Automated sequencer maintenance?

Marc Goldstein magoldstNOSPAM at
Mon Aug 25 07:48:21 EST 1997


In response to your question, the amount of maintenance required for a 
sequencer depends on the brand and the level of use to which the 
instrument is put. I work for Pharmacia Biotech's sequencing group, and I 
can tell you that our ALFexpress sequencer requires only a change of 
water every 3 months, water level check before each run, and once or 
twice per year, a change of dust filters (less than $100). Laser 
alignment can be checked yearly but rarely requires adjustment. The only 
moving parts in our system are a few fans, a water pump, and a mirror 
alignment motor. None of these typically require service of any sort.

No dedicated user is needed with our instrument, since it requires just a 
few hours training.

As I work for Pharmacia I can't provide any sales information here other 
than to directly answer your questions, but please feel free to ask for 
additional information or references by direct email.


Marc A. Goldstein, Ph.D.
Pharmacia Biotech, Inc.
magoldst at

In article <34011B77.466D at>, sywang at 
> I'd like some insight concerning what is involved in having an automated
> DNA sequencers. I've done lots of manual sequencing but have never seen
> an automated sequencer in person. I hear general comments from friends
> that I would need someone dedicated to running and maintaining the
> sequencer. I've also read comments in this newsgroup that one brand or a
> particular model is easier to maintain than another. When I ask
> manufacturers they all say their sequencer is easy to use, easy to
> maintain, etc. I'm still in the dark about this.
> Can someone with experience tell me what needs to be maintained? Are
> there many mechanical parts that need to be kept clean, calibrated or
> something like that? Would I need a dedicated person to run the
> sequencer? Recommendations of particular models would also be
> appreciated.
> Thank you.
> -- 
> Shiao Y. Wang
> University of Southern Mississippi
> sywang at

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