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Frequently Asked Questions


General

We currently provide:

(I) Biodegradability Prediction via ArophaAI
(II) High-Throughput Screening
(III) Biodegradability Certification

As most of the tests are fully standardized following the standard guidelines, the turnaround time is usually 1-2 weeks plus the sample incubation time (4 weeks for most of the biodegradability test methods).

Please visit our Pricing page to have a better idea of the cost of different services.

Yes, we established comprehensive measures to comply with the Good Laboratory Practice, such as Quality Assurance Unit and SOPs.

First, we perform most of our tests with GLP compliance as mentioned above, which largely guarantees the quality of the data. Second, our scientists at Aropha possess at least M.S. degrees with extensive laboratory experience and comprehensive training, which make them well-qualified for such tests.

Because most of the tests are fully standardized following well-documented guidelines, the procedures, times, and efforts are mostly the same for testing different samples. Although some samples may require special handling compared to others, such additional efforts are not the reasons for asking for extras. By showing standardized prices, we want our customers to have a clear idea of the cost they would expect to work with us.

We highly welcome long-term collaborations for high-volume sample screening. Depending on your volume, we can setup different payment formats instead following the standard prices listed on our website (e.g., by an annual contract). 


Method selection

Please read our Method Selection Guide to have an idea of what methods might be appropriate for your sample. If you are still not sure, talk to our scientists at Aropha. We will help you decide the best one for your application.

It is common that a sample can be handled by different methods. However, it might be hard to choose the best one to work with. Please talk to our scientists at Aropha so that we can select the best one for you (e.g., considering the popularity).

Yes, you can run multiple methods for the same sample. However, each method would have its own cost, so the total cost would be their combination.

We normally do not perform toxicity control for a sample unless it is requested by our customers. The toxicity control is equivalent to a separate sample so the cost would be doubled.


Samples and shipping

Normally 10 mL or grams would be enough. 

Yes, we prefer 20 mL scintillation vials, as shown below.

Yes! Before shipping your samples, please always fill out the form "Sample_Shipping_Form" and send it to your contact at Aropha. Also remember to include it in your package.

We mainly need the solubility, volatility, theoretical oxygen demand (ThOD), and/or organic carbon content information. Please check each method to see what is required. When you fill out the form "Sample_Shipping_Form", you will also be asked to fill out such information. 

Yes, we provide COD analysis in our lab at $50 per sample. It does not increase the total turnaround time of the subsequent biodegradability test.

Yes, but it might be subcontracted depending on the property of the samples. The cost is $110 per sample.
If it is analyzed in our lab, there is no additional time required. If it is subcontracted, there will be an additional turnaround time of 10 days. This 10-day period will be added to the turnaround time of subsequent biodegradability test mentioned above (1-2 weeks plus the sample incubation time).

No, we currently do not provide such a service. You may want to find a third party lab for such analysis.

No, COD/C% analysis does not consume a lot of samples. Therefore, normally 10 mL or grams would be enough. 

Please email your contact at Aropha an SDS whenever you can. If an SDS is not available, write down the special handling instructions in the form "Sample_Shipping_Form" and/or email them to your contact at Aropha.

If your samples are water soluble, we prefer them in aqueous form. This is especially important for samples that are water soluble, but take extra effort (e.g., heating, ultrasonication, and mixing overnight) and/or time. This is because you know your samples much better than we do. Sending dissolved samples can help us avoid unnecessary exploration, and also ensure that the samples are fully dissolved before starting the test (especially for methods that have difficulties in handling insoluble samples such as OECD 301D and 306).

Simply talk to your contact at Aropha regarding this back shipment.


Tests

A test generally contains:
(1) a reference group
(2) a blank control group
(3) a test substance group
The reference group is used to check whether the system is working properly or not, containing a chemical or material that is known to be biodegradable, such as sodium acetate or sodium benzoate. The blank control group measures the background data by the inoculum and test medium. The test substance group contains the target sample that is to be tested.

It is normal to get negative biodegradation results for a sample, especially when this sample is toxic to the microorganisms. This is because the biodegradation percentage calculation involves the subtraction of the test substance data by the blank control data. If the microorganism activity is reduced in the test substance group compared to the blank control group, such a subtraction may result in a negative value, which leads to a negative biodegradation percentage.

Yes! We generally employ high-shear mixing, ultrasonication, and/or non-biodegradable and non-toxic surfactants to maximize the solubility/dispersion of the samples to improve the bio-availability and/or bio-accessibility. This can usually result in faster biodegradation.

Yes, we normally update our customers with data weekly after 2 weeks of incubation, so that our customers can have a better idea of how their samples perform and plan the next step accordingly. This is especially helpful for long-term and/or High-Throughput Screening customers.

