What is needed to adapt to the changing needs of life science researchers?
Until now, life science researchers had a narrow set of expectations for automation systems. The main focus of laboratory automation providers has been to develop liquid handling systems for high-throughput workflows processing very large samples numbers, primarily in screening laboratories. In this model all samples go through the same protocol, usually confined to a small number of simple steps, such as serial dilutions or simple plate-to-plate liquid transfers. While effective in these instances, the changing needs of life science research caused scientists to rethink automation and expect more capabilities and easier access.
Researchers continue to want high throughput, but they also want to improve data quality and translate it into shortened research timelines and reduced costs. Driven by the need to produce high-quality data in a high-throughput environment, researchers look to reduce manual intervention and automate workflows from sample preparation phase through data analysis.
Highly flexible systems that facilitate integration of multistep processes and extend automation to more steps in the workflow can satisfy this new expectation. Industry responded to this need with recent introductions that make it possible to extend the use of automation to a wide range of life science assays and workflow steps, increasing access and allowing laboratory personnel to craft their own flexible automation solutions. Workflows can now benefit from flexibility, modularity, and integration so that a finite set of well-designed tools can be linked together by a broader group of laboratory personnel in order to tackle complex, multistep processes.
The benefit of introducing greater flexibility is very apparent in some of the most common laboratory applications. For example, speeding up sample preparation for next-generation sequencing and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry allows scientists and laboratory personnel to employ sensitive and sophisticated techniques on medium to large sample numbers, while maintaining the highest levels of data integrity. Some factors driving this trend are the need to gain information earlier in the drug discovery process in order to reduce costs. It is a great advantage to run primary and secondary assays in parallel to shorten the overall timeline and reduce risks when choosing candidate compounds to pursue in later development stages. As a result, it is possible to advance candidates based on broader criteria, and thus increase the likelihood of success down the road. Beyond raising throughput in these instances, automation also improves reproducibility in complex multistep protocols by reducing the likelihood of random execution errors.
Automation flexibility can be improved with features that address significant bottlenecks impacting the speed of the overall process. For example, the ability to integrate multiple instruments frees scientists from individually defined solutions and enables flexible, modular options that can be modified based on existing laboratory instrumentation and changing experimental conditions. Second, the software driving the instrumentation should reflect the user’s perspective, rather than the traditional instrument focus, as this makes it easier for laboratory personnel to transfer their methods and protocols directly into automated solutions.
With regard to liquid handling, two key features that greatly increase the flexibility of an instrument include the pipetting head and the presence of robotic arms. Incorporating a multispan pipettor with truly independent x- and y-axis variability (Figure 1) makes it possible to move beyond the confines of high-density formats to a wide variety of commercially available vials, tubes, and plates, including types that are assay specific, such as Maldi and Caco-2 plates. While many automation systems incorporate robotic arms either as part of the main system or as add-ons, their functionality varies. An ideal robotic arm should have the finesse and articulation necessary to carry out critical assay steps on deck, such as the assembly of vacuum manifolds. It should also reach well off deck to pass plates to detectors and incubators in order to integrate complete workflows and reduce bottlenecks caused by a reliance on manual intervention. The need for increased flexibility necessitates an expansion of modularity to key components of the instrument, such as the use of individual pipetting cards and easy-to-move on-deck accessories.
The Latest Bing News on:
- Transcript: Manufacturing: The Road Aheadon October 12, 2020 at 7:44 am
Well, and back to your road trip with Senator Baldwin, I hope--I hope you have cheese curls in your near future in Wisconsin. SEN. KLOBUCHAR: Curds, yep. MS. TUMULTY: Cheese curds, sorry. SEN.
- Up Your Loan Automation Game, TransUnion Says in New Reporton October 9, 2020 at 9:08 am
Credit agency says financial institutions have to make big improvements to keep up with consumer expectations.
- The automation of bureaucracyon October 9, 2020 at 2:00 am
Digital technologies enabled by AI and Automation can help the public sector provide critical citizen experience within economic & time constraints. One of the immediate challenges we face is high ...
- How ready are America's cities for the next big crisis?on October 8, 2020 at 11:00 am
The coronavirus pandemic was something no local government could have anticipated. But it’s also raising serious concerns about cities’ preparedness for other difficult-to-predict challenges.
