2017 review of the best inside-the-lab connected tools

You might have heard about electronic laboratory notebooks, and maybe you are interested in using one.

Then you might be interested in our review of connected solutions and SaaS for researchers. This article is part of a series of 3 that cover management solutions, tools for inside-the-lab and publication related applications. We have learned about management tools in the first of our review.

In the world of connected solutions, there are a lot of news applications that can help you as a researcher in your everyday lab routine. Actually Gilson announced the begin of a digital area on the lab bench with a video produced in collaboration with SciNote.

In this second part of our review of connected solutions and SaaS we are going to see inside-the-lab solutions in details.

Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELN)

What is an ELN?

What if you could record your lab experiments directly in a digital version? Well it is possible with an electronic laboratory notebooks (ELN).

Using an ELN enables to easily integrate any kind of data from your computer and access it everywhere else. For example if you need to make an experiment in your partner’s lab, on the other side of the planet, well, no problem, all your data is available through your ELN.

The ELN also enables you to take notes and to maintain traceability on your experiments: data, annotation, reflection, workflow, protocols, etc.

It guides you in the different stages of an experiment while taking the necessary notes for adequate traceability.

All this in a digital way, which allows better tracking and reproducibility compared to a paper notebook

Common features of ELNs

ELN are full of useful and intuitive features that will convince you to move on from your old paper notebook.

You can save your protocols to re-use later. You can also copy then edit those same protocols, and also import others from external sources (from your partners for example).

You have the possibility to record images from an experiment set or from the results you got, and link them to a specific experiment.

It is also possible to link experiments to their results, regardless in a lot of different formats (images, data, or notes).

You can do an inventory and track your materials’ order history, and storage locations.

And finally you have the possibility to trace your project history and planned research track. And with all those information, you are able to generate a complete report nearly instantly.

SciNote

Online tool (SaaS), software • For all scientific fields • Free (advanced paid features) • Made in Slovenia, USA

SciNote is very user-friendly and quick to set up with a unique experimental workflow.

SciNote is an online tool shared between team members. It has an open source license for you to modify it (with modules from an existing and shared SciNote library) according to your workflow. It also offers the possibility of an unlimited number of projects per user.

SciNote keeps your projects, experiments and protocols organized and accessible whenever you need them, with no USB stick transfer needed. It gives you the possibility to manage a whole project from design to publication.

Learn more on its page on Labs Explorer.

Connected pipettes

What are connected pipettes?

Usually, sample preparation is manually done. But, we have to admit, manually pipetting your samples can be a source of errors. Also, it can become complex and time-consuming depending on your protocol.

This means increased training requirements for the people in the lab, long preparation time, procedural errors and increased operational costs.

Don’t worry, equipment providers came few years ago with a solution : automated liquid handling platforms. And all these problems can be solved with automated sample preparation.

The connected pipettes consists of an articulated robotic arm that will make the experiments. This arm is backed up by a software to program the experiments with their whole protocols.

Connected and automated pipetting enables efficient programming and it is a time saver. It promotes collaboration because you can share your protocols easily with your fellow researchers and partners. And reproducibility isn’t such a big problem anymore.

Common features of connected pipettes

This kind of technology complete repetitive liquid handling tasks through software-controlled automation.

The principle is a software, often a web-based app, that enables to centralize programming efficiently. Also, it allows sharing of protocols on all the pipettes of the lab and between colleague researchers.

In general, providers offer pre-programmed protocols to download. Then you connect your pipettes to the app.

This technology enhance productivity, efficiency, and ultimately the reliability on your research results.

Gilson Liquid Handling Solutions

Cloud connected tool, software and lab equipment • For Life Sciences • Made in USA

Not long ago, Gilson launched their new PIPETMAX. This is a tool designed for pipetting work and routine protocols. It is an easy-to-use robot that automate sample preparation.

The purpose is to help researchers to save time and to obtain safer and more consistent results.

PIPETMAX is an open and flexible platform that enables anyone in the lab to implement protocols using the standard reagent kits. In fact, you can configure your method with any reagents and protocol you want. Hardware and software simply adapt to your applications. Of course, it is also possible to download pre-defined standard protocols and common configurations.

The company announced the launch of another tool named LABHUB. Which is a cloud-based solution for managing and tracking protocols. It allows tracking, recording and relaying of the actions and performance of connected instruments such as PIPETMAX for example, to the cloud. Thus, it allows anyone to share their protocols and data among the lab.

We hope you like what you read, and if you want to learn more about connected tool for better collaboration , don’t hesitate to read some of our other articles just below.

Originally published at www.labsexplorer.com.

Labs Explorer is the place to search for R&D partners, increase your visibility and gain financing.