are used to characterize deviations from ideal performance within the operating absorbance range of the MVS using the sampling of plates. The statistical sampling plan and test method provide measurements representative of each well in that particular plate lot.


Sample Solutions

Artel Sample Solutions

The MVS Sample Solutions are prepared by Artel and conform to rigorous performance specifications. The solutions contain two dyes: red and blue. As shown in the table below , each of the different Sample Solutions is employed to cover a designated target volume range. As the volume-of-interest decreases, the appropriate Sample Solution contains an increased concentration of red dye, thereby maintaining constant signal strength to the plate reader detector. The blue dye is used as an internal standard to measure the solution depth in every well.


Optional Accessories

Additional Key-span USB adapter (for use with user-specific laptops that do not have an RS232 serial port)

Cleaning Kit for Calibrator Plate

Specifications

MVS® Specifications

MVS System Performance
 
 
STANDARD & ADVANCED
96-Well Plate
ADVANCED
384-Well Plate
Time Requirements Less than 5 minutes Less than 10 minutes
Tip Configurations  1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 96 1, 8, 12, 16, 24, 96, 384
Traceable Volume Range 0.1000 – 350.0 μL 0.0100 – 55.00 μL
Operating Volume Range 0.0001 – 350.0 μL 0.0001 – 55.00 μL
Artel ELx800 Plate Reader
Relative Inaccuracy*

0.2000 – 350.0 μL, ± 2.0%
0.1000 – 0.1999 μL, ± 3.0%

0.0500 – 55.00μL, ± 2.5%
0.0200 – 0.0499 μL, ± 3.5%
0.0100 – 0.0199 μL, ± 5.5%
Imprecision (%CV) 0.2000 – 350.0 μL, ≤ 0.4%
0.1000 – 0.1999 μL, ≤ 0.4%
0.0500 – 55.00μL, ≤  0.8%
0.0200 – 0.0499 μL, ≤  0.8%
0.0100 – 0.0199 μL, ≤  0.9%
Operating Temperature for
Sample Solutions
15 to 30 °C 15 to 30 °C
Operating Temperature for
DMSO Sample Solutions
19 to 30 °C 19 to 30 °C
Traceability to national &
international standards using
Artel verification plates
 
Yes Yes
*Stated specifications apply when Artel Plate Readers are used.

 Artel ELx800 Plate Reader
 
Size  Depth 42 cm, Width 38 cm, Height 18 cm
Weight  8 kg
Keypad  25 keys
Display  2 X 24 alphanumeric
Light Source  Tungsten gas filled bulb
Wavelength selection Metal oxide interference filters
Center wavelengths:
520.2 nm (bandwidth at half-max = 6.2 nm)
730.5 nm (bandwidth at half-max = 10 nm)
Additional filters  405 nm, 450 nm, 490 nm
Printer output Parallel
COM port USB

Calibrator Plate
 
Storage  15 to 30 °C in protective case, out of direct light
Shelf Life  1 year
Recertification  Periodic factory recertification required

 Plate Shaker
 
Dimensions  Length 144 mm, width 99 mm, height 48.2 mm
Amplitude 2.0 mm orbital 
Shaking Speed Range  60 to 5000 rpm

 MVS Portable Computer
 
Processor  1.0 GHz, minimum
Memory  128 MB minimum 
I/O Ports  3 USB Connectors, minimum 
Network  10/100 Ethernet and 802.11b Wireless 
Storage  24x CD-ROM, minimum
20 GB Hard Drive, minimum
Operating System  Microsoft Windows® XP Professional
or Windows® 7 (32- or 64-bit)

 Mobile Workstation
 
Approximate dimensions Depth 51 cm, width 104 cm, height 97 cm
Accessories Surge protector with 12 ft. cord

