Automation Solutions at SLAS2021: Controlling Assay Variability and Performance, Optimizing Genomic Workflows

WESTBROOK, Maine (January 19, 2021) The Society for Lab Automation and Screening (SLAS) has been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource for all scientists dealing with the fast-evolving presence of robotics in their work. New technology and new paradigms add considerable complexity to an already sophisticated field and having a professional society of peers available for collaboration and consultation is a priceless asset. SLAS will be presenting their SLAS2021 Digital International Conference & Exhibition January 25-27, 2021. It will include over 80 scientific talks, 3 short course workshops, 3 keynote and plenary presenters, and much more. Artel is presenting two tutorials during the show to provide insights on the presence of controllable factors affecting data variability and suggestions on how they can be managed.

The tutorial “Process Optimization: A framework for controlling variability and optimizing assay performance” will be presented on January 25th from 5:00 – 5:30pm EST. Inherent biological variability is expected in assay development, yet it may cause other easily controlled sources of variability that can significantly impact data quality to be overlooked. Process optimization improves assay performance by breaking down workflows into modules that can be individually optimized. This approach is particularly valuable for multistep assays such as NGS sample prep, qPCR, and ELISA, speeding up assay development and simplifying assay transfer by minimizing multiple sources of variability. The presenter, Dr. Nathaniel Hentz, has worked at both Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly developing screens, served as Assistant Director of the BTEC Analytical Lab at North Carolina State for 11 years, and currently works as Director of Scientific Market Development at Artel.

The tutorial “Optimize your genomic workflows with PCRMix™” will be presented on January 26th from 1:30 – 2:00pm EST.  Tuning in a robotic liquid handler’s performance with master mix can be an expensive as well as time consuming process.   PCRMix QualAssure™ solutions provide an efficient alternative.  Used with the Artel MVS, PCRMix provides for easy optimization of master mix liquid classes in automated liquid handling equipment before running the actual assay. These off the shelf solutions are manufactured by Artel with a proprietary formulation built to mimic the rheological properties of commercial master mix. The presenter, Dr. Melinda Gold, is Product Manager at Artel and an avid liquid handling enthusiast who previously worked at Eppendorf supporting liquid handling instruments and consumables.

Maximizing productivity while maintaining quality is the biggest challenge facing laboratories today. Both of these tutorials are designed to assist you in attaining those goals. To participate in the tutorials, readers can register online at the SLAS website.

If you are interested but unable to attend, our presenters would be happy to speak with you about your specific challenges and suggest potential easy-to-implement solutions. Dr. Hentz can be reached at nhentz@artel.co and Dr. Gold can be reached at mgold@artel.co .