Measuring and ensuring accuracy and precision of liquid delivery steps when transitioning from handheld pipettes to automated liquid handlers is a constant challenge, especially for complex assays like qPCR and next-generation sequencing. These assays often require several automation steps and utilize complex solutions (e.g., PCR master mix) that may pipette very differently than aqueous solutions.
Determining an ideal liquid class for these complex solutions can be an arduous process made more difficult by the fluid handling properties of the solutions themselves. Unfortunately, master mix analogs rarely truly mimic the fluid properties of the test solution, thus resulting in volume inaccuracies of the automated liquid handler.
This white paper from Artel demonstrates the similarities between PCRMix QualAssure, a solution for volume verification and calibration of automated liquid handlers, with various commercially available PCR and qPCR master mixes and shows that aqueous and glycerol/water solutions are not suitable mimics for PCR master mix.
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