Scheduling operation of an automated analytical system

  • US 5,646,049 A
  • Filed: 01/03/1994
  • Issued: 07/08/1997
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/27/1992
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A method for simultaneously performing at least two assays, said assays comprising a plurality of activities, for a plurality of liquid samples on a continuous analytical system, said method comprising the steps of:

  • combining an aliquot of a first liquid sample with at least one reagent in a first reaction container to form a first assay reaction mixture for said first liquid sample;

    combining an aliquot of a second liquid sample with at least one reagent in a second reaction container to form a second assay reaction mixture for said second liquid sample;

    incubating said first and said second assay reaction mixtures at least one time;

    performing activities associated with each assay other than said combining and said incubating on the first and second assay reaction mixtures to complete each assay, said other activities including analyzing the incubated assay reaction mixtures; and

    scheduling the steps of said combining, said incubating, and said performing activities other than said combining and said incubating associated with each of the assays according to a predetermined protocol, said protocol specifying;

    (a) what activities are to be performed for a given assay;

    (b) an order in which said activities of (a) are to be performed;

    (c) at least one incubation period between said activities of (a), said at least one incubation period comprising a nominal period of time for the performance of an incubating step between activities of (a) and a specified window of time for varying the duration of the nominal period between activities of (a) to optimize performance;

    (d) how said activities of (a) are to be performed; and

    (e) duration of said activities of (a).

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