LIMS: the key to efficiency and throughput

Powerful, easy to use and scalable LIMS solutions are key to improving lab efficiency and throughput. Sean Ottewell reports.

GenoLogics Life Sciences Software has launched three new cloud-based LIMS products: Clarity Run Manager, Clarity Run Manager Plus, and the early access availability of Clarity LIMS Silver. These editions are sized and priced to fit any genomics laboratory’s budget, with virtually instantaneous deployment. 

The three provide sample management and workflow tracking to support the use of Illumina or Life Technologies sequencing instruments or other genomics technologies.

The advent of desktop sequencing has allowed small and mid-sized labs to routinely provide sequencing services; however, until now there were limited options for project, sample, and lab activity tracking. While most lab managers and directors of these organiSations would agree that they should have a LIMS for their next generation sequencing (NGS) tests or services, most do not have such a system due to the high-cost and complexity of traditional commercial tools and/or the lack resources for internal development, implementation and maintenance.

The three Clarity Cloud editions provide these organisations access to flexible price and feature set options that can grow with a lab, are easy to use by staff, and require no internal IT resources to configure, update or maintain. The products range in price from the no-cost edition Clarity Run Manager to the moderately priced wider LIMS feature set found in Clarity LIMS Silver edition.

“Scientists and lab directors want to improve the efficiency and throughput of their labs. They don’t want to worry about managing technology resources or pay for software features they don’t currently need,” said Michael Ball, GenoLogics ceo. “Providing these organisations with flexible, cloud-based offerings allows customers to protect their investments in instruments and reagents, as their labs grow.”

Meanwhile Raman spectroscopy solutions provider B&W Tek has formed a strategic partnership with LIMS provider LabWare. Together, they will distribute a pre-configured Raman spectroscopy template solution that allows for seamless and easy automation of data acquisition from B&W Tek’s NanoRam handheld Raman spectrometer into LabWare’s Enterprise Laboratory Platform. This in turn will help customers to reduce the traditional cost and time associated with the implementation of Raman analytical technology.

LabWare’s Enterprise Laboratory Platform combines the award-winning LabWare LIMS and LabWare ELN, a comprehensive and fully integrated electronic laboratory notebook application, which enables companies to optimise compliance, improve quality, increase productivity and reduce costs. The pre-configured template solution leverages LabWare’s LabStation instrument integration engine to securely parse and map data generated by the NanoRam into the corresponding LabWare sample record. The Raman spectroscopy template solution is fully 21 CFR compliant, providing the framework for immediate benefits and flexibility to be configured to suit individual needs.

“It was our goal to expedite the way companies and individuals inspect their incoming raw materials and finished products,” says Jack Zhou, coo of c. “To do so, we sought out LabWare’s expertise in laboratory automation and reporting to provide a process in which our NanoRam can help our customers reduce non-value added work and focus on increasing productivity. Together with LabWare’s automation framework and the NanoRam’s wireless capabilities, we have given our customers the opportunity to cut the cord and deliver real time results remotely in a secure, modern way.”   

Web-based solution 

LabVantage Solutions chose the Pittcon conference and expo in March to preview LabVantage 7 Express. 

LabVantage, an entirely web-based LIMS, already powers thousands of laboratories globally. With LabVantage 7 Express, smaller labs that want to use standard, out-of-the-box processes will have access to the same powerful platform. With the Express version, LabVantage customers can go live in as little as 30 days.

LabVantage 7 Express provides capabilities ideal for smaller laboratories that focus on quality control as well as analytical and environmental testing. “We saw an opportunity to better serve the needs of small and medium sized laboratories,” said ceo Peter Bailey. “With LabVantage 7 Express, we are introducing a product that appeals to these labs. We are gratified to see the positive response to this Express edition from conference participants.”

The new LIMS helps companies run their laboratories more efficiently and with fewer errors by automating tasks and integrating with instruments and systems. In addition, it eliminates risk of project delays or failures.

Finally, Autoscribe is using this year’s Lab Indonesia 2014 exhibition to demonstrate the flexibility and scalability offered by its flagship Matrix Gemini LIMS. 

Matrix Gemini is characterised by its powerful suite of configuration tools and a desktop/web-browser user interface. This provides quick and easy set-up of the system according to the specific terminology of the laboratory in terms of workflows, screen designs, menu designs, terminology, report designs and much more without the need for custom coding or scripting, to give comprehensive tracking and monitoring of samples from booking-in through testing to result reporting and sample disposal. It also provides the flexibility to accommodate any future changes in requirements within the laboratory.

Intuitive, customised reporting

Bruker has launched Bruker Dash Reporting, an intuitive new system which brings the power and flexibility of customised reporting to all users. 

This new capability centres on Dash Designer, a purpose built standalone application which enables customers to position and closely format report elements, and preview reports with relevant data. Dash Designer then seamlessly integrates with Bruker’s powerful MS Workstation data system to generate reports both manually and automatically, according to customer needs.

This combination delivers intuitive and highly flexible report development and generation. Dash will be included at no extra cost on all new EVOQ liquid chromatography mass spectrometers (LC-MS) and new SCION gas chromatography mass spectrometers (GC-MS); upgrades are available for existing customers. 

Dash Designer’s user interface has been purposefully created to provide an intuitive and visual approach to make report development as easy as possible. Users ‘draw’ report elements such as tables and spectrum plots in position on the page. These individual elements can then be sorted, filtered, resized and formatted with common editing operations and advanced functions. Once formatting is complete, the report template may be previewed directly with data in Dash Designer and amended as needed. Furthermore, when report templates have been created, MS Workstation provides the flexibility of a variety of both manual and automatic report generation options in both hardcopy and PDF form. For example, one or more samples may be selected for immediate report generation or, alternatively, a series of reports may be generated automatically when a batch of samples has been completed. 

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