A critical process, transforming a sample into a compatible format for analytical procedures like PCR, NGS, and cell-based assays.
Assay Sample Prep can involve extraction/purification, concentration/dilution, or modification, depending on the assay requirements. Despite its importance, it poses significant challenges such as maintaining reproducibility, avoiding contamination, and managing labor-intensive workflows – particularly when performed manually. Automated systems can address these issues, offering improved accuracy, enhanced reproducibility, time and labor savings, and reduced contamination risk.
Manual normalization, normalization using a liquid handling system, and normalization using a microplate reader are some methods employed for this process. However, automated systems are increasingly preferred due to their higher accuracy, reproducibility, and efficiency, as well as their reduced risk of contamination.
Assay sample preparation is fundamental to many workflows in molecular biology and proteomics:
The OT-2 is a bench-top liquid handler designed to be accessible and flexible enough to automate many common applications.
Opentrons helps you automate assay sample prep with open-source protocols for the OT-2 and Opentrons Flex
Assay sample preparation is often considered the most challenging part of the experimental process. It requires a high level of precision and accuracy to ensure reproducibility. It is also where the sample is most vulnerable to contamination or degradation, which could lead to inaccurate results. Furthermore, the optimal sample preparation protocol can vary widely depending on the type of sample and the specific assay to be performed.
Automation of assay sample preparation can be achieved with robotic liquid handling systems. These systems can accurately dispense precise volumes, mix reagents, and even perform operations such as heating or cooling. The use of such systems can reduce human error, increase reproducibility, and significantly speed up the sample preparation process.