Product News: A New Tool for Validation and Verification in Microplate Based Liquid Handling

19 Oct 2010

The INHECO Measurement Plate (IMP) is an innovative and versatile measurement tool used in automated laboratory applications. It measures temperatures, relative humidity and shaking performance in LabAutomation products for heating, cooling and shaking of Microplates in SBS formats. Due to its cordless design it can be handled by all common grippers used with LabAutomation platforms for liquid handling. The IMP itself has the outer dimensions of a SBS-microplate with a flat bottom, so it can be used with all thermal and shaking products using this or similar disposable types.

IMP – Product Applications and Details
Temperature, relative humidity and shaking curves are important parameters to characterize the ambient condition of liquid samples in a micro well plate. When scientists define a reaction for their samples in an automated workflow, they need to know that the available heating, cooling and shaking performance is still matching the required thermal and mechanical performance. This verification process is an important QC tool in any automated liquid handling workflow, even more so in regulated applications for Clinical Research and Diagnostics.

With 10 temperature sensors located across the bottom of the plate, the IMP monitors the complete temperature information of heated and cooled surfaces of open or closed incubation products. 2 Acceleration sensors determine the shaking speed and amplitude of shaker platforms. When used in an enclosed product like an incubator, an additional sensor is measuring the relative humidity.

The IMP helps the user of a LabAutomation platform to verify the thermal and mechanical performance of all heating, cooling and shaking devices on the deck, and does this without the need of manual interaction. The measurements, documentation, analysis and storage of the results is done within minutes. This allows to run verifications on a weekly or even a daily basis, giving the user a maximum of safety about the proper operation of the thermal management part of the assay and significantly improving the quality of the experimental data.

The measurement data is stored in an internal EEPROM and can be transferred via USB or a built-in IrDA interface to an external PC for presentation and analysis. The IMP is equipped with a μSD memory card for additional data storage/transfer. The temperature and shaking data can be exported in csv format for customized evaluation or transferred to the INHECO evaluation software for analysis.

The measurement profile can be easily pre-adjusted for each run, by connecting the IMP via interface to the INHECO IMP evaluation software. Parameters like "measurement duration", "scan interval for sensors", etc. can be set and adjusted individually. The IMP can be ordered with a pre-calibration done by INHECO or with NIST / DKD calibration of the temperature and acceleration sensors. The standard IMP comes with a flat bottom contact surface and adapters for other formats, e.g. a 96 well PCR plate, are available on request.