Prolong the Life of Your Machine with Preventative Maintenance

Your sequencer is a lot like a car. It requires regular routine maintenance to ensure that all of the moving parts are working like they should be.  And just like a car, if you take care of your machine and perform regular maintenance, you can expect it to run properly for many years to come.

A coverage plan from SeqGen comes with one preventative maintenance visit per year; however, you can perform some of these functions yourself. To assist you, we’ve listed a few of the common problems and errors that can be avoided with preventative

Laser Alignment

Did you know that over time, the alignment of the laser on your capillary sequencer will slowly change? This is caused by the constant movement of the autosampler. You probably won’t notice it at first, but overtime you begin to see that the spatial calibration is uneven, causing plate reads to be uneven.

Another symptom you may notice is a weaker sample signal and peaks gradually sinking into the baseline. This could be caused by dust collecting on the focus lens. However, if your machine has stopped calling peaks correctly, that’s a good indicator it’s  time to give us a call.

Dirty Capillary Array

One of the most common complaints we hear from customers is they are seeing less than optimal results in their sequencing data. Most of the time we come to the conclusion that the issue is a dirty capillary array. Over time, dried and degraded polymer will collect along the walls of the capillary array. This can cause adverse effects such as:

  • Loss of resolution
  • Broad or “fat” peaks
  • Delayed DNA peaks
  • Blue or yellow bands in some capillaries
  • One or two capillaries showing no peaks

This can be a scary problem to have considering that a new capillary array can cost up to $6,000, depending on your machine. But all you’ll need to restore it to pristine condition is some dilute nitric acid, and our free Array Wash Procedure

Preventative maintenance may prolong the life of your machine and give you peace of mind concerning the integrity of the data you are producing.  If you want to make sure you have all your bases covered, consider a comprehensive coverage plan offered by SeqGen. Contact us today to learn more about our service options and how we can help maximize your lab’s efficiency.


Written by Susan Henry

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