Liquid Handling App Note

Performance Qualification of an Automated Plate Washer

An integral, yet often overlooked, procedure with any given assay, washing steps are vital to ensure reaction quality and integrity particularly when conducted in a microtiter plate. Whether it is complete removal of unbound material within an ELISA, effective evacuation of residual wash buffer solution, or even simple removal of supernatant such as cell media just above the surface of adherent cells, effective washes can make a significant difference in the final results.

As such, automated plate washing instruments, such as the industry leading BioTek ELx405 microplate washer, have provided research facilities with the convenience to conduct plate washes seamlessly and effortlessly.

Like all automated instruments, targeted suggestions on proper care and maintenance are provided to promote long-term, error-free use of the system.

Operation and qualification performance tests are written within the ELx405 Operators Manual, describing dispense precision and evacuation efficiency tests conducted with the help of a balance and a single colorimetric, blue dye. However, results obtained through use of the balance yield the overall mean performance of the entire plate and not individual wells, making troubleshooting any problematic channel on the washer difficult to isolate. The study mentioned herein takes the advantage of the MVS technology already conducted in washable microtiter plates to efficiently and effectively perform the aforementioned tests. The MVS method of performance measurement generates more inclusive and informative output reports that present data in a well-by-well manner for ease of visualization and discovery.

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