Yes, many of the standard guidelines allow the extension of the study, especially for samples that get close to the pass level. However, if a sample eventually passes the threshold during the extension period, we cannot claim the ready biodegradability in the report. Instead, a full summary of the test results will be presented.


Biodegradability prediction via ArophaAI

The only information you need is the chemical structure (shown as an SMILES string). If the structure is unknown, this sample cannot be predicted.

A voucher is a number, which can be used with one SMILES string (i.e., one chemical) (the first chemical this voucher is used with). This combination (Voucher+SMILES) can be used for unlimited times under various conditions (e.g., different guidelines) with both regression and classification models.

A license is also a number, owned by users with subscriptions. Each License can be used with unlimited chemicals under unlimited conditions.

Simply talk to our sales or your contact at Aropha.

Talk to our sales or your contact at Aropha with your contact info. We will retrieve the voucher/license number for you within 24 hours.

Simply go to the predictor page and input your voucher number in the corresponding input box. Then randomly input anything in the SMILES string input box. Upon the submission of the form, the prediction result page will show you the original SMILES that was used with your voucher. Your random input information would not be used in this case. This information will only be used for a new voucher that has not been paired with any SMILES strings.

Yes, you can cancel your subscription anytime. The license will be valid until the end of the subscription period.

Yes, we are continuously improving our models and developing new models. Your old voucher/license can be used for all our models.


High-throughput screening

As most of the tests are fully standardized following the standard guidelines, the turnaround time is usually 1-2 weeks plus the sample incubation time (4 weeks for most of the biodegradability test methods).

Please visit our Pricing page to have a better idea of the cost of different services.

For High-Throughput Screening tests, you will get all of the raw data and related calculations in an Excel file, and results summary in a PowerPoint file. Formal study protocols and final reports are generally not provided. However, upon request, we can still provide a PDF summary report for the whole batch, but this summary may not be used for certification purposes.

No! We never shorten the sample incubation time unless requested by our customers.

The major difference is that formal study protocols and final reports are normally not provided for individual samples for High-Throughput Screening. Also, you need to have at least 6 samples so that the batch can be considered as High-Throughput Screening.

No! We follow exactly the same procedures to perform the tests as we would do for Certification tests. The High-Throughput Screening tests generate data with the same quality. The only things that are compromised are the study protocols and final reports, which are generally not necessary anyway for these samples.

The prices are lower because we do not need to prepare all the study protocols and final reports. More importantly, only when the sample number is equal to or larger than 6 could a batch be considered as High-Throughput Screening.

If you are in the R&D process and have a large number of samples with different chemical structures and/or compositions, the High-Throughput Screening is the right work format for you! At this stage, you are mainly interested in comparing these samples to find the best structures and/or compositions instead of looking at certifying the samples.

6

Yes, upon request, we will issue one report for all the samples in the same batch. This report mainly works as a summary, which may not qualify for certification purposes.


Certification test

As most of the tests are fully standardized following the standard guidelines, the turnaround time is usually 2 weeks plus the sample incubation time (4 weeks for most of the biodegradability test methods).

Please visit our Pricing page to have a better idea of the cost of different services.

For a biodegradability certification test, a formal study protocol and a formal final report are the two major documents you will get. Additionally, you will also have all of the raw data and related calculations in an Excel file, and results summary in a PowerPoint file.
If you have more than one samples in a batch, you will get a separate protocol and a report for each sample, but only one Excel and one Powerpoint file for all the samples.

If you have equal to or more than 5 samples in a batch, and the study protocols have not been prepared by our lab yet, you can switch from Certification test to High-Throughput Screening.


Invoice and Payment

We normally issue the invoice and ask for payment after the completion of the tests and the submission of the final report to you. The payment is due 30 days after the issuance of the invoice (Net 30).

After the completion of the tests and the submission of the final report to you, you will receive an invoice from us through the email address "quickbooks@notification.intuit.com".

By entering the invoice email sent to you through the email address "quickbooks@notification.intuit.com", you can view, pay, and download the invoice. If you use the link in this email to pay the invoice, only bank transfer is accepted at this point.

Yes! Out payment system is powered by QuickBooks, one of the most popularly used accounting software in the market. The payment on this system is highly secure.

No. We currently do not accept credit card payment.

Yes! Either wire transfer or a paper check is fine with us. You can find the banking details in the invoice emailed to you.

For international transactions, wire transfer is mainly accepted. You can find the banking details in the invoice emailed to you.

We only collect sales tax for customers in Ohio, USA. This will be shown in your invoice.


Have other questions?

Please email our sales at sales@aropha.com or your contact at Aropha. All the questions will be answered within 24 hours.