Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies
Automated Liquid Handling (ALH) & manual pipetting equipment is an increasingly essential component of life science and chemical laboratories conducting various experiments in areas of assay development, screening, sequencing, genomics, clinical, or bioanalysis demanding accurate, reproducible and efficient delivery. Used to boost the repeatability of volume transfers, ALH must be optimized to achieve accuracy.
A reproducibility study was conducted with various known methods reporting the specificity, volume range, accuracy, precision, and liquid class settings as well as other environmental parameters. A collaboration with Stanford University, Progenity, Abcam, and Calibrex has been conducted to reproduce results and report which techniques and methods found to be the best and most applicable for various volumes. Systems that were tested were the single dye, dual dye, and gravimetric. To address user needs, we have reviewed various liquid handling quality assurance measurement systems for validation, volumetric verification/calibration comparing various dye based and gravimetric methods in aqueous, DMSO, and other reagents. We look at equipment specifications, liquid classes, and volume operating ranges with statistics behind processing and evaluating results. We discuss the user needs, pains, and successes with each method and scientific market needs and regulatory obligations. We shall also look at efficiency and cost effective methods for calibrating equipment in the field for site or factory acceptance. In addition, we investigate how each satisfy user driven needs, compliance and regulatory with NIST traceability, ISO certifications, good practices, techniques, and validated methods.
Validated kits have been medically manufactured and proven to provide a low cost and time saving approach to volume verification and calibration workflows. By standardizing the process, guesswork and labor intensive procedures are removed from the process of optimizing performance of automated pipetting systems. This support of published manufacturer specifications improves data confidence that the instrument is working properly by letting the user test and calibrate their own systems on demand. In addition, a novel software platform was developed to manage and analyze data results for regulatory and compliance purposes and inventory instrument service, maintenance, and performance. Enhancement of confidence in the data results occurs due to more frequent instrumentation checks. Users always know the operation level of their instruments reducing any financial impact from erroneous results, service calls, rework, and/or downtime. Adoptions of these methodologies would streamline the use of pipetting systems for all laboratories.
Arben Koshi– Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Abcam, Cambridge, MA
Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Mr. Arben Koshi completed his degree in Biomedical Engineer from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has progressed his career in manufacturing and is currently a Senior Manufacturing Engineer at a local company in the Boston area near MIT. He is involved in manufacturing mRNA and ImmunoAssay products for the Fireplex™ platform at Abcam Inc. His role requires validation, verification, and process development using Automated Liquid Handling and Pipetting systems.