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Fully automated cell culture workflows

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The cell culture challenge

The use of mammalian cell culture is rapidly increasing. However, the majority of cell culture operations are carried out manually, even though the core steps of maintaining cells are highly reproducible. 

Staff are expected to conduct repetitive tasks for hours each day, and often have to come in outside of normal working hours to tend to their cells or adapt their biology to meet working weeks. This emphasis on manual steps limits both the throughput and the traceability of the workflow.

The limitations of lab automation today

Automation is essential to allow cell culture labs to scale over the coming years. While many cell culture labs use automated instruments to eliminate manual tasks, such as plate handling, highly-trained lab technicians are still spending hours each day tending to these machines. As a result, cell culture labs are limited in their ability to scale with most benchtop automation.

The benefits of Automata’s open, integrated cell culture automation solution

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Eliminates weekend and evening work

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Reduction in manual errors and contamination


Increased repeatability and standardisation

Automation that enables rapid scaling

Automata’s open, integrated automation solution allows for full walkaway time, in and out of hours, by robotically and digitally connecting multiple pieces of automated equipment. The connection across instruments ensures data flow, and can be integrated into existing IT ecosystems and environments.

Here, we implemented our open, integrated automation solution for Cell Line Maintenance and Characterisation.

Protein Analysis
Media Exchange, including media handling and plate tilting

Find out how our approach to automating mammalian cell cultures is improving the scale and quality of labs

Is Automata right for my cell culture lab?

Here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions

What kinds of cells can your system work with?

The systems demonstrated are designed for human or animal derived adherent and suspension cells cultured in microplate format (although we also work with systems for bacteria and yeast culture). It is possible to work with mixtures of different cell types and lines on one platform.

What if I need different analytical capabilities than those shown?

It is possible to build your own specific analytical capabilities around the central cell maintenance functions by adding required devices in a modular way. This can be expanded as required.

How do I get started?

At the core of all Automata cell culture platforms is the capabilities for media exchange – the most consistent set of processes in maintaining cell lines. This can be a simple configuration for just this activity, both in and out of working hours, giving immediate support for keeping cell cultures happy.

The platform can then easily be expanded with additional capabilities as and when required to extend out the possible workflows.

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Some of our clients


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Scaling diagnostic testing with lab automation

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Using automation to improve your diagnostic efficiency

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The journey to the fully automated labs of the future

Learn how to transform the way your lab works by driving the adoption of open, integrated automation at scale

Read the full guide

Get in touch and find out how we can help your lab automate