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384 Well Pipetting Precision and Accuracy Testing Using the Sciclone Advanced Liquid Handler

Larry Simonson and Lynn Jordan
Caliper Life Sciences Inc, Applications Laboratory, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA

Introduction

Initially, work in 96 well microplates was commonly carried out using manual pipetting. As the demand for greater throughput of plate processing has grown, automated liquid handling has become a necessity for most laboratories. The most critical aspect of an automated liquid handler is to understand its performance, typically determined by precision and accuracy. At Caliper Life Sciences, precision and accuracy testing is achieved by dispensing a tartrazine solution into microplates containing water. This is referred to as a "liquid-to-liquid" dispense. The purpose of this paper is to report the performance obtained by dispensing 0.5 to 2μL dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) samples containing tartrazine into 384 well plates containing water. Precision and accuracy results are shown for this work.

Materials and Methods

Instrumentation

Testing was performed using the Sciclone Advanced Liquid Handler (ALH) and a Bulk Reagent Dispenser (Sciclone pipettor option). Absorbance was measured at 450nm using a Wallac Victor2 Multilabel Counter (PerkinElmer).

Reagents

Tartrazine (Sigma Chemical Company, Catalogue number T-0388) is dissolved in Dimethyl Sufloxide (J.T.Baker, 'PHOTREX' Reagent). A stock dispensing solution was prepared by dissolving 1.5g of tartrazine into 1L DMSO. The stock solution is for dispensing volumes of 0.5μL and 1μL. The concentration is reduced as the sample volume is increased to keep the absorbance measurement within the linear dynamic range of the detector. For the 2μL dispense testing, a 1:2 dilution is carried out on the stock solution. The tartrazine solution is dispensed into plates containing a volume
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