An important source of income for the clinical diagnostic lab is the screening of patient samples for the presence of disease markers by gene expression analysis. This analysis involved transferring pre-treated patient samples from a 96-well plate source to a target PCR plate, adding the PCR master mix and then subsequently analysing the plate by real-time PCR. The lab traditionally processed around 100 plates per day and the work was all done using 12-channel pipettes. Manually filling a 96-well plate, including changing of pipette tips after every sample transfer, was acknowledged to be a time consuming task and transferring the samples often proved to be prone to error.
Looking to improve this process the lab invested in an INTEGRA 96-CHANNEL HANDHELD ELECTRONIC PIPETTE (VIAFLO 96) to both load the patient samples into the plates and then to transfer the PCR master mix to the reaction plate. As a result - the work is now done in half the time. More important to the clinical diagnostic lab are two additional improvements. Transfer mistakes from plate to plate have been eliminated and now the light-sensitive PCR master mix is only exposed to daylight for a few seconds prior to the reaction, as all plate wells can be processed at the same time. According to the lab manager, the VIAFLO 96 has increased accuracy, robustness and precision of the assay in comparison to their previous use of manual 12 channel pipettes.