The Automated Lab in the New World of 24/7 Research


By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) — Laboratory automation and the growing role of robotics have transformed the typical workday for many individual scientists. Thanks to the imagination, creativity and hard work of researchers and companies in this field, scientists can set up, run and analyze the results of experiments in a fraction of the time previously required to achieve similar results. They can also accomplish the tasks with less hands-on intervention than ever before. Additionally, associate scientists and technicians who used to spend their days performing tediously repetitive tasks now have the time to think creatively about the implications of their experimentation and design effective follow-up projects or develop alternative approaches to their work.

At the company level, particularly for pharmaceutical entities and other firms likewise involved in drug discovery and clinical diagnostics, automation and robotics have significantly increased productivity and lowered costs. For executives of those firms, squeezing the maximum efficiency out of every department, including the R&D lab, is an ongoing issue.

Applications for lab automation range from the use of multi-tip pipettes to fully automated robotic stations for a high-throughput operation. The amount of automation that any lab requires depends on its situation. For example, although an academic research lab might choose to use only some instruments to increase productivity and eliminate a tedious task, a drug discovery unit in a pharmaceutical company will probably want to automate all phases of its research.

Regardless of the scenario, the first thing any laboratory manager needs to decide is what systems to purchase and how to implement them in the most cost-effective manner. With all of the options out there, this would be a daunting task—except for the fact that Harvard Bioscience is on hand to make the process easier. The great need for what it offers underscores why this Holliston, MA-based global developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of solutions to advance life science has been a worldwide “go-to” resource in this industry for more than a century. Today, Harvard Bioscience’s wide array of product offerings—the bulk of which are scientific instruments—are bought and shipped to researchers in more than 100 countries.

Jeffrey A. Duchemin, President and CEO of Harvard Bioscience, says, “When it comes to making decisions about what to buy, laboratory managers need to make purchases prudently without adapting a one-size-fits-all format. They can be adaptive and save money without compromising quality. Our goal is to make this entire process easier by offering an ever-expanding line of outstanding products, and making it easier to obtain them.”

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