Vincent 16:12, 25 May 2007 (EDT):During the last couple of months I have been evaluating some Lab Automation platforms. This page intends to list stuff I have learnt about the current technologies around. Feel free to edit its content or to add your own experience with Lab Automation equipments.
- What Lab Automation has to offer ?
- Use of integrated automated/robotic equipments to perform standard wet lab protocols.
- Possible Benefits:
- Reproducibility and systematic approach
- High throughput
- No sleep/ No food needed (the last known weaknesses of PhDs/Post Docs ...)
- Advanced integrated platform could help you to directly map your lab activities into a informatoin workflow from stocks to research findings, improving traceability and reliability.
- Quantify and track the variability you introduce in your protocols. And consequently, you should get a better idea of the intrinsic variability of the process you observe.
- Use a Design of Experiments approach to optimize your protocols.
- A high level description of protocols could allow to build arepository of standard protocols (so far, each platform has it own script language).
Automated Liquid Handler
- Air based
- Liquid based(more accurate than air based techno)
- Features to look at:
- liquid level detection and tracking
- clot detection
- washable and/or disposable probes
- max and min volumes.
- accuracy at different pipetting volumes.
- ability to define liquid classes to adjust pipetting parameters to the nature of the liquid.
Gripper: Moving stuff around
- enables you to move around tubes, plates.
- having the ability to rotate the gripper can be a huge plus.
- essential tool to get an integrated workflow with 3rd-party equipments (plate reader, PCR ...)
- Managing your deck space (what is where).
- Building your protocols (scripts)
- System calibration
- database handling (internal and external ones)
- communication protocols: RS232, CAN, CSV files
Automation friendly equipments
- PCR machine:
- Plate reader:
- Peltier units:
- Perkin Elmer