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Helping labs to scale nucleic acid testing.

Automata Labs enables labs to expedite LAMP and PCR tests by combining tried-and-tested lab equipment with robotic automation technology.

Total workflow automation for Covid-19 nucleic acid testing

The challenge

As testing targets escalate, the pressure on labs to meet demand has intensified.

Our solution addresses common problems experienced by labs that may be restricting your ability to scale output.

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Repetitive work

Manually carrying out repetitive tasks, like sample preparation or barcode scanning, means output is limited by working hours and workforce numbers.

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Staff issues

Because of the nature of the job, staff can quickly become fatigued, disillusioned or bored, leading to a high turnover of workers.

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Labour cost

The cost of the manual labour required to fulfil lab tasks at current output levels, even before scaling, can leave little left over to fund expansion.

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Human error

Even the best humans make mistakes. Manual labour carries the added risk of human error, reducing reproducibility and thereby limiting growth.

The solution

Automata Labs completely automates the Covid-19 nucleic acid testing protocol.

The Modular Pods each house a robotic arm that operates tried-and-tested lab equipment. Multiple Pods fit seamlessly together to form one complete workflow, orchestrated by an easy-to-use management platform.

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Scale up

Automating the complete nucleic acid testing workflow allows labs to scale and significantly increase output to meet demand.

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Ease pressure

With less reliance on manual labour to complete repetitive tasks, pressure on staff is alleviated and the work environment improved.

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Cut costs

Completing assays with automation means less workers are required, thereby reducing labour costs.

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Minimise mistakes

Reducing human touch points increases assay reproducibility and reliability of sample results.

Automating the Covid-19 nucleic acid testing workflow

LAMP testing

Compatible with automated liquid handlers like OpenTrons, FlowBot FlowOne and Agilent Bravo, Automata Labs' LAMP testing solution combines six individual Modular Pods into one complete, temperature-controlled workflow.

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Storage

The first pod in the LAMP-testing workflow stores Labware between assays. A single-point reloading system enables automatic batch-loading and gives at least 4 hours of walk-away time.

Liquid handler

Able to integrate with numerous automated liquid handlers, such as OpenTrons, the second pod dispenses the lysis and master mix, both stored at 4°C, into 96 well plates and genie strips.

Autosampler

The Autosampler reformats samples for testing. Samples are uncapped, aspirated and dispensed before being recapped, whilst rejected vials are reprocessed. To ensure traceability, all samples and plates have their barcodes scanned. Also able to house an extractor fan to ensure the correct level of biosafety.

Thermocycler

The fourth pod contains a plate sealer and a thermocycler. The plate is first sealed to prevent any evaporation before being heated to over 60°, enabling the lysis to act on the sample. Also able to house an extractor fan to ensure the correct level of biosafety.

Reformatter

The fifth pod reformats samples in preparation for the Genie-HT reader. Using an automated liquid handler, such as FlowOne, the sample is moved to a Genie Strip already containing the master mix. The Strip is then closed and the plate safely disposed of.

Reader

Finally, the sample is loaded into the Genie-HT reader to be tested. Once tested, the Strip is unloaded then safely disposed of. Also able to house an extractor fan to avoid cross contamination.

PCR testing

Automata Labs' automated PCR-testing solution combines six individual Modular Pods into one complete workflow. This workflow lays out our recommended approach based on cost and maximising available space.

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Storage

The first pod in the PCR-testing workflow stores Labware between assays. A single-point reloading system enables automatic batch-loading and gives at least 4 hours of walk-away time.

Autosampler

The Autosampler reformats samples for testing. Samples are uncapped, aspirated and dispensed before being recapped, whilst rejected vials are reprocessed. To ensure traceability, all samples and plates have their barcodes scanned. Also able to house an extractor fan to ensure the correct level of biosafety.

Reagent dispenser

Able to rapidly dispense extraction reagents into plates, the third pod ensures a high-throughput operation and integrates with numerous reagent dispensers, including Thermo Fisher Multidrop.

Extraction

The fourth pod in the workflow is responsible for completing the bead-based nucleic acid extraction.

Liquid handler

The fifth pod adds the master mix to the plate using a liquid handler such as OpenTrons, FlowBot FlowOne and Agilent Bravo.

Thermocycler

Finally, the plate is sealed to avoid evaporation during thermocycling and then loaded into an RT-PCR analyser, such as QuantStudio.

Some of our clients

Autosampler - Automated Liquid Handler

Our case studies

Using automation to improve your diagnostic efficiency

Efficiency in lab diagnostics is critical to ensuring the best possible patient outcomes. Here’s how to use automation to help you reach a better efficiency.

Read the full guide

Scaling diagnostic testing with lab automation

We explore how lab automation has helped one test and trace facility to scale testing.

Scaling testing with lab automation

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