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Electrophoresis. 2006 Oct;27(19):3735-46.

Multiplex_QA: an exploratory quality assessment tool for multiplexed electrophoretic assays.

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  • 1Analytical Chemistry Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.


Multiplex_QA is a data analysis tool for visualizing short- and long-term changes in the performance of multiplexed electrophoretic assays, particularly the commercial short tandem repeat (STR) kits used by the human forensic identity community. A number of quality metrics are calculated from the signal collected for the internal size standard included in nearly all multiplex assays. These quality metrics are related to the signal intensity, symmetry, retention, resolution, and noise of data collected by capillary electrophoresis systems. Interlocking graphical displays enable the identification of changes in the quality metrics with time, evaluation of relationships among the metrics, and detailed examination of electropherographic features of particularly interesting analyses. While primarily intended for exploring which metrics are most useful for documenting data quality, the current version of the tool is sufficiently robust for use by forensic scientists with an interest in data analysis and access to a fast desktop computer.

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