How 24/7 automation increases the productivity of your laboratory

June 23, 2021  |  Technology

Researchers in the scientific industry are being asked to move faster and faster to bring new medicines and more productive crops to market, among many other innovations. The acceleration of such scientific discoveries needs to be accomplished at lower costs and without increasing the company’s headcount or compromising the integrity of the research.

The question then becomes, how do we streamline the overall discovery, development, and manufacturing cycles within the fixed amount of time within a day. Many labs already have a lot of automated instrumentation in-house that they routinely use for experiments. Although these systems are largely autonomous, some processes still require human interaction and can only be functional when researchers are at work.

When researchers go home at the end of the day, their highly sophisticated, high-cost instruments lie dormant until the next workday. How can we get more work done without making people stay later, working weekends, and hiring second and third shifts?

At Biosero, we think about automation in a way that enables researchers to extend their working time without spending more time at the lab. We want to help laboratories put their instruments to work running experiments even while researchers are at home or enjoying leisure activities. With automation that can run 24/7 without human intervention, researchers can boost their productivity and generate results that matter even in the middle of the night. We can do this by automating more of the processes that have historically required researchers’ presence and attention. For example, during off-work hours, autonomous robots could be responsible for moving samples from a high-performance liquid chromatography instrument to an incubator after a completed run.

Importantly, automated lab systems can capture and store large quantities of process and experimental data to provide a detailed audit trail that can be used to validate results. These systems can capture and record minute details about experimental conditions such as the temperature at which tests were performed, exactly when they started and when they concluded when samples were moved, and so on. By enabling labs to become more efficient and productive — running at optimal capacity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without requiring human supervision in non-work hours — we can accelerate the research and development timeline and bring new products to market much sooner.

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