Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies
To better understand the mechanisms of disease from the research perspective, it is imperative to explore actual clinical patient samples. The RIA Autoimmunity Molecular Medicine Team (AMM) in collaboration with National Institutes of Health receives fresh clinical patient blood every week. Our dedicated team utilizes sophisticated flow cytometry (FCM) panels to evaluate numerous immune cell subsets to determine their role in disease. The isolated PBMC from the patient blood specimens need to be stained with freshly made antibody mixes which are made up from over 100 mAbs corresponding to each different panel. This is a time consuming and tedious laboratory process. To accelerate specimen processing and acquisition, automation as an option was explored. The goal in using automation was to shift the scientist’s time and effort away from routine sample prep towards data analysis and interpretation. Not only were we able to reduce processing time by 10x, we significantly improved data reproducibility over time. This success provided by the R&D Lab Automation Group led to the exploration of using the HighRes Biosolutions ACell Robot System for the entire FCM specimen processing procedure. It’s a modular system which is highly versatile. In addition to preparation of antibody cocktail mix, we plan; blood/cell and blocking buffer additions, incubations, single mAb transfers, plate washing, fixation, and plate storage at 4°C. We plan to show that the automated specimen processing will dramatically improve our data reproducibility, capacity, and productivity enabling accelerated scientific decision making.
Scott Depee– Senior Lab Automation Engineer, MedImmune, Lovettsville, VA