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HomeAutomationAutomation In Microbiology: A Detailed Guide

Automation In Microbiology: A Detailed Guide

Microorganisms are an integral part of our modern life. It is not possible to live without them. Scientists, doctors and medical technicians have always believed that manual labor is necessary for the effective diagnosis and treatment of patients. However, with the advancement of technology and innovation in terms of medical practices, automation has become more prominent than ever before.

This article discusses a detailed description of how automation functions in molecular biology laboratories and includes different types of automated systems used to help improve the work process while minimizing waste time during procedures. Automation has been implemented into most molecular labs across the United States to form faster procedures with less human labor on hand.

What Is Automation In Microbiology

Automation in lab work means to use machines for performing several tasks manually performed by humans. For example, automatic pipetting systems are used to replace manual pipetting of solutions.

Since manual pipetting is both tedious and time-consuming, automating the procedures can greatly enhance productivity by decreasing the total time taken to complete a work order.

With a 50% drop in graduates between 1983 and 2008, there has been a sharp decline in the number of medical technology training programmes.

In a micro biology lab, automation is used to perform repetitive tasks and to make other similar processes more efficient. What makes automation in a lab convenient is that it completes all procedures automatically without direct supervision. In addition, it can be activated and deactivated remotely through software programs such as PLECS and Python script files.

The main aspects of automation comprise using instruments and equipment capable of performing specific tasks and carry out repetitive procedures without any direct human supervision. In addition, it provides flexibility and error reduction in laboratory processes.

Importance Of Automation In Microbiology

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Automation is a scientific advancement that can change the way science is done in today’s world. It can make going through scientific experimental procedures and data management easier. It also helps save time, effort and money.

According to Trampe, the Previ Isola instrument cut down on processing time when compared to hand culture, and for 52% and 6% of specimens, respectively, the Previ Isola procedure and manual plating were deemed suitable.

Lab automation has already become a trend today in how scientists are performing their experiments in the laboratories. As technology advances, it creates more innovative approaches in how science should be done which makes it possible to collect more data and obtain an accurate result without much difficulty while at the same time reducing human error rate.

Clinical Microbiology Laboratory

Clinical microbiology laboratories are increasingly using automated systems to help manage their workload. Automated systems can perform a variety of tasks, from basic clinical microbiology tests to more complex ones. These systems can help laboratory staff to be more efficient and accurate in their work, and can also help to improve patient care.

With the first installation of WASPLabTM in a normal laboratory in 2012, The Copan Company marketed yet another Total Laboratory Automated system.

Clinical microbiology laboratories use antimicrobial susceptibility testing to determine the best course of treatment for patients. Total laboratory automation and laboratory automation systems help laboratories run more efficiently by automating processes and managing laboratory information.

Benefits Of Automation In Microbiology

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Microbiology laboratories are increasingly turning to total lab automation and complete laboratory automation systems to improve efficiency and productivity. Microbiology lab automation can streamline processes and reduce errors, making the lab run more smoothly. Automation also frees up lab personnel to focus on other tasks, such as data analysis.

The investigation showed that 99% was the overall yield for the categorical agreement between the compared approaches.

1. It Helps Eliminate Tedious Tasks

Automation eliminates the need to re-perform and re-do several experiments. For example, an automated buffer management system will place an order and retrieve buffers already made according to customer instructions. By eliminating these redundant steps, it saves time required for each task.

2. It Improves Accuracy And Precision Of Results

With automation in place, you can have your own ultimate robot assistant by your side for accurate results every time. The process is no longer affected by human errors or any distractions that might affect the clarity of data collected from experiments made in a traditional way.

3. It Eliminates Guesswork And Human Errors

Automation in a lab setting will not make any mistakes or errors when carrying out tasks that are associated with incorrect measurements, miscalculations and other problems often encountered by humans. In addition, several tasks can be completed simultaneously, thereby increasing efficiency.

4. It Enhances Productivity And Efficiency In Processes

To maximize the use of automation apparatus, it needs to be understood how it functions in order to work efficiently. Some machines need to be calibrated before they can give accurate results while others do not need calibration depending on the type of equipment they are used for manufacturing products in a lab setting such as pipettes and instruments used for UV irradiation of DNA solutions .

5. It Makes Complex Lab Processes Simpler

Automation allows for tasks to be performed without any knowledge of programming languages or computer skills. One great benefit of automation is that the computer handles all the complicated computations and prepares results directly in a format that can be easily understood by humans. Also, it helps ensure consistency while carrying out precise tasks.

