Q: What instrument features can I add later as an upgrade?
A: Absorbance and fluorescence intensity are included with every instrument. The measurement technologies of the LAT module (Luminescence, AlphaScreen and Time-Resolved Fluorescence) can be upgraded. The only limitation is that the LAT module cannot exist without luminescence technology. Thus, if the researcher wants AlphaScreen and/or time-resolved fluorescence, they will also get luminescence. The dispensers and integrated gas module are also upgradable. Bottom reading, however, must be included in the original order, and cannot be added later.
Q: For what measurement technologies do I need to purchase and install filters?
A: In time-resolved fluorescence and AlphaScreen the instrument requires filters for wavelength selection. The excitation filters for both technologies are built-in, but the emission filters must be ordered and installed separately. When you install filters to the LAT module, you have to enter the filter information to the instrument via SkanIt software. Absorbance and fluorescence intensity technologies use monochromators for wavelength selection, thus filters are not necessary. Most of the luminescence assays do not require any wavelength selection. But if required, filters can be installed.
Q: What measurement technologies allow spectral scanning?
A: The instrument includes monochromators to allow spectral scanning in all measurement technologies except AlphaScreen. The instrument must have the corresponding measurement technology onboard to be able to run spectral scanning.
Q: How do I choose the right plate adapter?
A: The plate adapter lifts the microplate to optimal height for measurement and dispensing. Choose the adapter based on the plate format (96-well, 384-well, etc.) and whether or not the plates have lids. When starting a measurement, the SkanIt software checks that the installed plate adapter is compatible with the plate template selected, and informs you if there’s a mismatch.
Q: When should I use bottom reading?
A: Bottom reading should be used when measuring adherent cells that are at the bottom of the well. From the bottom side the excitation light can be focused more accurately on the cell layer. Bottom reading is available only in fluorescence intensity measurements with an instrument that has the bottom reading option.
Q: There are two dispensing positions in the instrument: F and L. How do I choose the right one?
A: Either position can be used with either dispenser. If the assay reaction is fast and the signal changes quickly after triggering the reaction by dispensing, select the dispensing position which points at the measurement position of the technology you will measure. If you use a dispensing position that does not point at the correct measurement position, the instrument makes an extra plate movement between dispensing and measurement. See Varioskan LUX user manual for more information on which measurement technologies match with dispensing position F or position L.
Q: Varioskan LUX is able to dispense and measure simultaneously. In what type of assay is this important?
A: It is important in fast kinetic assays where the peak signal is reached soon after reaction triggering. If the peak signal is reached in less than a second after dispensing, for example, simultaneous dispensing and measurement allows you to follow the signal progress from the very start of the reaction without losing the signal peak.
Q: How does Varioskan LUX incubator prevent condensation from forming on the microplate lid, and why is it important?
A: Condensation on the microplate lid affects measurement results. In the Varioskan LUX, the microplate is surrounded by temperature-controlled heaters. The upper element is slightly warmer than the lower element to avoid condensation on the plate lid.
Q: Can I install SkanIt software on several computers?
A: Yes, there is no limit on software licenses within the same customer organization. Measurement session files can even be exported and imported between SkanIt software installed on different computers, allowing researchers to work with the software outside the laboratory.
Q: How does the Drug Discovery Edition of SkanIt software differ from the Research Edition?
A: The Drug Discovery Edition offers features required for compliancy with FDA 21 CFR Part 11, a must for the pharma industry. Those special software features provide an audit trail, require an electronic signature, and a prompt to provide a reason for any changes made. Apart from these three special features, the Research Edition and the Drug Discovery Edition have the same features and functionalities.
Q: If I abort the run before it’s finished, does the measurement data disappear?
A: No, the data up to the time of abortion is saved. SkanIt software saves the measurement data automatically and constantly to the software database during a run. If a long kinetic measurement is aborted either unexpectedly or intentionally, the data does not disappear.