Troubleshooting automated liquid handlers
May 25, 2018
Questioning your data? Have you checked your automated liquid handler?
While many industries worry about the impending robot revolution, automation has already proven itself a tremendous value to the life science sector. In fact, as systems become more widely available, more flexible, and easier to use, automated systems—especially automated liquid handlers (ALHs)—are making their way into a wide range of labs. But as with any instrument, it’s important to understand how to properly maintain and use your ALH. To help users (novice and not-so-novice) troubleshoot their instruments and get accurate liquid transfers for robust assay data, we have created an infographic (click here to get your complimentary copy in a wall poster format for easy display in the lab).
What’s great about this infographic is that it’s not specific to a particular model of ALH. Instead the information provides guidance and some general tips and tricks on what to do when you question your data and you suspect or want to rule out the liquid transfer step. For example, you’ve made a serial dilution, but the data coming back is non-linear–could it be a problem with your ALH? If so, what are the possibilities?
Or what if you just happen to be watching your ALH at the start of the run and you notice that liquid is remaining inside the tips after a dispense step—what can you adjust?
And are you considering possible environmental effects, such as heating vent placement, drafts from windows, or humidity?
- Artel Lab Report eBook – your guide to liquid handling data quality
- Minimizing Liquid Delivery Risk: Automated Liquid Handlers as Sources of Error
- Effect of Liquid Handling Accuracy on Assay Performance
About the Author
Melinda Gold, PhD
Melinda Gold, PhD is a Product Manager at Artel where she supports product development, strategic planning and uses scientific marketing to develop sales strategies and tactics to further grow product lines to satisfy customer needs. By developing applications, market and client specific solutions, Dr. Gold works to assist customers with their challenges through training and utilization of her knowledge and expertise in liquid handling quality. Dr. Gold earned her BS from Fordham University in Computer Science and her MS and PhD from St Elisabeth University of Health and Social Sciences in Bratislava, Slovak Republic in Public Health and Molecular Biology respectively. Dr. Gold has worked as a product manager in the liquid handing field for over 8 years and has a great deal of experience with liquid handling instruments and the challenges that accompany accurate and precise liquid delivery.