New Automation Solutions for Mass Spec Debuted at SLAS

The Society for Lab Automation and Screening (SLAS) annual meeting took place Feb 25 through March 1 in San Diego, CA. Always at the forefront with the latest technologies, this year’s meeting explored areas including state-of-the-art microfluidics, single-cell imaging, AI-assisted drug design, and a host of others. Here are a few product developments designed to support mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography workflows.

SCIEX announced a collaboration with HighRes Biosolutions to bring customizable automation to the EchoMS platform. The EchoMS technology makes use of acoustic droplet ejection, which harnesses acoustic energy to generate well-defined nanoliter-sized droplets. These nanoliter-sized droplets are then directed through an Open Port Interface (OPI) into the triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer for analysis. The platform can produce quantitative, high-throughput results with a rate of 180 samples/min at 3 seconds per sample.Image of SCIEX EchoMS System

Cellario, from HighRes Biosolutions, integrates all the devices and software with a laboratory, enabling scientists to streamline instrument workflows and process efficiency. Leveraging the use of Cellario, customers can now connect the EchoMS system with processing software that helps manage the large amounts of data acquired from sample handling and analysis. This automation capability will allow dynamic scheduling and execution or multiple in parallel, dramatically increasing analytical precision and throughput.

In a further development, SCIEX announced a collaboration with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences for the implementation of Biomek liquid handling solutions with the EchoMS platform. The Echo liquid handling technology, originally commercialized by Labcyte, is part of Beckman’s portfolio alongside the Biomek systems. The new partnership with SCIEX helps support customers looking to couple Biomek handlers in addition to Echo devices upstream of SCIEX MS systems, enabling an expanded range of automated sample-handling approaches. The aim is to broaden the capabilities of these automated analysis solutions for drug discovery, cell analysis, and other demanding areas of life sciences research.

Image of ePrep Sample Preparation WorkstationAlong the lines of streamlining sample prep, Eprep introduced the ePrep Sample Preparation Workstation at SLAS. This technology is designed to offer rapid and complex samples preparation upstream of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The tool used analytical syringes to deliver a range of sample prep reagents, including organic solvents, without the risk of chemical leaching from pipette tips and plastic dispensers. The easy-to-use software and simplified interface provide straightforward navigation and processing. As an automated solution, the system takes individual users and variability out of the equation to produce higher levels of precision and accuracy in sample prep. The system is also flexible to allow the exchange of different size syringes and volumes of reagents, thereby preserving time and resources.

There were a number of interesting instruments and workflow solutions on display, including those intended to streamline single-cell, large-scale analysis for proteomics and metabolomics research. We will dive into some of these new technologies and promising applications in further articles.