Where sample management meets electronic lab notebook

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An easy way to distinguish samples from aliquots

When you aliquot a sample, it’s important to keep an accurate record of information about the sample, as distinct from the aliquots that have been created. It’s equally important to keep track of what happens to the aliquots over time, as they get taken out of and put back into the freezer, actions are performed on them, and they get used up.  To do that you need a convenient way of associating information with both the group of aliquots that came from a single sample, and each individual aliquot. This post explains how to keep track of your samples and aliquots using the simple sample management system in the electronic lab notebook eCAT.

Aliquot information

In the following screenshot, the group of six plasmid aliquots which come from a single sample have been highlighted in green.  We are going to edit information about just one of these aliquots, and have selected the ‘edit aliquot information’ icon at the top left.

When we click on the icon a box pops up, as shown in the screenshot below, and we can enter information about just this aliquot, including its name, container label, concentration and volume.  We can also make notes about this aliquot and generate a barcode label for it.

Sample information

We can also enter information that should be associated with all the aliquots in this group.  To do that, as shown in the next screenshot, we click on the ‘edit sample (set of aliquots) information’.

When we click on that icon, we are taken to the record where all the information about the sample from which the aliquots were made is kept (In the screenshot below you see just a part of that record).    The kind of  information that can be recorded in the record is specific to the particular sample type, plasmid in this case.  When we enter information into one of the fields here, this information will be kept for all the aliquots in this group.  For example if we  select ‘bovine’, when we look at the sample information for all six of the aliquots in the group, they will all show this bovine reference.

So there it is, eCAT helps you record information about individual aliquots, and information about groups of aliquots from the same sample, and it automatically keeps them separate!

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