Laboratory and Process Automation

Cell culture, cell culture monitoring, cell culture expansion – these are all typical processes in a laboratory and yet are not being sufficiently automated, because the individual requirements of the cultures can vary enormously, depending on their source. At times, not all of the parameters will be known, which makes more frequent checks and manual intervention necessary. Automation in a feedback loop with intense, automated observation of the cultures may be the solution to this problem, and provide a basis for laboratory results that can be reproduced with better accuracy.

Applications suitable for automated customized solutions include monotonous operations right through to flexible processes in the laboratory and in production. Established work steps or devices can be integrated into the solution with the same ease as specific work materials, ensuring that a change of system can be avoided. Furthermore, automated processes are easier to have certified.

 

We provide the following services as solutions for complex laboratory automation tasks:

  • Software development
  • Creation of feasibility studies
  • Development, design and construction of everything from prototypes to turnkey appliances and machines
  • Professional 3D printing in plastics and metals
  • Production development and small-scale series for surface modification processes, including differentiation-based plasma treatment

Methods

  • Problem analysis and development of devices for the automation of biochemical and biotechnology-based laboratory and production processes
  • Development of user software for biotechnological and biomedical practices
  • Analysis of technical communication and interfaces between devices used for the biomedical application
  • Development of custom software and software modules for image recognition, in particular in the area of cell cultures and biochips/spots
  • Development and modification of software for communication, control and automation of laboratory and production processes
  • Development and enhancement of software to allow communication between devices based on different manufacturer systems, for data transmission and for technical cooperation between different areas of the laboratory
  • Integration of software into laboratory management and database systems
  • Analysis of requirements, including creation of a target group and user profile
  • Rapid prototyping of software with interactive and functional testing
  • Software usability testing

 

Equipment

  • Robotic processing system for barrier-free upscaling of throughput
  • Diverse software development environments and tools, hardware-based programming, as well as user interfaces
  • 3D printers for a wide range of materials including metals, rapid prototyping and adaptation of the tools for the automation tasks
  • Demonstrators for biotechnology and microfluidic coating and production systems
  • HPLC, mass spectrometry
  • Scanner technology (Tecan, Axon, Affimetrix), biochip scanner: Applied Precision »Arrayworx«
  • In-house development »FLOW« for simultaneous kinetic flow measurements
  • Scanning probe microscopy (AFM, SNOM)
  • PVD system (plasma, sputtering)
  • Cell culture (within the automated line)
  • Biochip arrayer for the production of DNA chips and biochips (a range of arrayers available, contact and non-contact)
  • Surface modification system with plasma activation on an industrial scale
  • Cutting lasers (film to metal) and cutting plotters (film to thick plastics) on an industrial scale
  • Automatic packaging and labeling of biological-technical products on an industrial scale

  • Scheller FW, Yarman A, Bachmann T, Hirsch T, Kubick S, Renneberg R, Schumacher S, Wollenberger U, Teller C, Bier FF. Future of Biosensors: A Personal View. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 140 (2014):1-28.
  • Schumacher S, Lüdecke C, Ehrentreich-Förster E, Bier FF. Platform Technologies for Molecular Diagnostics Near the Patient's Bedside. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 133 (2013): 75-87
  • Kozma P, Lehmann A, Wunderlich K, Michel D, Schumacher S, Ehrentreich-Förster E, Bier FF. A novel handheld fluorescent microarray reader for point-of-care diagnostic. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 47 (2013): 415–420.
  • Schumacher S, Nestler J, Otto T, Wegener M, Ehrentreich-Förster E, Michel D, Wunderlich K, Palzer S, Sohn K, Weber A, Burgard M, Grzesiak A, Teichert A, Brandenburg A, Koger B, Albers J, Nebling E, Bier FF. Highly-integrated lab-on-chip system for point-of-care multiparameter analysis. Lab Chip. 12 (2012): 464-473.
  • Linck L, Reiß E, Bier F, Resch-Genger U. Direct labeling rolling circle amplification as a straightforward signal amplification technique for biodetection formats. Analytical Methods 4 (2012): 1215-1220.
  • Bier FF, Teller C. Biosensoren der Zukunft – In-vitro-Diagnostik im Point-of-Care-Format für die personalisierte Medizin. Karsten Conrad, Dirk Roggenbuck, Werner Lehmann, Uwe Schedler, Günter Peine (Hrsg.): Multiparameteranalytik in Forschung und Praxis, Pabst Publishers Lengerich 2011 ISBN 978-3-89967-703-4, pp. 185-188.
  • Bier FF. Autonomous Biosensors – Technologies that help to bring biomarkers to the patient. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 49 Suppl. 1 (2011): S158.
  • Reiß E, Hölzel R, Bier FF. Preparation of DNA Nanostructures with Repetitive Binding Motifs by Rolling Circle Amplification. Methods Mol Biol. 749 (2011):151-168.