Agilent BioTek Verify Technology


Unobstructed fluid paths in liquid handling instruments are critical to the optimal performance of the instrument. Microplate washers are especially susceptible to partially or fully clogged dispense and aspirate tubes from salt and protein build up, even when routine maintenance is performed. Oftentimes, blocked wells go unnoticed until the assay fails, and the data is rendered inaccurate, costing time and money. The Agilent BioTek Verify technology is a built-in module that tests the performance of washer dispense and aspiration cycles. Verify alerts users to the specific location of any suspected clog and allows the blockage to be identified and resolved before the next assay is run. The ability to check for blockages before a run is ideal not only for benchtop applications, but especially when the washer is integrated into a large automated system. Early identification of blockages can prevent significant downtime.

Verify Module

Figure 1. The Verify module is built in above the manifold as seen in the drawing. The Verify probe (seen in the close-up) sends ultrasonic waves into a microplate to determine the fluid volumes in each well following dispense and aspirate cycles.


Agilent BioTek 405 microplate washers are equipped with Verify clog detection technology. The microplate washers include a preprogrammed quality control (QC) routine for periodic testing of each individual dispense and aspiration tube function. The QC protocol fills microplate wells and confirms the fluid levels using an integrated distance sensor. Microplate wells are then aspirated, and again the fluid levels are measured to confirm that fluid has been evacuated. Results are displayed on the 405 TS screen or in the Agilent BioTek LHC software.

The 405 Touch display provides clear visual results

Figure 2. The 405 Touch display provides clear visual results; Green wells indicate passed and red wells indicate a failure. The results also show the specific step where the test has failed. In the 405 Touch display window, the wells B3, G3, and H3 failed during the aspirate step 5.

Based on the pass or fail result, the user can clean the manifold, using the Ultrasonic Advantage manifold cleaning system. Verify can be run a second time to ensure that the blockage is cleared and the washer is ready for use.

The Verify automated sensing routine can be easily run onboard the 405 TS or through LHC software for use with the 405 LS washer, or when the washer is integrated into an automated system.


Figure 3. The graph shows an initial 10 runs of Verify, with about 4% CV average. The washer is then allowed to sit idle for about 3 hrs, filled with casein protein. Verify is then run again for 5 runs, each failing with a very high % CV, indicating blockage of aspirate and dispense tubes. The 405 is cleaned using the autoclean/Ultrasonic Advantage maintenance procedure (including Tergazyme) for 1 hr. After the cleaning, Verify confirms that the average % CV is again 4% or lower over the next several runs.

Verify Benefits:

  • Automates aspirate or dispense clog detection
  • Provides clear visual pass/fail results
  • Reduced failed assay incidents caused by blockages
  • Built-in design requires no additional bench top space

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