Automation of laboratory processes

Automation of laboratory processes

The Development Group’s Analytic team has shared knowledge and experience on automation of laboratory processes including bioanalytical methods, whole process automation and liquid handling.  The Liquid Handling survey highlighted the many  different approaches and experiences from which the team could learn.  The types of automation used by companies vary greatly and contributing on these subjects allows for more efficient incorporation of the right tools for the job.

According to Dan Schuessler, Investigator – BPD Analytical Sciences at GSK, “One of the main objectives is conducting benchmarking across different companies, seeing what the progress is across the different areas of analytics and high throughput analytics and sharing information of particular areas of interest”.

Schuessler says, “These projects are pretty ubiquitous across the whole industry where a lot of different groups are trying to move in the direction of automation to be able to take analytics and move them into a high throughput mode. Or just to be able to take some manual processes, for instance, the preparation of analytics and be able to automate them in order to free up peoples’ time.  These are very common goals across the industry where companies are looking to be more efficient and able to do more with the same amount of resources.”

 

The team also wanted to refresh the glycan analysis survey that incorporated inputs from nine additional companies, making a total of 13 who participated – now a unique and rich source of data.  There are a number of different approaches that can be taken for glycan analysis including a kit-based approach, custom assay development or even systems that are geared towards doing more automative preparation of the release glycan analysis.  

The team members did not want to wait to discuss the outputs in the team calls so pioneered sharing the output using “Ask BPOG” to allow more topics to be covered in parallel and in real time by the point share. The results were, according to Schuessler, “really helpful for people who might be looking into revising a current procedure, for instance, trying to take a manual procedure and automating it”. The surveys are all available in the BPDG Analytics workspace.

In summing up the progress made by the point share, Schuessler says: “it has been very helpful to interact with other people in the organization and benchmark, especially when you have limited time, only occasionally interacting with one or 2 people at a conference.  The point share brings together a lot of companies into a single place where we can have focussed discussion and are able to take some time to think about the answers, pull together the responses and discuss them.  These are the sort of good discussions that you cannot normally have in a setting like a networking event or conference.”

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