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Selected category: Protein Science & Mass Spec

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How to boost productivity for LC-MSMS sample prep

By Agnieszka Sitarska

Choosing a method and developing a protocol for small molecule LC-MSMS sample preparation can be a complex process. An effective shortcut is to use an extraction plate built for automation. With fewer processing steps and an automation-ready format, the use of extraction plate technology can help make tedious LC-MS sample prep processes more routine, whether it’s the analysis of testosterone in serum or anti-depressants in whole blood.

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It’s about time. Nobel Prize honors pioneers in circadian clock biology

By Kevin Moore

Like gravity, some phenomena are so integral to our existence that we’re barely conscious of them. Maybe that’s why the research community was largely taken by surprise when it was announced that this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three American scientists for their seminal work on circadian clocks ¹. But consider the synergies with next gen sequencing (NGS) and gene editing technologies, and it becomes clear that the implications of their work are far-reaching. 

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How to make your genomics research more reproducible

By Kevin Moore

The repeatability of biomedical research has become a major issue, and the ability to achieve reproducible research results can only be as good as the liquid handling performance. Automation has become a given step in the drive to generate reproducible data so how well can automated liquid handling perform in, for example, genomics applications?

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Spit-and-measure testing – identifying over-production of cortisol

By James O'Brien

The presence of excess cortisol hormone in saliva can be an indication of a number of serious biochemical imbalances that include chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, obesity, diabetes and conditions like Cushing Syndrome. Increasingly, spit-and-measure testing is becoming the go-to test for cortisol. 

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ROI from the LC/MS lab: challenges in a regulated environment

By Rohit Schroff

The popularity of mass spectrometry based testing is growing all the time. As a result, businesses in the diagnostics industry offering mass-spectrometry-based clinical assays, especially analytical laboratories in toxicology environments, are facing a number of major challenges. These include meeting scaling requirements that are non-linear, overcoming regulatory uncertainties while guaranteeing business continuity, raising ROI on LC/MS instruments and lowering turnaround times.

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Drowning in data: Can precision medicine get smart enough, fast enough?

By Nicholas Smith

Cognitive computing and artificial intelligence have the power to save us from drowning in the vast and growing sea of data needed for precision medicine, but what will it take to achieve a timely return on investment? Experts from multiple disciplines will gather to share their perspectives on this challenging problem at the upcoming Tecan Symposium in Salt Lake City on November 14th.

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How to choose a small molecule extraction method and develop a protocol for LC-MSMS sample prep

By Agnieszka Sitarska

In the previous article in this series it became clear that high productivity in small molecule LC-MSMS relies on effective sample prep that supports reproducible results and minimizes downtime for sensitive LC and MS equipment. The ideal sample prep protocol should be simple, cost-effective, and enable matrix depletion with the option to concentrate analytes independent of matrix components. The questions are, which method should you choose and how should you go about optimizing it? Let’s start by looking at the range of methods currently available.

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Boost your productivity in small molecule LC-MSMS with better sample prep

By Agnieszka Sitarska

Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS) adds a lot of analytical power when you need to quantify small molecules in body fluids, but a simple approach of ‘dilute and shoot’ is not going to be enough to ensure robust analysis. Sample prep methods can well be the single biggest time consumer you are facing, which means that a wise choice of sample prep method is a great opportunity for improving lab productivity.

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Breaking through the sample preparation bottleneck

By James O'Brien

Quality sample preparation is fundamental to the analytical process. No wonder it can take up to 60% of a laboratory technician’s time. Today’s robotic systems are turbo charging this process – especially when it comes to detecting residual antibiotics.

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The multiple challenges of efficiency and sensitivity in screening today’s drugs of abuse

By Christian Scherling

As the numbers of addicts and drug-related deaths continue to soar in the US and in Europe, forensic and diagnostic labs are looking for efficient methods to discriminate drugs of abuse that provide an easy workflow and are sufficiently sensitive to detect extremely low quantities of highly potent synthetic opioids in the urine of victims.

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Separation anxiety? Miniaturized parallel chromatography could cure your protein purification woes

By Isabel Patocchi

In the US and EU, there are over 200 approved biotherapeutic drugs already on the market. The rush to evaluate the hundreds of candidates in the pipeline has created a demand for increasingly efficient high throughput technologies in process development.

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Why an Academic Laboratory Does Not Need Automation, and 5 Reasons Why I Disagree

By Rick Luedke

You may be convinced that your academic research laboratory is humming along just fine and cannot benefit from, take the time to consider, and perhaps most of all, afford adding automation to your workflow.

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How automated test tube barcoding adds reliability and stops unnecessary errors

By Florence Collins

Scinomix, Inc., founded in 2001, creates customized solutions for labeling tubes, vials and plates in many life science applications. We took the chance to ask Nigel Malterer (CEO) and Jonathan King (Automation Software Engineer) at Scinomix about how automated barcode labeling solutions are helping to improve productivity, reduce errors and costs, and increase control over lab workflows.

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How to make the right choice for barcoding sample tubes – standards, challenges and considerations

By Florence Collins

Barcodes play a central role in minimizing the risk of error in lab automation by providing secure tracking of components throughout the workflow. Barcode-guided lab automation can be simple and cost-effective, with significant paybacks thanks to productivity increases. 

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Tecan delivers sterile tips to your lab bench

By Severin Heynen

As we have learned in previous posts in this series, only pipette tips marked ‘sterile’ are guaranteed with a sterility assurance level (SAL) of 10-6. Pipette tips labeled as ‘Pre-sterile’ do not give such sterility assurances.

