Automated liquid handlers have enabled dramatic improvements in the efficiency of screening the efficacy of potential new drug candidates, but just like a map they need to be calibrated against a universal ‘compass’.
This poster presentation describes the software system used to automate equipment performance investigations and improve monitoring of equipment. The system was designed to combine data from a variety of data sources with workflow specific logic to create a valuable data warehouse from which query and reporting tools provide actionable information about equipment performance.
In order to obtain promising HTS candidates, high quality assays are required. Assay variability is a combination of liquid handling, biological and random variability. Liquid handling variability is often underappreciated, yet can have a huge impact on the outcome of an assay.
By Bradshaw, J. - Artel, Chau, D., Cleveland, P. - V&P Scientific
A common trend observed in life science testing over the past several years has been the ever shrinking test volume. Increasing costs of chemical compounds and commonly used solvents has pushed high throughput screening labs towards lower working volumes, specifically in the nanoliter range.
Automation has certainly led to increased numbers of experiments, as compared to manual testing, particularly for pipetting operations. Because of this advantage, liquid handling robots have become commonplace even in small laboratories. However, in spite of all the advantages that something like a liquid handling robot brings to a laboratory, it also brings a different set of commonly overlooked challenges.
By Knaide, T., Bradshaw, J., Curtis, R., Ritter, G., Parshley, R.
The performance of multiple plate readers, regardless of make or model, is often not directly compared even if those readers are performing the same task(s) for the same assay(s). Unknown performance differences between plate readers introduces an additional source of error to assays at perhaps the most critical step.
Using one or more aspiration steps to remove reagents and contaminants in wells of a microplate can be an important step in some assays, such as with the removal of ethanol during some DNA purification procedures. In this case, incomplete removal of ethanol likely leads to insufficient elution of the DNA decreasing its overall yield and purity.