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Purpose-Built LIMS for Life Sciences and High Throughput Screening Laboratories

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announces the availability of a new technical poster demonstrating the importance of configurability and flexibility in laboratory information management systems (LIMS) design for life sciences and high throughput screening applications. The new technical poster is available free-of-charge via http://www.thermo.com/eThermo/CMA/PDFs/Product/productPDF_4365.pdf

The poster was originally presented at the Lab Automation 2008 conference in Palm Springs, CA and is entitled The New Age of Configurability and Flexibility in LIMS Design for Life Sciences and High Throughput Screening. The authors are senior technical and development managers at Thermo Fisher Scientific with decades of experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology laboratories. They highlight the need for plate handling functionality to be built into the core LIMS solution for high throughput screening (HTS) environments. The poster is ideal reading for life scientists in the biotechnology and drug discovery industries.

With the increasing workload in high-throughput laboratories, biotechnology companies require user-friendly LIMS that contain plate handling functionality out-of-the-box, while remaining flexible in how the system can be easily configured and extended to meet their needs. With built-in plate handling functionality utilizing a service oriented architecture in .NET, Thermo Scientific Nautilus LIMS enables organizations to keep pace with changing laboratory techniques, automate processes and manage increasing data volumes. The result is that scientists and organizations are able to give rise to discoveries, make decisions and run tests faster than ever before.

Plate handling and automation have become increasingly important in biotechnology organizations where automation and high throughput needs demand that workflows account for the manipulation of samples in a wide variety of plate formats and configurations. These laboratories seek a robust LIMS that can execute and integrate common plate handling operations including replication, splitting, probing, compression, pooling and cherry picking. A plate design utility can greatly simply the administration by enabling variable dimensions, well labeling, common and user-defined fill patterns, specific well configurations and additional attributes and metadata. Adding to the complexity, automated processes generally involve groups of plates. The authors demonstrate how Nautilus LIMS provides the ability to graphically program and emulate dynamic work processes involving groups of plates, organize workflow activity into steps, execute actions on groups of plates at each step in process and dynamically define and assign transition at each step.

With trends leaning towards increasing data volumes, high throughput environments require information management systems that allow data from automated workflows and processes to be modeled and integrated easily. To meet this need, these laboratories seek a full-featured LIMS with an inherent configurable utility that allows for communication with other applications and enable effortless integration of instruments and robotic equipment. The system should be able to acquire data from all types of instrumentation, including serial ports and networked instruments while also applying specifications and logic to make dynamic decisions based on collected data. Most biotechnology labs also require the LIMS to integrate older ASCII and CSV file transfers as well as modern XML schemes and service oriented architectures.