Compounds used in high throughput screening (HTS) are typically dissolved in DMSO. These solutions are stored automation-friendly racks of wells or tubes. DMSO is hygroscopic and quickly absorbs water from the atmosphere. When present in DMSO compound solutions, water can accelerate degradation and precipitation. Understanding DMSO hydration in an HTS compound library can improve storage and screening methods by managing the impact of water on compound stability. A non-destructive, acoustic method compatible with HTS has been developed to measure water content in DMSO solutions. Performance of this acoustic method was compared with an optical technique and found to be in good agreement. The accuracy and precision of acoustic measurements was shown to be under 3% over the tested range of DMSO solutions (0% to 35% water by volume) and insensitive to the presence of HTS compounds at typical storage concentrations. Time course studies of hydration for wells in 384-well and 1536-well microplates were performed. Well geometry, fluid volume, well position and atmospheric conditions were all factors in hydration rate. High rates of hydration were seen in lower-volume fills, higher-density multi-well plates and when there was a large differential between the humidity of the lab and the water content of the DMSO. For example, a 1536-well microplate filled with 2μL of 100% DMSO exposed for one hour to a laboratory environment with ∼40% relative humidity will absorb over 6% water by volume. Understanding DMSO hydration rates as well as the ability to reverse library hydration are important steps towards managing stability and availability of compound libraries.
Keywords: DMSO hydration, acoustic hydration measurement, quality control, microtiter plates
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