Jul 09, 2021 | 2 min read
For laboratory quality assurance, all critical tasks must be standardized, including liquid handling. Laboratory liquid handling quality assurance programs commonly focus on pipette calibration, repair, and maintenance, but rarely include protocols on verifying operator technique. Yet just as malfunctioning pipettes and automated liquid handlers can result in inaccurate delivery volumes and alter laboratory results, so too can poor pipetting skills.
Like baseball players being coached on swinging a bat and new drivers taking lessons before being able to legally operate a car, laboratory technicians must be trained on proper pipetting skills. Technique must be standardized within and across laboratories to minimize error and facilitate data comparability. Otherwise data integrity may be at risk.
Moreover, similar to automated liquid handling platforms, pipettes can fail “silently” and unpredictably meaning their failure can potentially go undetected between calibration or preventive maintenance cycles.
Proper training, assessment, and calibration accelerate assay performance and validation
Pipetting is a deceptively complex task. Ensuring all operators understand and employ proper technique, and establishing achievable tolerance limits are important to ensure data quality. Good technique also reduces the risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries.
- Proper pipetting technique and ergonomics
- How to define accuracy and precision
- How to set tolerances and calibrate pipettes
- How to facilitate assay transfer
Are your pipettes and operators delivering accurate and reproducible results every time?
Providing pipetting technique training with regular retraining and competency assessments for operators, and regular performance verification/calibration of handheld pipettes are both considered to be best practices for minimizing error and improving data quality in method validation.
Artel's PCS platform provides a fully integrated and streamlined approach to pipette calibrations, interim verifications, operator training and competency assessments, as well as results that are traceable to the SI through NIST and NPL standards. The workflow includes an easy-to-follow software interface and allows an all-digital review and approval system and allows for seamless integration into any regulated environment which uses handheld pipettes.
The PCS platform also assists laboratory managers in maintaining an audit-ready state of pipette calibration and operator training documentation, and by increasing confidence in the laboratory’s data integrity.
Download this white paper to learn more about how Artel's PCS Pipette Calibration System can help your lab meet CLIA and CAP regulatory requirements for pipette calibration and more.
Artel’s PCS employs the principle of dual-dye ratiometric photometry with proprietary dye chemistry to offer rapid, user-friendly, traceable, and robust volume measurement. This method of pipette calibration, as described in ISO 8655-7, is recognized for its precision, accuracy, and robustness of measurement.