6. It Provides A Greater Degree Of Flexibility In Laboratory Workflows And Procedures

Automation helps reduce the complexity of handling different equipment used in labs since most automated machines are controlled by computers and not human beings, including PCR machine which allows experimental procedures to be run more smoothly compared to manual PCR tests which are easy to make mistakes when performing tests manually .

7. It Helps Improve Data Quality And Can Enhance Research Outcomes

Automation allows laboratory processes to be recorded in real time and saved permanently to the computer systems. Data can be easily retrieved even when the computer is not turned on, therefore saving time and effort by performing automated procedures.

In addition, it provides much more accurate outputs compared to manual methods. High-quality data output has significant effects on the quality of research that is conducted in a lab setting. If a researcher makes an error while making a decision, it may result in wrong conclusions, which may lead to flawed experiments and incorrect conclusions.

8. It Allows For Better Monitoring Of Production Processes

To ensure that a timely and effective answer to every problem is obtained, automation can help improve the quality of processes and increase the efficiency of laboratory experiments. Automated systems are used to increase human capacity in order to support research objectives .

Risks Of Automation In Microbiology

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We were able to use the Thermo ScientificTM SensititreTM Anaerobe MIC plate since the total categorical agreement between the two techniques was 95%.

Lab automation is increasingly being used in the field of infectious diseases. Automated specimen processors and digital imaging systems are becoming more common, as they can help to speed up the process of diagnosis and treatment. Blood culture is one area where lab automation is particularly helpful, as it can automate the process of testing and culturing blood samples.

1. It Can Lead To Lack Of Human Involvement And Attention

One risk associated with automation is that it may make lab work faster without considering issues such as increasing human error rate and resulting erroneous experimental outcomes. It can also be difficult for humans to assess the quality of data obtained from automated equipment used in a lab.

2. It Requires More Investment Of Time And Resources

In order for automation to function efficiently, it needs to be programmed and designed properly by a specialized personnel who have sufficient knowledge and experience in lab applications, programming languages, software development, instrumentation design, as well as understanding of biochemistry processes involved in a biochemical laboratory research setting .

3. It Can Affect Data Accuracy, Reliability And Completeness

Due to limitations in the programming of laboratory equipment and automated systems, it may lead to inaccurate or incomplete data due to errors in programming or lack of appropriate software tools to effectively assess the quality of results obtained from automated procedures.

4. It Increases Risk For Hacking And Cyber Attacks

Utilizing the Total Laboratory Automation system, they found that productivity rose by up to 90% while the cost per specimen decreased by up to 47%. Depending on the extent of the lab activities, these quantifiable improvements resulted in annual laboratory savings of up to $1.2 million.

Automated systems installed in a lab can be vulnerable to cyber attacks resulting from viruses, worms and other software flaws that could affect the performance of an entire lab system .

In addition, there is a risk that once hackers gain access into a lab system, they may be able to modify and save information without any human intervention which could compromise lab security .

5. It May Lead To Poor Data Management Capabilities

A system that is not designed to manage any specific data that has already been collected will have a significant impact on productivity in the lab, such as an interrupting issue when the equipment generates data that cannot be saved . Also, if the system does not save all of the information obtained in each experiment, it could lead to incomplete and incorrect data results .

6. It Can Impair Work Quality And Efficiency

Automation systems are unable to notify humans or control procedures once machines malfunction or fail which may cause delays or interruptions in laboratory staff operations .

7. It May Affect Ethical Issues

Automation can replace human involvement and attention so that a researcher may not be able to provide an honest review of experiments, procedures and data which could lead to ethical concerns . Also, if a researcher’s role is reduced to simply collecting data for the research project, it may be difficult for him or her to critically assess his or her work .

8. It Can Cause Unwanted Data Loss And Save Errors

The problem starts when users fail to save the original file containing all of the information and results obtained in each experiment instead they only save corresponding software scripts that are used during the experiment .

Final Note

In the future, we can expect more automation in laboratories as scientists learn to adapt to new technology that may come out. Automation is expected to be used extensively in molecular biology and biochemistry which is the backbone of biological research.

Automation will also have a big impact on how progress towards improving our understanding of life is made. It will continue to play an important role in enhancing scientific research objectives while at the same time reducing the workload of laboratory staff.

Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by Priyanshi Sharma

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