Quality control (QC) in genomics workflows

The challenges

Quality control is a crucial step in any genomics workflow to ensure the best outcomes from sequencing data.

While benchtop automation improves reliability and efficiency of processes in the lab, highly trained staff still need to conduct some manual work such as pipetting and moving consumables between instruments in the QC workflow. This can result in contamination, errors, limits to labs’ ability to scale and – most critically – means lab workers are locked into doing laborious tasks, day in and day out.

This is why we’ve developed a new approach to lab automation that enables true walkaway time; open, integrated automation.

Our solution: Open, integrated automation for QC steps

From 1388 manual touchpoints to 7 for 200 samples a day

This system, designed for a customer to enable scaling to 200 samples a day from 200 samples a week. The QC workflow consisted of a flowbot ONE liquid handler, a plate sealer, a plate peeler, an Agilent Microplate Centrifuge and a PHERAstar FSX plate reader from BMG LABTECH.

We calculated 1388 manual touchpoints for 200 samples, and through our platform of 4 smart benches, connected through 2 robotic arms and a magnetic transport layer, these touch points were brought down to 7.

The time needed for manual setup for 200 samples was reduced from 6 hours 10 minutes to just 15 minutes.

Is Automata right for my genomics lab?

Here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions

The solutions that we have showcased on our website for sample extraction, quality control, and library preparation are what we’ve built for specific customers with their needs in mind.

The beauty of the Automata platform is that we are not locked down and are vendor agnostic. We can integrate third party devices, and propose a solution for your lab based on your needs and the problems you are trying to solve.

We create solutions for genomics workflows that can start with integrating laboratory equipment-specific workflow steps (like workcells for library preparation, or quality control) to reduce manual steps, and save time.

Alternatively, we can also integrate multiple workcells together to combine entire workflows depending on the needs of your lab. The journey to automation can take time, so we can start where you would like to start and grow as your labs grow. We understand that labs also change the instruments they use, so we can always adapt the layouts of our platform as your needs change.

This depends on your SOPs, and your regulatory and quality considerations. If you want a true walkaway lab, we can work with you to combine your pre- and post-PCR workflows.

If you are currently doing this manually, we would work with you and our instrument partners to ensure the right benchtop instruments for the job and work with you on integrating the process.

Our system has been designed to be compatible with all SBS microplates format.

Automata LINQ can be placed in your lab for specific steps within genomics workflows – for example, you can start with a QC workcell or an extraction workcell to gain benefits from our system. Compared to current manual solutions, there are still huge gains made from starting with a single workcell.

The Automata system doesn’t necessarily work faster than a person could handle tasks, but through parallelisation and complete hands-off time, the system can run independently of human interaction, thereby increasing ability to scale.

Our use cases, in-silico and physical builds are capability showcases for our platform to give you an idea of what the LINQ could do in your lab. We will work with your lab to ensure integration with your specific SOPs.

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