Analysis of small volumes for quality assurance.
Almost every biotechnological assay is volume-dependent. Errors in liquid handling lead to large deviations in the experimental results, even with small volume deviations. Errors in pipetting can have many causes. In most cases, however, the error remains undedected. Pipetting has to become more reliable.
Liquid handling equipment today is inspected at regular intervals. For this purpose, tests are usually carried out with special test liquids. However, the results of this are often not significant due to the different liquid properties for the assay liquids.
However, if some inaccuracies occur in between the control and calibration intervals, these inaccuracies can stay unnoticed or the timepoint of occurance can not be determined.
This can lead to false data, which costs time and resources.
We have developed a method using highly sensitive infrared imaging to measure the volume in a pipette tip. We do not require special pipette tips, so the method can be applied universally.
Most other methods for volume verification are requiring the use of specific dyes, which can change the chemical properties (e.g. hydrophobicity) of the liquid, and therefore the results are not tranferable to the real experiment.
The method can be used to measure the volume in manual or elertical pipettes or also in automated liquid handling instruments inline.
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