 MVS Solutions
  Working volume
for 96 well
standard profile
plate (μL)
Working volume
for 384 well
standard profile
plate (μL)
Working volume
for 384 round
well low volume
plate (μL)
Working volume
for 384 well
low profile
plate (μL)
Baseline  200 55 28 20
Diluent  200 55 28 20
spacer-trans
Aqueous Solutions
Range HV  200.1 to 350.0 N/A N/A N/A
Range A  50.00 to 200.0 10.00 to 55.00 4.00 to 28.00 4.00 to 20.00
Range B  10.00 to 49.99 2.500 to 9.999 0.9500 to 3.999 0.9500 to 3.999
Range C  2.000 to 9.999 0.500 to 2.499 0.1900 to 0.9499 0.1900 to 0.9499 
Range D
Data Mgr. 3.0 & higher
Data Mgr. 2.4& lower

1.000 to 1.999
0.500 to 1.999

0.3000 to 0.4999
0.1500 to 0.4999

0.1500 to 0.1899
0.0800 to 0.1899

0.1500 to 0.1899
0.0800 to 0.1899
Range E
Data Mgr. 3.0 & higher
Data Mgr. 2.4 & lower

Less than 1.0
0.1000 to 0.4999

Less than 0.3
0.0300 to 0.1499

Less than 0.15
0.0190 to 0.0799

Less than 0.15
0.0190 to 0.0799
Stock Solution 1  0.4 to 10 0.1 to 2.5 0.05 to 1.5 0.04 to 1.5
Stock Solution 2  10 to 50 2.5 to 10 1.5 to 4 1.5 to 4
Shelf Life  All aqueous MVS Solutions are stable for 24 months from date of manufacture
Storage/ Operation  15 to 30 °C tightly capped, in closed box, out of direct light
55 28 20
Diluent  200 55 28 20
spacer-trans
DMSO Solutions
DMSO Range C 2.000 to 9.999 0.500 to 2.499 0.1900 to 0.9499 0.1900 to 0.9499 
DMSO Range D 1.000 to 1.999 0.3000 to 0.4999 0.1500 to 0.1899 0.1500 to 0.1899
DMSO Range E Less than 1.0 Less than 0.3 Less than 0.15 Less than 0.15
Shelf Life  DMSO Range C and D: 9 months from date of manufacture.
DMSO Range E: 15 months from date of manufacture.
Storage 15 to 30 °C tightly capped, in closed box, out of direct light
Operation  19 to 30 °C

Related Information

MVS® Related Information


Testimonials

“We have used several different methodologies over the years, from gravimetric readings to our own dye system. The MVS has simplified this process, and improved the quality of our results.”
- Jay Snable, Genomic Health 
 
“The MVS has made a big difference in our laboratories, both from an efficiency point of view as well as a confidence standpoint.”
- Assay Development Engineer, Life Sciences Company
 
“The MVS is effective for us because it is straightforward, standardized, and foolproof, everything from the bar coding to the fact that samples are prepped and ready to use.”
- Director of Applications, Automated Liquid Handler Manufacturer
 
“The Artel MVS is . . .  an industry standard so our customers know they are comparing apples-to-apples when they see our results.”
- Director of Applications, Pipette/Auto Equipment Manufacturer
 
“Artel’s equipment helps us to ensure that tests meet CDC requirements.”
- Microbiologist Supervisor, Public Health Laboratory
 
“The MVS was not a want but a need.  Our process requires extreme quality, and this was something we knew we needed.  The efforts and cost of troubleshooting are more than many of your systems combined.  The MVS will help keep track of our liquid handlers performance.”
- QC Laboratory, Leading Biopharmaceutical Company
 
“The fact that the MVS measures both precision and accuracy is vital to the development and implementation of our instruments. The dynamics of our industry demand that we deliver not just relevant quality but absolutely accurate and consistent data. The MVS helped us determine the quality threshold of our instruments and provided documentation of those parameters as well.”
- Director of Applications, Automated Liquid Handler Manufacturer
 
“Since we were starting a new laboratory, we wanted to get the most advanced equipment available. Artel’s equipment helps us to ensure that tests meet CDC requirements.”
- Microbiologist Supervisor, Public Health Laboratory
 
“The Artel MVS has become an important tool in my work providing automated liquid handler verification.  The MVS allows me to quickly assess the accuracy and precision of my instruments and liquid classes, and provides detailed data for my users.”
- Senior Scientist I, Biopharmaceutical Company   
 
“The Artel MVS is recognized by many of our customers and is used in their own labs. It is an industry standard so our customers know they are comparing apples-to-apples when they see our results. The MVS provides us with non-subjective data that builds credibility with our customers.”
- Director of Applications, Pipette / Auto Equipment Manufacturer

FAQs

MVS® Frequently Asked Questions


What is the MVS?