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Precision and accuracy – two pillars of data reliability

By Agnieszka Sitarska

The life science industry is constantly fighting to improve throughput and reduce costs through the ‘industrialization’ of research and development. You have to strike a balance between moving quickly (productivity) and ensuring that you are actually moving in the right direction (quality). Lab automation, including automated liquid handling, plays an essential role in ramping up productivity. Ensuring high quality liquid handling is therefore the key to securing the reliable data you need to meet your program goals.

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Intelligent robot for colony picking and complete MALDI target preparation

By Kevin Trümpi

Today’s automated microbiological lab uses matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) for quick, effective and cost saving identification.

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Automation using low volume disposable pipette tips

By Severin Heynen

The industrialization of biology has become possible thanks to the automation of repetitive tasks such as liquid handling, providing several benefits. It allows customers to extend their window of operations, achieve greater assay consistency and refocus expertise away from repetitive processes. In addition, moving manual steps, such as pipetting into the control of robots also enables secure downsizing of formats, including sample and reagent volumes. 

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Accurate, robust serum testosterone analysis

By Rohit Shroff

Stone, Senior CLS Specialist, UCSD, presents the benefits of testing for testosterone using LC-MS versus immunoassays, particularly in the case of female and pediatric patients.

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Automated mass spec immunoassay workflow

By Agnieszka Sitarska

The mass spec immunoassay (MSIA) workflow was developed to provide a simple, automated process for purification of targeted analytes for downstream detection using multiple analytical techniques, such as mass spectrometry.

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Automation in the LC-MS lab

By Vince Ahlheit

Vince Ahlheit, Senior Application Scientist, Tecan, provides insight on the benefits of automation in the clinical laboratory.

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Benefits of automated sample preparation for urine toxicology

By Rohit Shroff

Anthony Nuccio, Chief Operating Officer, ADO Health Services introduces their sample preparation process, which begins at the point of collection.

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The economics of robotics

By Martin Braendle

Robotics and automation have become essential to the future plans of drug discovery and clinical diagnostic companies. Executives are looking to increase productivity and reduce costs, and automation fits the bill in every respect.

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Six benefits to implementing LC-MS sample prep automation

By Rohit Shroff

Rohit Shroff, Head of Sales Development Tecan provides insight from customer success stories on the benefits of automation in the clinical laboratory. Specifically, he answers the question “what can automation do for me” by illustration of the impact that these solutions have every day ... showing how sample prep automation has overcome workflow bottlenecks in the clinical LC-MS lab with real world tangible results. He shares multiple success stories of labs improving their client services by adopting automation to address the hurdles of productivity, implementation speed, compliance, reproducibility, efficiency, and employee satisfaction and retention.

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11 key points to install and efficiently initiate a new automated assay system in your laboratory

By Hal Wehrenberg

Congratulations. It took you quite some time and effort to convince your management or institution on the value of investing in automating your experimental or clinical workflow. The applications were submitted, the presentations were made and the wheeling and dealing to secure the budget resulted in you and your team landing the investment. You've arrived. Now all you have to do is choose the robot and get it up and running.

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Five essential software questions to ask before buying a liquid handling instrument

By Hal Wehrenberg

All automation is controlled by software and understanding the differences between options can be complicated. Underestimating the impact of software may set back your budget or critical timelines.

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Automating liquid sample preparation workflow optimizes your clinical LC-MS investment

By Rohit Shroff

So you’ve made the investment in liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in your clinical/diagnostics laboratory and now you need to get it up and running…adding value to the lab and generating a return. The job will certainly include moving from manual to automated sample preparation methods. This can seem an overwhelming task, especially when it involves solid phase extraction (SPE). Sean Orlowicz, Manager, PhenoLogix, offers guidance on a collaborative approach for application support and sample preparation method development.

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Time to add LC-MS sample prep automation to your clinical/diagnostic testing lab menu

By Rohit Shroff

While MS has been around for over a century, the addition of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in clinical testing laboratories has only become feasible in the last 15 to 20 years. Judith Stone, Senior CLS Specialist, shares her experience with implementing LC-MS in the clinical diagnostics lab. Judith examines what drives adoption of LC-MS in the diagnostic lab, effective operation with scale and cost pressure (in other words…how to still make some money on testing), the importance of automated liquid sample handling, and increasing FDA oversight on laboratory developed tests (LDTs).

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The top 5 pitfalls of custom automation

By Avinash Peddi

What happens when lab automation projects are unsuccessful? One outake is learning that creates a stronger process and methodology. That's exactly what we found at Tecan after working with several hundred customers on lab automation for multiple projects. This presentation from SLAS2016 reveals the top 5 pitfalls of custom automation based on real experience.

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"Self aware" automation - SLAS 2016 presentation

By Hal Wehrenberg

What happens when the robots in your lab become self aware? Take a closer look at this issue and the possibilities by watching this presentation on self-aware automation from SLAS 2016. 

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The short history of cancer research funding- Part II

By Martin Braendle
(Part 2 of 2. Read Part I). In 1948, Bill Koster of the Variety Club of New England and Dr. Sidney Farber working at the Children’s Hospital Boston had launched The Children's Cancer Research Fund, aimed at supporting a hospital dedicated to the research of childhood leukemia. But they needed a poster child to boost fundraising.

 
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The short history of cancer research funding - Part I

By Martin Braendle
In his book, The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee tells the story of one of the turning points in the history of cancer medicine. A turning point that he dates to May 1947. In this two-part article we will look at how cancer research has been transformed by fundraising. 

 

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