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Automation Trainer

FDA Compliance

Event: Liquid Handling Boot Camp

Automation Trainer and Artel teach students liquid handling operations on a variety of automated liquid handlers.

Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 12:57

(Automation Trainer: Westbrook, ME) -- Automated liquid handling equipment is an increasingly essential component of life science laboratories. Used to boost the productivity and repeatability of volume transfers, automated liquid handlers must be optimized to achieve precision and accuracy in liquid delivery. To address this need, Automation Trainer, an expert in laboratory automation and training, and Artel, a supplier of liquid handling quality assurance measurement systems, will host a Liquid Handling Boot Camp on Oct. 23, at the National University Campus in San Diego. 

The seminar is a one-day hands-on interactive workshop in which students receive instruction and perform laboratory exercises on a variety of automated liquid handlers. Based on years of practical laboratory experience and teaching hundreds of students, Automation Trainer has developed a comprehensive curriculum for automated liquid handling instruction. Artel provides the ARTEL MVS Multichannel Verification System, which facilitates liquid handler adjustments and optimizations by providing performance data for each volume transfer.

Liquid Handling Boot Camp begins with an instructional, classroom-style overview of the theory and science behind automated liquid handling and a review of its industrial applications.  Students then apply that knowledge on a range of liquid handlers under the supervision of Automation Trainer experts. The hands-on portion of the seminar allows participants to experiment with numerous volume transfer tasks and mixing techniques, including dispensing liquids of varying viscosities. Issues such as dispense height, dispense speed, air gaps, and foamy head problems are also covered during the workshop.  “A major benefit of the class is that students spend time dealing with real-world issues they face in the lab on a day-to-day basis,” says Petar Stojadinovic, cofounder of Automation Trainer.

The ARTEL MVS is a critical component of the seminar, because it enables students to rapidly verify the accuracy and precision of liquid dispensing with volume statistics on a tip-by-tip and well-by-well basis. “The class is structured so that students optimize one parameter at a time in a step-wise fashion, progressively improving the performance characteristics, and therefore understanding the behavior, of the liquid handling equipment,” says Keith Albert of Artel, who assists in the class. After using the MVS to assess the performance of a liquid handler for a specific task, the students adjust the variables—understanding the effect of each—until the task is optimized.

In addition to learning how to manipulate volume transfer conditions to reach the desired accuracy and precision of the target volume, students also gain knowledge about using multiple liquid handler types. “What is unique about Liquid Handling Boot Camp is the broad perspective it offers,” says Douglas Gurevitch, cofounder of Automation Trainer. “Students gain access to a variety of liquid handlers and can learn how to better utilize the equipment they already own, or test out models to inform a purchasing decision.”

Liquid Handling Boot Camp was first conducted as a seminar at Lab Automation 2006, and since has been one of the most popular workshops at the conference. Based on this positive response, Automation Trainer and Artel offered the workshop in June 2009 at the Salem, Massachusetts, facility of Atlantic Lab Equipment.  Due to continued demand, the Boot Camp is now also being offered in October in San Diego.

Register for Liquid Handling Boot Camp.

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About The Author

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Automation Trainer

Automation Trainer offers hands-on laboratory automation training to help laboratory technicians understand the physical basis for automated liquid handling, an accepted feature of the high throughput laboratory environment. Automation Trainer works with robotic liquid handler technicians, QA-QC personnel, laboratory automation engineers, laboratory managers, and other users of automated liquid handling equipment to familiarize them with the terminology, functionality, and optimization of liquid handling operations.