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To learn more about Manta it is useful to understand the key concepts presented here:

    Data Acquisition

 There are two different Data Acquisition methods:


With Online Data Acquisition an instrument is physically connected to the PC. Manta is used to specify the measurement settings to use with the instrument. Manta starts and controls the readings process and displays the data on the screen as the results arrive from the instrument.


With Offline Data Acquisition Manta imports data from existing text files. Manta can automatically recognise text formats containing microplate based data and import the data with little or no user input.

Whichever method of Data Acquisition is used the acquired data is treated in the same way after Data Acquisition is completed.

    Microplate Layout
 The Microplate Layout describes the positioning of the samples on the microplates associated with the test.

The layout corresponds to how the physical microplates were or will be pipetted when the data is acquired.

The microplate layout is specified using group types and group numbers. All wells with the same sample type and group number are replicates and are considered as belonging to the same group.

For example, a Quantitative application may require a microplate layout with Standard, Blank, Unknown, Pos and Neg Control group types. There may be 8 Standard groups, 1 blank group, 1 Pos and 1 Neg Control, with the rest of the microplate filled with Unknown groups. If the assay uses duplicates then each group will occur in two wells. In this example wells A1 and A2 may be occupied by replicates of the group "Standard1".

Within Manta each group type is represented by a particular colour and each group number by a number in the well.

Manta places no restriction on the positioning of wells within the layout - replicates do not need to be adjacent. However group numbering must start at 1 and ascend sequentially.

For Unknown group types Sample IDs can be specified.


For assays running across multiple microplates, microplate layouts can be defined for microplate sequences.

The microplate layout can be modified after readings have been made if pipetting errors have been made.


  A Transform is a layer of analysis which performs an operation on input data resulting in output data. Transforms can be layered to define the analysis operations of the test.

Each transform has a number of settings used to specify the parameters of the analysis.

For example, the Factor transform takes an input matrix of endpoint data (this could be the raw measurements from the instrument) and then multiplies each endpoint value by a specified factor resulting in an output matrix of factored data.

Further transforms be created which take the output of one transform as their input.

Manta provides an extensive library of transforms to cater for even the most demanding assay requirements.

Manta includes a number of Wizards which automatically set up the required transforms for typical applications. For example, the Quantitative Wizard may setup a Blank Correction transform with Standard Curve Fit and Dilution Factor transforms to calculate concentrations of blank corrected data with an specified dilution factor for each Unknown group.

    Assay Protocol

An Assay Protocol defines all of the settings and procedures required to perform a particular type of test.

An Assay Protocol is a self contained file which specifies the Data Acquisition settings, the Microplate Layout, the Transforms (which detail the analysis), the report options and result file management.

When an Assay Protocol is run its specified procedures for acquiring and processing the data are executed. After data acquisition the analyses are calculated, the report is automatically produced and all of the results are saved to a file. The result file contains its own copy of the Assay Protocol which was used to create the results (so any changes made to the original Assay Protocol do not affect the results).

    Assay Results

ARSRunning an Assay Protocol produces the results of a test; these are the Assay Results.

Each run of an Assay Protocol is stored in its own self-contained Assay Results file.

The Assay Results file includes a copy of the Assay Protocol used to run the test, the raw and calculated data, any user interactions with the data (such as flagged wells or points), the audit and details of modifications made to the analyses.

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