Earlier in the year, the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference showcased a number of new products consistent with current trends in lab technology and innovation -- as discussed.
Among the SLAS 2018 New Product Award winners were:
- The FORMULATRIX CONSTELLATION digital PCR system, a microfluidic analysis and high-throughput quantitation platform built to produce increased results from less material with less waste.
- The iotaSciences isoCell, an automated single-cell analysis platform designed to enhance precision and workflow efficiency.
- The Labcyte Echo 655T acoustic liquid handler, for contact free liquid handling aimed to boost process performance and quality – a technology we discussed in the follow up article to the conference.
The recent SLAS Europe 2018 conference, June 27-29 in Brussels, Belgium, further advanced these themes with the introduction of new products and instrumentation in the areas of automated liquid handling and beyond.
The technologies debuted at SLAS Europe 2018 offer further validation and evidence that these new trends are being increasingly embraced by both industry and the academic community.
Remote instrument monitoring and access
- The Tecan Common Notification System CNS enables real-time remote monitoring and access to cloud services. CNS is a mobile App that displays your instrument status in real time and gives you push notifications when interactions are needed. CNS lets you connect your Tecan instruments to your favorite cloud services – use Google spreadsheets to record instrument activity or a messaging service to push instrument status to your team. Although the base technology is not entirely new, advances in product updates and recent releases - such as the EVO remote - have continually boosted platform popularity.
- Discngine Qualification from Discngine is a web application to track and validate liquid handling processes. It provides new ways to evaluate their performance such as the combination of gravimetry/colorimetry data and the follow up of qualifications over time.
Laboratory workflow efficiency
- The Thermo Scientific™ inSPIRE™ - the world’s first touch-enabled automation – is a vertical modular robotic platform which integrates multiple instruments in an easy-to-use, space-saving solution. It provides intuitive control of integrated instruments through its innovative shelf system and smart handles. Through each handle, a user can interact with the instrument and control the shelf docking state. The platform operates on Thermo Scientific™ Momentum™ software, which allows users to define, execute and monitor multiple workflows through a simple yet powerful interface.
- The Cytomat SkyLine from ThermoFisher, is a super-fast, high capacity sequential microplate storage and delivery device with built-in plate sequencer to handle single lids and return loading of processed plates.
- The S-LAB automated plate handler from Peak Analysis and Automation brings reliable automation to your lab without breaking budget with PAA’s small foot-print. Reliable and affordable, the S-LAB is designed for easy installation and use.
Lab productivity and precision
- Using the I-DOT Calibri from Dispendix GmbH, precision and accuracy of pipettes can be verified within seconds. I-DOT Calibri is the smartest and fastest wait to check the performance of liquid handling devices.
- The EHMD compact rotary gripping module from Festo is particularly suitable for the easy opening of a large range of bottles and vials. It adjusts to the thread pitches of the different caps.
- The new fluorescent Ion Red Calcium 660 indicator from Ion Indicators is usable in numerous cell types and for a multitude of screening and other biological applications. It is a significant improvement over and above other red indicators.
- Tubes with External Thread Hybrid, introduced by Micronic, guarantee sample traceability. The unique combination of 4 coding concepts on each tube enables easy automated and visual sample identification.
Increased speed and performance of lab operations
- The Yamaha CELL HANDLER from Yamaha Motor Co. provides an innovative high speed and ultraprecision platform which enables automated, rapid target cell transfer, imaging, and digitization to promote 3D cell culture and drug screening.
- The Prime BSI Scientific CMOS Camera from Photometrics provides a perfect balance between high-resolution imaging and light collection by leveraging an optimized pixel size, backside illumination technology and the low noise characteristics. It is a versatile camera for live cell techniques, including Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence, Ratiometric Imaging and Light Sheet microscopy.
- The Scorpion for Chemistry from Art Robbins Instruments is a highspeed liquid handling system for aspirating and dispensing solutions and can be filled with gas to create an inert environment for sensitive reactions.
- nanoMIPs (Molecularly Imprinted Polymer nanoparticles) from MIP Diagnostics are stable and robust synthetic affinity reagents. With affinity and selectivity at least as good as antibodies they are applied in sensing, analysis, separation and diagnostics.
Trends in lab innovation
The products showcased at SLAS Europe 2018 represent a range of technologies that are driving enhanced performance of lab operations.
Looking beyond, these new technologies and solutions represent valuable progress in addressing the research integrity issues that challenge many areas of the research world. It will certainly be interesting to see what the latter half of 2018 and the next year have to offer...
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