Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology is facilitating significant advances in a number of areas, including molecular diagnostics, personalized medicine and forensic analysis. To produce quality results, qPCR assays require accurate and precise volume delivery, and pipette calibration is essential. With its ability to measure small liquid volumes at high accuracy and provide NIST-traceable results, the ARTEL PCS Pipette Calibration System is suited for the calibration of pipettes used for qPCR applications. The PCS is small enough to be used bench-top to help laboratories improve the quality of their qPCR assay results.
The PCS is able to verify the performance of pipettes when handling low volumes with a high degree of accuracy and precision. This capability is essential for qPCR testing, with total working volumes typically in the 2-200 microliter range. The PCS is based on ratiometric photometry, which measures the absorbance of light by two proprietary dye solutions to verify volume. The use of this photometric method increases the accuracy of the measurements and eliminates sources of error associated with the use of balances. Unlike other pipette calibration technologies, such as gravimetry, the PCS is largely unaffected by environmental conditions or vibration, and there is no need to compensate for sample evaporation.
The PCS can verify the performance of a pipette’s accuracy and precision in minutes. This feature allows qPCR-testing laboratories to conduct interim verification checks between regularly scheduled calibrations and before critical assays for stronger confidence in results. With more frequent pipette verification, laboratories can more quickly remove non-functioning pipettes to improve quality and reduce error.
The PCS’s portability allows for bench-top calibration at the site where pipettes are used, which is especially important for qPCR testing in sterile laboratories. By not removing pipettes from the sterile environment for calibration, as is required for gravimetric technologies and third-party calibration services, laboratories can avoid lengthy and costly re-sterilization processes.
The PCS produces results traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which helps regulated laboratories meet compliance standards and increases the defensibility of their data. The PCS automatically documents all volume verification results for streamlined and rigorous quality control.