April 2019

Improving the lab function with automation

This week, our teams at LGC, Biosearch Technologies have gathered at the European Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Amsterdam. These types of conferences and trade shows provide our experts with the opportunity to not only share our tools and knowledge, but also give us the chance to learn about customers needs and how we can help. 

Recently, Ben Meadows, our Senior Director of Global Sales at LGC, Biosearch Technologies, shared his thoughts on the value of these conferences and how our tools are solving customer problems. His experience at trade shows, like SLAS in February, have provided him with a keen understanding of issues our customers have and how we can best solve them.

Ben Meadows speaking with SelectScience camera crew Ben Meadows speaking to SelectScience

"Trade shows like the Symposium of Laboratory Automation (SLAS) have been key for LGC, Biosearch Technologies for many years.  We participate heavily with automation engineers, scientists and laboratory managers in the applied science markets and this trade show provides a level of focus needed to target these customers.

There are many different types of customer focus.  Many are in the various workflows in next-generation sequencing (NGS), high-throughput screening, and various cellular or molecular technology spaces.  We chose to focus our time on some key parts of our portfolio in high-throughput DNA extraction (oKtopure) and automated PCR/qPCR (IntelliQube®).  These two instruments are highly efficient in their respective spaces.

The oKtopure allows researchers and lab managers to use the instrument to perform bead-based DNA extraction on up to 8, 384-well plates.  This high-capacity instrument creates its efficiency through focus and was designed with this purpose in mind. Combined with sbeadex paramagnetic bead extraction chemistry (which binds and holds nucleic acids in place during crucial steps), the oKtopure can provide genomic DNA of high quality for use in downstream applications such as NGS, microarrays, and PCR/qPCR. 

The IntelliQube is often on the receiving end of the oKtopure’s DNA extraction efforts.  This unit is a sample-to-answer device, which allows labs to reduce their interactions with equipment and increase hands-free time.  Time is highly valuable to our customers as many labs are often challenged to find qualified staff. There is much greater value in allowing scientists to focus on technical details and additional experimental design requirements.  The ArrayTape platform allows for a 1.6 µL reaction creating a very economical solution for labs moving from a manual, 5-10 µL reaction to save on both time and money. 

Combining the IntelliQube and oKtopure in a lab means increased throughput, reduced staff touch-points, and lower operating costs.  The return on investment on this automation can actually be calculated and reviewed with laboratory managers to demonstrate the time to pay-back on the capital costs and gives a real opportunity to make better use of time for the scientists.  We aim to improve the lab function and costs by providing automation and chemistry such as sbeadex and Black Hole Quencher (BHQ) probes to researchers around the world. This will ultimately help bring about life-changing science in healthcare, diagnostics, and agriculture to the wider world."

Watch Ben's interview with SelectScience here.