AniCon, a German based producer of veterinary diagnostics PCR kits for livestock, uses flowbot® One for quality control.
Being able to quickly diagnose e.g., Avian Influenza virus in chicken and the African Swine Fever virus is vital within farming and agriculture, and it is important that each batch of diagnostic kits is thoroughly tested. Getting assistance from flowbot® ONE has become key for keeping up with this massive workload.
Keeping up with the workload
AniCon decided to automate liquid handling to relieve their lab technicians of tedious and time-consuming pipetting tasks.
“Our lab technician was extremely overburdened before we automated. She had to do everything manually and the workload was quickly piling up,” says Florian Werner, Lab Automation Specialist from AniCon.
To test their reaction mixes they set up according 96 well plate in only 15 minutes on flowbot® ONE. That includes master mixes, positive controls and negative controls in several repetitions, and dilution series of further reference materials in multiple repetitions.
“That is a lot of pipetting, and it takes a lot of concentration to remember what goes where and keep track of everything. Especially if you are doing many per day, it might result in fatigue and perhaps even serious strain injuries over time,” clarifies Florian Werner.
Using a robot has made all the difference and resulted in a manageable workload.
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It increased the speed of throughput so much that we have a pile of experiments to evaluate afterwards. That would never have happened without the flowbot® ONE
A lab partner you can trust
Working in parallel with a robot is much like working with any other colleague: you need to trust it to get a good flow in the laboratory.
“Our lab technician was a little wary of it in the beginning, but it quickly changed, and she trusts it now. She did the whole evaluation, and it helped a lot that she had a say in the protocol and was able to change it, so it fits into her routine,” he explains.
In order to reach that point, the robot should be easy to adjust to a daily lab routine. And it is important that it is used for the right application.
“The flowbot® ONE is by far the easiest robot I’ve ever programmed. Quality Control seems to be an ideal job for it,” says Florian Werner and elaborates: “the 4 Channel pipette is really what sets it apart. The 4 Channel is an ideal match for the distance between the tubes and the wells. We use two 4 Channel pipettes: one for distributing the master mix and one for the dilution series and transferring the samples.”
Flowbot® ONE’s features, such as liquid level detection, is another thing that helps AniCon trust the robot as a lab partner.
“It is really important that we can be certain that the robot will pipette the samples, which it obviously can’t do if it has run out of liquid. Liquid level detection functions as an error control and lets us know if there is a problem – it makes it completely trustworthy,” Florian Werner concludes.
And just like that, AniCon has created a space where humans can work effortlessly with robots – getting high throughput and accuracy in return to make sure their staff is happy and their product flawless.
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About AniCon Labor GmbH
AniCon was founded in 2005 with activities in veterinary diagnostics, food safety and a small scale of avian autogenous vaccines.
Besides post-mortems and cultural bacteriology, the diagnostic portfolio also covers serology, cultural virology as well as a very broad spectrum of molecular diagnostics including sequencing.
Since 2009 AniCon also produces In-Vitro-Diagnostics (IVD), namely real-time PCR-kits for use in many labs around the globe, which today are marketed under its own brand Kylt®.
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