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Split‐Plot Designs for Robotic Serial Dilution Assays

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Summary This article explores effective implementation of split‐plot designs in serial dilution bioassay using robots. We show that the shortest path for a robot to fill plate wells for a split‐plot design is equivalent to the shortest common supersequence problem in combinatorics. We develop an algorithm for finding the shortest common supersequence, provide an R implementation, and explore the distribution of the number of steps required to implement split‐plot designs for bioassay through simulation. We also show how to construct collections of split plots that can be filled in a minimal number of steps, thereby demonstrating that split‐plot designs can be implemented with nearly the same effort as strip‐plot designs. Finally, we provide guidelines for modeling data that result from these designs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Vermont, Bington, Vermont 05401, U.S.A. 2: New England Research Institutes, Inc., 9 Galen Street Watertown, Massachusetts 02472, U.S.A. 3: Precision Bioassay, 431 Pine Street, Suite 110, Bington, Vermont 05401, U.S.A.

Publication date: 01 December 2011

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