BioTek has been awarded U.S. Patent 8,858,718, covering the use of ultrasonic devices to check for clogged manifold tubes and to clean the manifold tubes of a microplate washer automatically. The two features are known as Verify and Ultrasonic Advantage and are available in BioTek’s 405 family of microplate washers.
Using Verify technology on the 405 washer, the user can run an automated routine to check for blockages, typically caused by protein or salt build-up in the aspirate and dispense tubes of the 405's manifold. Verify uses ultrasonic pulses to determine that the volume dispensed or aspirated per tube meets specified variation limits. Potential blockages are reported visually via the onboard touchscreen display or software or via the LHC PC software. If blockages are noted, the user can proceed to run an automated cleaning routine using the Ultrasonic Advantage trough to immerse and efficiently clean all manifold tubes. The two functions help prevent potential assay failure and equipment downtime commonly caused by blockages in the small diameter tubes of the microplate washer.