An assay design is a particular named customization of an assay type and defines the structure and contents of data uploaded from an assay instrument. It is essentially a "map" telling LabKey server what information to request from a user and how to interpret and store the imported data and metadata.

Fields in the assay design define the contents of each individual column of uploaded assay data. Some fields are populated from the uploaded data itself, others are filled by the operator through the UI at import time.

Fields can apply to batches of runs, individual runs or individual data records. Some assay types include additional categories of fields as well. This hierarchical definition of fields simplifies assay dataset submission by applying shared metadata to the correct scope. Further, as in a dataset definition, each assay design field has optional field properties that describe the expected contents and can be used to apply validation, control default behavior, etc.

Assay Types

Every assay type includes a set of required fields, or properties and may include other optional ones. The General assay type includes by default only the minimal fields that are also required by any assay. It may be extended to describe data structures in Excel or TSV files. Instrument-specific assay types are also built in to LabKey Server and include specialized, pre-defined fields in addition to these general assay fields. Customizing an assay type that is the most similar to your specific instrument data requirement will simplify the process of designing the assay you require. The following pages describe the fields pre-defined for some of the built-in assay types:

Create an Assay Design

  • Click on New Assay Design in the Assay List Web Part.
  • Select the type of Assay (e.g., "Luminex") from the menu.
  • Select the Assay Location -- this determines where the assay design is available.
  • Click Next. You’ll now see the Assay Designer.
    • Properties and fields common to many assay types are covered in General Properties.
    • The assay-specific pages listed above describe additional fields, properties and notes for the particular assay type.
    • You can also add additional fields as needed.
  • Click Save and Close. Your new assay is now listed in the Assay List web part.

Once defined, you can import as many data files of the same format as you wish. You also have the option to copy an assay design and use that as a template for making a new design that has further customizations.

To edit, copy, delete or export an assay design, please see: Manage an Assay Design.

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