Making the shift from low-mix, high-throughput to high-mix, low-throughput

November 17, 2021  |  Trends

In high-throughput screening assays, researchers run large numbers of samples through the same experimental process. The more samples scientists run, the greater their chances of identifying hits corresponding to a phenotypic response of interest. Historically, this was the niche for automation in the laboratory setting. Scientists used robots to increase the number of samples they ran per experiment, which improved their odds of getting interesting results.

Over the years, tools from the fields of artificial intelligence, predictive chemistry, and computational modeling have migrated into research labs, where they’ve been instrumental in reducing the need for high-throughput screening assays. With these new solutions, scientists can target specific molecular properties of interest and focus their screening efforts on those properties.

For labs that run the same experimental assay with a lot of samples — in the automation world, we think of these as low-mix, high-throughput experiments — automation is usually a worthwhile investment. Once scientists have a system set up, their automation infrastructure can run the same protocols over and over for each of the samples.

Things are different for labs where researchers need to run different assays with fewer samples per experiment. Setting up automation for a single screening process in a research and discovery lab is quite complex. Trying to adapt that solution to work for another experimental process can be cumbersome and time-consuming. As a result, research labs running multiple assays may be inclined to stay away from automation, preferring to run their tests manually or automate only some steps in their protocols. But this often represents a missed opportunity to improve performance.

Your laboratory automation shouldn’t limit your ability to run a variety of assays, independent of the number of samples you are processing. Biosero works with researchers to take full advantage of their instrumentation by taking on a variety of assays and multiple experiments that run simultaneously. Our approach has enabled a paradigm shift from low-mix, high-throughput experiments — where users may perform a single assay with hundreds of samples, to high-mix, low-throughput experiments — where scientists run multiple assays with fewer samples per assay. We create automated workstations that address a variety of tasks, including designing experiments and developing assays.

Using Green Button Go® Scheduler with multipath scheduler and assay scheduler extensions, we can create an automated workstation capable of supporting multiple experiments, by multiple scientists, at the same time. These extensions coordinate the activities of associated lab instruments and robots, and also navigate potential bottlenecks and constraints associated with running different experiments on the same platform. Best of all, labs making the shift from high-mix, low-throughput experiments to high-mix, low-throughput experiments don’t have to buy new equipment. Our lab automation software works with the same instruments used for high-throughput screening experiments.

Biosero’s technology overcomes the challenges and barriers faced by research and discovery labs where scientists need to run different assays or variations of the same assay simultaneously. If you’re considering automation, please reach out to us to discuss your needs.

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