MVS stands for Multichannel Verification System. MVS is the first commercially-available volume verification system. It includes equipment, software, Sample Solutions and characterized microtiter plates to allow operators to quickly and easily verify the liquid delivery performance for automated liquid handlers and multichannel pipettes within minutes. The system is suitable for liquid volume measurements from 0.01 µL to 350 µL and dilution measurements up to 1:2048 of the starting material. The MVS is positioned on a mobile workstation to allow for portable, convenient volume verification of pipettors in multiple locations.

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How does the MVS work?

MVS employs a dual-dye, dual-wavelength, ratiometric absorbance-based measurement method for calculating the volume of sample dispensed into a well of a microtiter plate. 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 dimensionally-characterized microtiter plate wells. The plate is mixed on a microtiter plate shaker to ensure homogeneity of samples. Absorbance readings are taken in the plate reader at 520 nm and 730 nm. The system software, MVS Data Manager, creates a summary report containing the calculated dispensed volume for each dispensing tip. 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 using the MVS Data Manager software and are available for printout or export in HTML or XML format.

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Can the MVS be used to verify any liquid handler?

Artel has designed the MVS to be universally applicable to virtually any liquid handler. Currently, any 1-, 2-, 4-, 8-, 12-, 16-, 24-, 96- and 384-channel device, such as handheld pipettes or automated liquid handlers, may be checked for volume dispensing performance. These devices must be capable of dispensing into a standard 96- or 384-well microtiter plate.

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What equipment will I need to purchase?

The MVS is sold as a complete system. The system components include a customized plate reader, a unique Calibrator Plate, a microtiter plate shaker, a bar code reader, a portable computer with the MVS Data Manager system software, a mobile workstation and a user guide. On-site system installation and validation are included with an MVS purchase.

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Can I use my own microwell plate reader?

Yes, other qualified plate readers can be employed with the MVS for volume verification measurements. The Artel ELx800 NB® Plate Reader option for the MVS package has been modified by including highly-precise interference filters at wavelengths specific to the dyes in the Sample Solutions used in testing. These filters are custom manufactured for Artel to ensure performance meets our QC specifications.

In order to use other plate readers with the MVS, appropriate filters must be installed if they are required for reader function. Before being employed for MVS measurements, Artel must perform qualification tests to ensure proper plate reader performance. For more information, we are available to answer your questions from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time at 888-406-3463 x109 or you may e-mail Technical Support.

*ELx800 NB is a registered trademark for BioTek Instruments.

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Is the MVS designed to be mobile?

The MVS includes a mobile workstation for convenient verification of equipment in multiple locations throughout a laboratory or facility.

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What are the MVS performance specifications for accuracy and precision?

The MVS performance claims using the 96-well and 384-well Artel Verification Plate for accuracy and precision can be found here.  For a detailed uncertainty budget, contact Technical Support from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time at 888-406-3463 x109 or via e-mail.

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 Can the MVS be used to calibrate hand-held multichannel pipettes?

Yes, the MVS is a convenient way to verify the accuracy and precision performance of each independent channel at the same time.

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What are the advantages of the MVS over other volume verification methods?

The MVS allows for analysis of accuracy and precision for each independent dispensing channel simultaneously, which saves labor and liquid handler down-time. It is relatively immune to environmental conditions and provides measurements traceable to national and international standards. The MVS Sample Solutions are manufactured by Artel to tight tolerances using ISO-acknowledged methods. There is no need to generate standard curves. MVS 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.

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Is the MVS FDA approved?

The MVS does not require FDA approval because it is not directly associated with human samples or specimens. The MVS results are traceable to national and international standards.

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Does the MVS require regular maintenance?

