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Flow cytometry (FCM) is a powerful analytical tool with applications spanning a variety of disciplines. Sample preparation prior to cytometry, however, is traditionally slow and prone to human error, which can drain precious time and resources from laboratories already under constant pressures. Sysmex has developed a unique automation solution to rapidly accelerate sample preparation for FCM applications – heightening efficiency and flexibility to ease the strain on laboratory professionals.
Metagenomics is rapidly emerging as a promising method for disease diagnosis, but the need for manual processing is delaying turnaround times and limiting clinical uptake. Dr John Rossen, Head of Global Research & Development and Product Strategy for Europe at IDbyDNA Inc, discusses how the company has developed a test that can give detailed diagnostic reports on pathogens associated with respiratory infections and urinary tract infections, and how automation will speed the transition of this assay from research to routine testing in clinics.
Genetic screening is used during pregnancy to look for hereditary conditions due to a chromosomal abnormality – such as Down’s syndrome – or changes in the DNA sequences, and typically involves an invasive amniocentesis procedure. Yourgene Health, an international molecular diagnostics group, has developed an automated, non-invasive alternative, for more accurate and safer prenatal screening.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is becoming increasingly popular for high throughput applications, including compound library QC testing, protein-ligand screening and, more recently, screening of biological fluids for clinical research. Serving this diverse market poses a challenge to NMR instrument manufacturers such as Bruker BioSpin, requiring the development of modular and flexible automated sample preparation platforms to ensure optimal results.
Rapid advances in genomic and molecular diagnostic techniques have seen these technologies make a rapid transition from the research bench to the clinic. As with any test used for diagnostic applications, ease of use and reproducible, reliable results are crucial to the successful uptake of molecular methods, meaning that many IVD suppliers are turning to laboratory automation. Sansure Biotech has successfully developed a market for qPCR-based diagnostic technologies in China, and has partnered with Tecan to offer complete automation of its nucleic acid extraction and screening workflows.