BIOMARK2.157 - organized and stay in control with automated sample prep

Nigel Tooke

How to Get Organized and Stay in Control with Automated Sample Prep

February 18, 2020 at 8:22 AM / by Nigel Tooke

Do you have a small to medium size analytical lab and are reaching the limit of what you can achieve with manual sample prep? Perhaps you need more robust sample prep with higher efficiency, less hands-on time, and better control over your samples? 

You may also want to improve data security and link to a LIMS – the type of functionality needed in a GLP lab, even though you work in a non-GLP environment. Automation could be the answer, providing it includes software that will help you to maintain control while increasing throughput.

Finding a system that makes the most of automated sample prep

Automating sample prep might seem like a major step, but if you follow a few guidelines then you can ensure that your chosen automation solution really does meet your needs. Start by ensuring that the system can handle the sample prep workflows that you are using in your lab. These can include a range of extraction methods, such as Supported Liquid Extraction (SLE), Solid Phase Extraction (SPE), Phospholipid Depletion (PLD) and Protein Precipitation (PPT). And don’t forget to check that the system can handle the formats you are using, such as 96-well plates or columns.

One of the major benefits of automation is saving time and costs related to consumables and operator time. Ensure the solution you are considering can help you to achieve this. Ease of use is a critical element here, and will also give you the confidence to transfer the preparation of precious samples to an automated system.

Next, you should be able to place the instrument wherever you need in the lab. A small standalone system will give you flexibility and can also be placed in a biosafety cabinet or extractor hood if you are handling biofluids and/or hazardous volatile substances.

Last, and not least, software is critical to making the most of automating sample prep. The right software should include specific functions that you need, such as effective sample tracking effectively, organizing your data, linking up with your lab network, or the possibility to segregate users.

An established automation solution for sample prep

Launched in 2015, Extrahera™ has become established for the automation of sample prep in a wide range of fields and organizations, from academic research and environmental testing to regulated areas such as clinical testing, pharmaceutical R&D, and forensics. Users appreciate the versatility, ease of use, consistent performance, small footprint, flexibility in supporting rapid method development, and the ability to handle different formats and extraction methods, including SPE, SLE, PLD and PPT. The result is reliable sample prep that supports the routine generation of high quality data while saving time and reducing costs.

Software that brings you more organization and control

The clean, easy-to-use interface of Extrahera™ has now been complemented with optional Extrahera™ GLP software that, while being designed to fulfill the needs of the GLP lab, has many functions that are valuable in the non-GLP environment. This software will help you manage the access levels of your staff members to methods and data, and network to external databases and servers to download data for future analysis. You can generate audit trails to track how samples have been processed, including user details and reasons for making any method changes. You can also follow the status of sample prep in your lab remotely and in real-time. Extrahera™ combined with Extrahera™ GLP software will help you increase the overall efficiency, organization and control of your lab, and without being constrained by all the rules and regulations of a GLP environment.

If you want to improve the efficiency and control over your sample prep workflows, visit biotage.com for more information about Extrahera™ and Extrahera™ GLP software.

Topics: Automation, Extrahera

Nigel Tooke

Written by Nigel Tooke