Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies
Compound Management laboratory processes are done on a variety of liquid handling equipment with differing user interfaces and software applications for similar tasks such as transfer, dilute, and serialize. Detailed knowledge of the equipment-specific applications may require in-depth training of operators which can potentially impact productivity particularly during times of staffing transitions. Simplified and consistent user interfaces across multiple instruments can be a way to maintain consistently high quality plate deliverables. The simplified user interfaces can be developed and maintained using common office software such as Excel to capture and validate variable data input values to define specific liquid handling parameters. The user entered values are easily passed into the standard vendor interfaces to execute predefined and validated liquid handling protocols to ensure consistent process output irrespective of the operator while avoiding additional variation during method development. This methodology enables a single in-house automation expert to manage a relatively large collection of varied hardware from multiple vendors, incorporating multiple native interfaces. This approach has proven to minimize operator errors and simplify and streamline the overall time investment required to train multiple and changing system operators.
Lane Milde– Scientist, Pfizer, Groton, CT
After attending the University of Wisconsin, I spent several years building molecular biology and high-throughput screening expertise in academic labs before moving into industrial biotech where I developed automated diagnostic platforms based on OEM Tecan and Hamilton liquid handling platforms. From there, I made the journey to Connecticut as automation support for the Compound Management and Distribution group at Pfizer, where, for the last 5 years, I have been responsible for the ongoing support and process development for liquid handlers and robotic systems from most of the major manufacturers.