- How BP is using ServiceNow to transform into an ‘integrated energy company’on October 8, 2020 at 5:55 am
BP has said that it wants to be carbon neutral by 2050. Key to this is also rethinking IT and digital, where it has adopted a common data model using ServiceNow. BP is one of the world's most well ...
- COMMENTARY: Considering data security in the times of COVID-19on October 6, 2020 at 7:57 am
The global outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdowns across our nation have made an unprecedented impact on lenders and the way they conduct business.
- How Robots Will Make Our Work More Humanon October 6, 2020 at 2:12 am
Our interactions with customers and colleagues are muffled by face masks or mediated by the pixelated coldness of a computer screen. Work for many Americans is now alienating and isolated—assuming ...
- Technological Revolution Accelerated by Coronavirus Crisis in Latin America and the Caribbeanon October 4, 2020 at 11:16 am
Latin America and the Caribbean is in the midst of a “Fourth Industrial Revolution” of technological innovation which requires enhancing the productivity of the services sector, ...
- How these trends are shaping up the future of logisticson October 3, 2020 at 4:11 am
The fifth edition of the DHL Logistics Trends Radar identifies key innovations that can help in making the supply chain more effective and efficient ...
- Agencies rethinking cloud security amid COVID-19on September 30, 2020 at 3:10 pm
During the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shift to cloud-based telework, agencies rethink the cybersecurity around networks and sensitive information.
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- Red Hat Integrates Ansible And OpenShift For Cloud-Native Automationon October 13, 2020 at 4:51 pm
Red Hat on Tuesday unveiled an integration of Ansible and OpenShift that aims to enable automated deployment of multi-cluster Kubernetes environments side-by-side with traditional IT infrastructure.
- Watch Blue Origin launch its reusable New Shepard rocket live, with a key NASA system test on boardon October 13, 2020 at 3:42 pm
Blue Origin is set to return to active flight today, after a hiatus of nearly a year since its last launch in December 2019. Today’s launch is a mission for the company’s New Shepard reusable ...
- CBP extends cargo system disaster recovery contracton October 13, 2020 at 2:54 pm
Customs and Border Protection adds five years to its cloud-based disaster recovery infrastructure-as-a-service contract with IBM.
- The U.S. Department of Labor Recognizes FANUC America, Rockwell Automation and Industry Partners for Apprenticeship Programson October 13, 2020 at 8:15 am
The U.S. Department of Labor Recognizes FANUC America, Rockwell Automation and Industry Partners for Apprenticeship Programs ...
- Strategy Analytics Publishes 2020 Automated Vehicle UX Indexon October 13, 2020 at 6:47 am
Evaluating over 30 different automated parking/driving assistants on three continents, Strategy Analytics’ In-Vehicle UX (IVX) service presents its 2020 Automated Vehicle (AV) UX Index. Created from ...
- Admetsys Secures CE Mark Approval for PrecisionOne™ Automated Glycemic Control and Continuous Diagnostics Systemon October 13, 2020 at 6:00 am
Admetsys Corporation, a biomedical technology company specializing in critical care automation, announced today that it received European regulatory approval (CE Mark) for its flagship PrecisionOne™ ...
- The global market for Postal Automation System is projected to reach US$1.0 billion by 2025on October 13, 2020 at 3:43 am
Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Global Postal Automation Systems Industry" - null Read the full report: I. INTRODUCTION, METHODOLOGY & REPORT SCOPE II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1.
- Greenville federal courthouse automation systems evaluated during COVID-19 pandemicon October 13, 2020 at 3:13 am
Mechanical systems at the federal courthouse under construction in downtown Greenville are being evaluated based on CDC guidelines.
- The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Side Hustle Part 4: Automation And Systemson October 12, 2020 at 1:25 pm
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is to automate, define systems and standard operations that can easily run without your constant attention.
- Ecolab Introduces New Automated Precision Dispensing Systemon October 9, 2020 at 5:36 am
Ecolab Inc. ECL recently launched the Precision Dispensing System for Membranes - a precise, easy-to-use and dependable programmable logic controller-based (PLC) cleaning chemical dispenser. This ...