The only regular maintenance required is the recertification of the MVS Calibrator Plate, which has a shelf-life of 1-year. At the one year mark, the Calibrator Plate must be shipped back to Artel for the recertification process. Aside from Calibrator Plate recertification, the only other routine maintenance required is the occasional replacement of the lamp in the Artel ELx800 NB® Plate Reader (dependent on plate reader use), which can be easily completed by the user.

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Does the MVS require a skilled technician?

No. The MVS can be easily used by technicians and scientists of any education level. Artel has done all the work for liquid handler QC to make volume verification fast, easy, and reliable. MVS Data Manager system software guides the user through the entire volume verification process and all the Sample Solutions are prepared by Artel. The user simply pours the solutions into a reservoir, dispenses the solution with the liquid handler under test, and measures the tip-by-tip volume values using the MVS. Artel performs on-site MVS training on the day the MVS is installed and our Technical Support team is available (by phone, email and/or future support visits).

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What types of laboratories use the MVS?

The MVS is used by many different types of laboratories serving many different fields. Basically, it is used wherever laboratories have liquid handlers and wherever they are serious about liquid handling quality control. Customers and laboratories using the MVS include: (1) research and development labs (including HTS, compound management, lead optimization); (2) clinical and reference labs; (3) governmental labs; (4) forensic labs; (5) manufacturers of automated liquid handlers; (6) liquid handling (or automation) engineers; (7) manufacturing labs; and (8) production support labs.

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What kind of impact does the MVS have in my laboratory?

The MVS will have a tremendous impact on liquid handler QC in any environment. Concentration of reagents in microtiter plates is volume dependent. If the right volume is not being dispensed, the reagent concentrations could be different as compared to the theoretical values. Without the right concentrations, the assay results might be called into question or could be falsely interpreted. The MVS offers an advantage for liquid handling QC so that users can trust their assay results. Here are a few of the many ways the MVS can impact a laboratory or company: (1) parallel efforts within and between labs/sites can be streamlined; (2) experimental, assay and data integrity preserved; (3) laboratory productivity, motivation, and confidence are maintained; (4) GMP/GLP compliance and documentation facilitated; (5) method transfer and setting up automated tasks to deliver the proper (correct) volume facilitated; (6) equipment downtime and costs reduced; and (7) the volume verification results are standardized meaning they can be compared regardless of make, model, manufacturer or location of the liquid handler.

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How can I learn more about the MVS?

Contact Artel toll free at 888-406-3463 and speak with one of our Sales Representatives.

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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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Software

MVS® Data Manager Software

The MVS Data Manager software guides the user through the verification procedure and retrieves the data from the Plate Reader and Bar Code Reader. The data are used to determine liquid handler performance relative to set targets and pass/fail tolerance limits. Out-of-tolerance values are automatically flagged. The data output is automatically stored in a database and can be easily exported for further use in other commercially available software programs via HTML or XML formats.

Software Features

  • 21 CFR Part 11 compliance ready
  • Immediate display of pass/fail, dispense patterns via heat map, and volumetric results for each channel
  • Automatic flagging of all deliveries exceeding tolerance limits
  • Compatibility with Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit)
  • Easy data export for analysis or viewing with other programs (such as Excel)
  • Re-evaluation of data visually by modifying pass/fail criteria after analysis
  • Testing of multiple liquid delivery devices using a single plate
  • Compatibility with conventional microtiter plates when traceability is not needed
  • Support for alternative test solutions, such as Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)
  • Software validation guide for IT departments

ArtelWare™

Used in combination with MVS Data Manager, ArtelWare provides process control charts for each instrument derived from the standardized well-by-well measurements collected by the Artel MVS. The application additionally provides a dashboard view of the calibration status of each instrument in the laboratory with a direct connection to specific calibration run data. All information is stored conveniently in the cloud to allow you to access your data from any device wherever you are.

artel-software-data-flow

Software Features

  • Dashboard view of pass/fail status of all liquid handling instruments
  • Accuracy and precision performance tracking over time
  • Statistical process control
  • Tolerance limit determination based on historical performance or the needs of your work
  • Failure avoidance using identified action limits
  • Masking data points
  • Cloud data storage

Learn more