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Good News About the ANSI/SLAS Microplate Standards: Reaffirmed!

Our complement of five ANSI/SLAS Microplate Standards have been reaffirmed by the SLAS Microplate Standards Advisory Committee in compliance with the process and requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system that oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector. These standards are an outstanding example of how our Society serves as an important and officially recognized voice of authority in life sciences discovery and technology. 

By Scott Atkin

This comprehensive and very detailed reaffirmation process is conducted every five years. In addition to ANSI’s scrutiny of standards, the institute also is responsible for assessing and accrediting the competence of the organizations that determine conformance to standards, which in the case of microplates is SLAS. Organizations are required to successfully complete reaccreditation every five years and SLAS did so in 2015, meeting or exceeding all of ANSI’s Essential Requirements.

SLAS has a committee of committed volunteers who represent the points-of-view of manufacturers of microplates, manufacturers of instruments that use microplates, industrial and academic users of microplates and others who may have interest in the topic. Known as the SLAS Microplate Standards Advisory Committee, its members work together to carefully reassess the technical accuracy and appropriateness of the existing ANSI/SLAS Microplate Standards, while ensuring that SLAS operates in full compliance with ANSI Essential Requirements.

Currently chaired by long-time committee member and SLAS Fellow John Thomas Bradshaw (ARTEL), the SLAS Microplate Standards Advisory Committee successfully completed this year’s reaffirmation process with the thoughtful input of members Joshua Bittker (Broad Institute), Amer El-Hage (engineering consultant, Hugo Klaassen (KULeuven-CD3-CISTIM), Gunther Knebel (Greiner Bio-One), Kyle Lapham (Counsyl), Brian Loucks (Corning), Imad Mansour (NanoScreen), Joe Olechno (Labcyte LLC), Helen Plant (AstraZeneca), Antonio Romaguera (Brand), Michael Shanler (Gartner), Daniel Sipes (GNF Systems) and Timothy Spicer (Scripps Research Institute).

Between reaffirmations and reaccreditations, the committee monitors technology developments and stands prepared to serve as the official conduit between the community and ANSI, elevating the concerns of those who may come to SLAS with problems they have with the microplate standards.

SLAS is committed to maintaining its leadership role and legacy of determining best practices in microplate standards. The five ANI/SLAS Microplate Standards are as follows:

ANSI SLAS 1-2004 (R2012): Footprint Dimensions

ANSI SLAS 2-2004 (R2012): Height Dimensions

ANSI SLAS 3-2004 (R2012): Bottom Outside Flange Dimensions

ANSI SLAS 4-2004 (R2012): Well Positions

ANSI SLAS 6-2012: Well Bottom Elevation

Because new ideas and approaches and practices emerge daily in life sciences discovery and technology, the SLAS Standards Initiatives Special Interest Group (SIG) also exists. Its mission is to promote standardization and interoperability of instruments and data systems in the laboratory. The group raises awareness of other community-driven standardization efforts currently underway and fosters collaboration between other prospective standards initiatives to ensure greater impact and better utilization of community resources.

If you are interested in serving on the SLAS Microplate Standards Advisory Committee or joining the SLAS Standards Initiatives SIG, please contact Mary Geismann.

Editor’s Footnote:  Learn more about SLAS President Scott Atkin.

August 25, 2017