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
  • 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 800TSNB Plate Reader

Artel ELx800 NB Plate Reader

The Artel 800TSNB 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 plate shaker is interfaced with the MVS Portable Computer to ensure consistent mixing of the MVS Sample Solutions.

 


Bar Code Reader

Honeywell Xenon 1900

The high-performance, hand-held 2D bar code scanner 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.
  • Compatible with Microsoft Windows® 7 or Windows® 10.
  • Easy exporting of data for analysis or viewing with other programs.
  •  Ability to re-evaluate data visually by modifying the pass/fail criteria after analysis.
  • Test the performance of multiple liquid delivery devices using a single plate.
  • Ability to use popular conventional microtiter plates when traceability is not a factor.
  • Ability to verify and optimize a volume dispensing instrument using specific test solutions such as Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

Minimum Requirements for Portable Computer:

  • x86 Processor: 1.0 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 1 GB
  • I/O Ports: 3 USB Connectors
  • Network: 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11b Wireless
  • Storage: 20 GB of hard drive space
  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows® 7 or Windows® 10

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

System Performance    
Standard & Advanced Editions
96-Well Verification Plate
Advanced Edition Only
384-Well Verification Plate
Time Requirements < 5 minutes < 10 minutes
Tip Configurations  1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 96 1, 8, 12, 16, 24, 96, and 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 800TSNB Plate Reader
Uncertainty (Inaccuracy)**

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

0.0500 – 55.00 μL, ± 2.5%
0.0200 – 0.0499 μL, ± 3.5%
0.0100 – 0.0199 μL, ± 5.5%
Random Error (Imprecision)** 0.2000 – 350.0 μL, ≤ 0.4%
0.1000 – 0.1999 μL, ≤ 0.4%
0.0500 – 55.00 μL, ≤  0.8%
0.0200 – 0.0499 μL, ≤  0.8%
0.0100 – 0.0199 μL, ≤  0.9%
Operating Temperature for Aqueous
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
* Measurement of volumes outside of the traceable volume ranges are not traceable to the national and international standards and no declarations of relative inaccuracy and imprecision are made.
** Stated specifications apply when Artel Plate Readers are used.

Performance Specification Definitions    
  • When each well in an MVS Verification Plate is uniformly1 filled with a known2 volume of MVS Sample Solution and measured with an Artel MVS Plate Reader, each individual well measurement will be within the stated MVS inaccuracy specification at a statistical confidence of 95% or better.3
  • The CV across the full plate (96 or 384 individual results) will also be within the stated imprecision specification at a statistical confidence of 95% or better.4
  1. When verifying the precision performance specification of the MVS, the liquid handler used to dispense into the MVS Verification Plates must be capable of repeatable volume delivery with a CV and tip-to-tip variability at least 3 times smaller than the MVS imprecision specification.
  2. When verifying the accuracy performance specification of the MVS, the liquid handler used to dispense into the MVS Verification Plates must have a demonstrated accuracy (expanded uncertainty at k=2) at least 3 times smaller than the MVS accuracy specification.
  3. The number of wells in a single plate, or in a collection of multiple plates, showing results outside of the MVS inaccuracy specification will be less than 5% of the total wells measured.
  4. The probability that a plate dispensed in this way will show a CV greater than the imprecision specification is less than 5%, or one plate in 20.

 Artel 800TSNB Plate Reader  
Size  Depth 41.9 cm, Width 38.1 cm, Height 17.8 cm
Weight  9.97 kg
Display  Touch screen
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
USB COM port USB

MVS Titer Plate Shaker  
Dimensions  Length 142 mm, Width 99 mm, Height 48.2 mm
Amplitude 2.0 mm orbital 
Shaking Speed Range  200 to 3000 rpm

MVS Calibrator Plate  
Storage 15 to 30 °C in protective case, out of direct light
Recalibration 12 month factory recalibration required
Shelf Life  1 year

MVS Bar Code Reader
Dimensions (LxWxH)  104 x 71 x 160 mm
Weight  147 g

MVS Computer (minimum requirements)
x86 Processor  1.0 GHz
Memory  1 GB
I/O Ports  3 USB Connectors
Network  10/100 Ethernet and 802.11b Wireless
Storage  20 GB of hard drive space
Operating System  Windows® 7 or Windows® 10

MVS Mobile Workstation  
Weight 147 lbs.
Dimensions Width 34 inches, Depth 20 inches, Height 40 inches
Accessories Surge protector with 12 ft. cord

MVS Verification Plates
QTY per sleeve  25
Shelf Life  96-well: 60 months
384-well: 60 months
Material  Black, Polystyrene, optical bottom

MVS Volume Ranges
  96 well standard profile plate 384 well for standard profile plate
spacer-trans
Aqueous Solutions
Range HV Sample Solution  200.1 – 350.0 μL N/A
Range A Sample Solution  50.00 – 200.0 μL 10.00 – 55.00 μL
Range B Sample Solution  10.00 – 49.99 μL 2.500 – 9.999 μL
Range C Sample Solution  2.000 – 9.999 μL 0.500 – 2.499 μL
Range D Sample Solution  1.000 – 1.999 μL 0.3000 – 0.4999 μL
Range E Sample Solution
Traceable Volume Range
Non-traceable Volume Range

0.1000 – 0.9999 μL
0.0001 – 0.0999 μL

0.0100 – 0.2999 μL
0.0001 – 0.0099 μL
Stock Solution 1  0.4 – 9.9 μL 0.1 – 2.49 μL
Stock Solution 2  10 – 49.9 μL 2.5 – 9.9 μL
Shelf Life  24 months from date of manufacture.
Storage/ Operation  15 – 30 °C tightly capped, in closed box, out of direct light.
spacer-trans
DMSO Solutions
DMSO Range C Solution 2.000 – 9.999 μL 0.500 – 2.499 μL
DMSO Range D Solution 1.000 – 1.999 μL 0.3000 – 0.4999 μL
DMSO Range E Sample Solution
Traceable Volume Range
Non-traceable Volume Range

0.1000 – 0.9999 μL
0.0001 – 0.0999 μL

0.0100 – 0.2999 μL
0.0001 – 0.0099 μL
DMSO Range E Sample Solution
Traceable Volume Range
Non-traceable Volume Range

0.1000 – 0.9999 μL
0.0001 – 0.0999 μL

0.0100 – 0.2999 μL
0.0001 – 0.0099 μL
Shelf Life  24 months from date of manufacture.
Storage 15 – 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?

The MVS Multichannel Verification System 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 MVS also allows for multichannel pipette operators to be assessed for pipetting competency and then trained accordingly. 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 is included with the purchase of an MVS?

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 also included with an MVS purchase.

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Can I use my own microwell plate reader?

No, we do not support the use of other plate readers at this time.

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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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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. Please refer to the MVS White Paper for more information.

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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 Plate Reader (dependent on plate reader used), 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;
  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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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.
  • Compatible with Microsoft Windows® 7 or Windows® 10.
  • Easy exporting of data for analysis or viewing with other programs.
  • Ability to re-evaluate data visually by modifying the pass/fail criteria after analysis.
  • Test the performance of multiple liquid delivery devices using a single plate.
  • Ability to use popular conventional microtiter plates when traceability is not a factor.
  • Ability to verify and optimize a volume dispensing instrument using specific test solutions such as Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).