Webinar On-Demand: Shift the Paradigm to Centrifuge-less Immuno-staining of Cells for Superior Viability, Recovery & Data

“Time is currency. Be careful how you spend it.” – Byron L. Reeder

Every second spent on manual processes is a second taken away from potential revenue. Every day, scientists are racing the clock between sample preparation, running experiments, analyzing data and much more. Juggling these responsibilities along with looming deadlines, while pushing for new discoveries, can lead to challenging time management and stress. In a lab, efficiency and accuracy are vital, but oftentimes we are faced with watching the minutes tick by as we still continue to perform the majority of experiments manually. Automation can be the panacea. It can be the key that solves the conundrum of quick turnaround time, efficiency, eliminating operator to operator variability, standardization of processes and results in and across various labs.

The Case for Automation

70 percent of researchers surveyed have claimed that they cannot reproduce published results, and in 2016, a Nature article by Monya Baker stated that 52% of surveyed scientists agree that there is a “significant ‘crisis’ of reproducibility”. The ability to offload cyclical tasks to automated platforms that not only provide an extra set of hands but also standardize a process frees up a lot of time and mental energy that could be used for other higher priority work such as data analysis.

Labs are already starting to make the push with liquid handlers and robotics becoming more integrated in the day to day, but there’s still other steps that can benefit from automated, reproducible execution. We have spent over a decade listening to what scientists need most to support their lab, and we found that the sample preparation bottleneck was the key factor.

It takes one hour for two cycles of centrifuge-based washing with repeated hands-on time and consistent time tracking to ensure samples are properly taken care of. Additionally, the average lab has an onboarding time of just over two months for process learning and establishing user knowledge. Even then, manual processes like pipetting and flicking continue to be inconsistent between team members, and all of that time spent adds up very quickly. With Laminar Wash, the artistry of reproducibility can be taken out of the equation.

Take Hands Out of Handling

The AUTO1000 can not only standardize the sample preparation process in a lab, it can also give you back time that would otherwise be wasted by having to return repeatedly to the centrifuge and resorting to manual sample preparation.

With how much interaction a centrifuge requires to perform properly, many scientists admit that they must multitask and consider how they can make time for their samples. Not only does this take time away from the other projects the scientist must work on manually, it also creates a start-and-stop cadence that reduces the level of productivity overall. Studies have found that multitasking is nothing more than stopping one task to take care of another, meaning that each interruption for the centrifuge breaks the line of thinking set on the previous task. By having this type of structure, scientists must plan their day around interruptions rather than around their studies, making even basic routines tedious and stressful.

The AUTO1000 turns a thirty minute process into just three minutes, running without any check-ins, and providing notification when it is complete. This ability goes beyond the regular 9-to-5, as it can run overnight so that samples are prepared by the following morning, with fail saves in place in case of any technical difficulties preventing both instrument damage and the need for a late night at the lab. With no manual requirements, onboarding time is reduced, user variability is removed, and ~75% of labor costs are eliminated meaning scientists can focus on science first.

The Future of Lab Automation

Automation becomes more accessible with each passing day, and the need for it to be integrated seamlessly across multiple instruments is ever growing. Labs are moving towards total automation emphasizing strategic space layouts for optimal footpathing, utilizing modular setups to be scalable as they grow, and in-depth remote check-ins to ensure routines continue to run smoothly even after hours. By including the AUTO1000 into your lab, many of the common pains associated with sample preparation can be alleviated without sacrificing your current workflows. Start your future now, and see what standardized, automated, reproducible sample preparation can do for your lab.