Product News: ANSI Accredits New SLAS Microplate Standard for Well Bottom Elevation

10 Oct 2012

The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) has announced that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently finalized accreditation of SLAS Microplate Standard 6 for Well Bottom Elevation. Known as ANSI/SLAS 6-2012, this new standard defines terminology and measurement protocols for well bottom elevation (WBE) and well bottom elevation variation (WBEV), and outlines the conditions required for making necessary measurements. Deviations from these conditions are permissible, provided that the methods used give results in substantial agreement with the methods described in the standard.

“This achievement represents years of painstaking work by the Microplate Standards Special Interest Group (SIG),” says SLAS President Dave Dorsett. “The group was organized to recommend, develop and maintain standards to facilitate automated processing of microplates on behalf of and for acceptance by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).”

“ANSI/SLAS 6-2012 demonstrates our Society’s commitment to scientific leadership. I am greatly appreciative of the effort that our volunteers invested in the development of these standards. It could not have happened without their dedication and perseverance,” says Amer El-Hage, co-chair of the SLAS Microplate Standards SIG.

In the 1990s, a need for clearly defined dimensional standards for microtiter plates (or microplates) was identified. At the time, microplates were becoming essential tools for drug discovery research. The concept of a microplate was similar among manufacturers, but the dimensions and nomenclatures for microplates were different and confusing for everyone involved – microplate vendors, instrumentation companies and end-users. Differences often caused problems when microplates were used in robotics and automated laboratory instrumentation. In 2004, the former Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS) secured accreditation for four microplate standards (ANSI/SBS 1-4 2004) to accelerate and streamline the industry. SLAS is recognized by ANSI as an official standards developing organization (SDO) and is working with ANSI to renew accreditation for these four original standards, which will then be known as ANSI/SLAS 1-4 2012.

Since 1918 when it was founded by five engineering societies and three government agencies, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has served in its capacity as administrator and coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system. Accreditation by ANSI signifies that the procedures used by the standards body in connection with the development of American National Standards meet ANSI’s essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus and due process.