Development of a 100% DMSO Sample Solution for Liquid Handler Performance Verification

By Parshley, R., Bradshaw, J., Rodrigues, G., Albert, K., Olson, K., Rumery, D. | Poster


DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) has become one of the most important solvents used for high-throughput screening (HTS) and compound management applications due to its ability to readily dissolve a wide range of compounds. It is also the solvent of choice for the new breed of acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) liquid handlers,  developed  by  companies  such  as  Labcyte  and  EDC  Biosystems, which have revolutionized HTS and compound management.

Research by North Carolina State University’s Dr. Nathaniel Hentz has shown that the volumes dispensed during drug screening programs can have a significant effect on the results obtained by assay screens. Any error made during these deliveries affects the concentration of the drug candidate and can lead to misleading data about compound activity being generated.

Traditionally, liquid delivery performance has been measured using water, or aqueous-based test solutions. This approach gives a clear picture of how automated liquid handlers (ALH) function when water is the test solvent. The dual-dye photometric method used by the Artel MVS® Multichannel Verification System was initially developed to test the performance of liquid handling devices when dispensing aqueous-based MVS dyes that were made to mimic water.

However, it is commonly understood that this approach does not represent ALH performance when dispensing organic solutions. While an aqueous-based test can be used to predict a change in instrument performance, pipetting performance with the actual solvent to be used needs to be measured if assay variability is to be minimized.

Artel has now developed and characterized a 100% DMSO-based dye solution for use with the MVS. This poster discusses the challenges and performance capabilities of a DMSO-based dual-dye solution developed for the MVS. This new DMSO-based solution is capable of measuring dispensed volumes as small as 10 nL. Comparison of this new dye with gravimetric measurements are presented in this poster.

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