Improving reproducibility in research


Reproducibility is the cornerstone of any scientific experiment. The ability to repeat an experiment and get the same results is essential for building a robust body of knowledge. Unfortunately, a lack of reproducibility is a perpetual problem in scientific research.

According to a survey conducted by Nature in 2016, over 70% of the interviewed scientists have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments[1].

More recently, in 2021, The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology revealed that merely 50 out of 193 experiments from 53 research papers, were replicable.[2]

This problem is not only frustrating but can also be incredibly costly in terms of wasted resources, delayed progress, and even lost data.

However, nothing in this world is static and a lot has happened since these findings. It is therefore worth taking a look at the new lab circumstances and considering how they can improve reproducibility in research.

One notable thing is that automation of common tasks like pipetting has made its way into many labs.


How automated pipetting increases reproducibility in research.

Automated pipetting robots, such as flowbot® ONE, can remove many of the common obstacles for high reproducibility in research.

4 reasons why pipetting robots can help increase reproducibility:

Reducing human errors.
It perhaps goes without saying that one of the main reasons for bad reproducibility is human errors. Automated pipetting can significantly reduce the risk of errors caused by human hands, such as inconsistent pipetting or incorrect volume measurement.
Increasing consistency and accuracy
Liquid handling robots can provide consistency and accuracy by dispensing the exact same volume of liquid every time, ensuring reproducibility between experiments. This level of precision is often difficult to achieve manually – especially in a fast-paced lab where pipetting must run smoothly no matter the stress level.
Reducing cross-contamination
Automated pipetting can help to reduce cross-contamination between samples. When using manual pipetting, there is a risk of contamination from residual liquid left in the pipette tip. Automated pipetting systems can eject the tip, reducing the risk of cross-contamination. Additionally, add-ons like UV-C light and a HEPA filter will ensure that the equipment is probably cleaned, and that the samples are protected during processes.
Increasing documentation.
By scanning all processed samples and exporting the data via csv files or through LIMS systems, it is possible to get thorough and highly accurate documentation, making sure that no tracking data is lost and eliminating misplacement errors.

As technology continues to advance, automated pipetting systems will likely become even more precise and efficient, making them an essential tool for any lab seeking to improve their reproducibility in research.

How we simplify this with flowbot® ONE.

For us, simplicity is key. And the simplicity of our pipetting robot, flowbot® ONE, enables everyone to improve their reproducibility with automated liquid handling.

1. Flowbot® ONE boasts the market’s most intuitive user interface.

We have designed it so every single person in your lab can use it and, thus, eliminate the risk of human errors – whether they would otherwise occur in a manual pipetting routine or when programming complicated automation solutions.

2. Flowbot® ONE is an inherently flexible solution that allows your lab to stay agile.

Changing a protocol requires no advanced programming. In that way, you can easily gain consistent and accurate results when procedures change in your lab, ensuring high reproducibility of your experiments no matter the circumstances.

3.  The flowbot® ONE comes with both UV-C light and a HEPA filter as optional add-ons.

The HEPA-filter provides effective air replacement throughout your lab processes and filters airborne particles from incoming airflow​.

Afterwards, the UV-C light disinfects the robot on the inside, effectively preventing contamination and enabling you to work safely with sensitive material.The duo ensures that you can rely on your results and safely reproduce them.

4. Flowbot ONE’s sample tracking solution, ScanID, can give you full traceability and documentation with minimum effort.

ScanID scans an entire rack of both 1D and 2D barcoded samples tubes in seconds and sends the data to the flowbot® ONE software, thus guaranteeing that no data is lost.

The ABCs of automation

Ready to learn more?

To make it easy for you we have collected all the best advice in 5 information e-mails that cover the bases and provide some insights into whether lab automation is the way to go for you.

    • Q&A to help you find the automation solution that fits your needs.
    • What you should look out for when implementing automation.
    • A calculator that shows you how much time you spend on pipetting.
    • Tips on how to avoid strain injuries in your manual pipetting routine.

… and much more

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