At Ghent University in Belgium, you can find DoCoLab – one of the 30 labs worldwide that performs doping control analysis on athletes’ samples.
A smooth workflow for a complicated process
DoCoLab uses flowbot® ONE to ensure smooth pipetting processes.
“We found the flowbot® ONE through Filter Service and immediately saw a huge potential in its user-friendly software,” says Nicolas Van Haecke, Sample manager at DoCoLab whose team is using the robot.
flowbot® ONE has really helped with our focus. Pipetting manually becomes very tiring and mentally challenging. That is no longer an issue, and we can put our focus elsewhere
Utilizing your brain power
DoCoLab receives samples from anti-doping agencies and sports federations and processes up to 84 urine samples per day. They perform a series of screening methods on each of the samples. In this way 300-400 substances can be detected per sample.
“We use the flowbot for aliquoting to different tubes and plates. Afterward we do partial or complete sample preparation for LC-MS and GC-MS methods. Each sample has to be divided into several tubes and one plate is dedicated to each method. It’s very important to have a smooth workflow for such a complicated process and we have achieved this with the flowbot® ONE,” explains Nicolas Van Haecke.
Ensuring enhanced efficiency
Another objective for automating their pipetting routine was to ensure enhanced efficiency.
“If we have to pipette up to 84 urine samples into different tubes per day manually, it takes a lot of our time. With the flowbot pipetting for us, we have time for reviewing results and doing other tasks in the lab. If we pipette manually it takes around an hour but the flowbot® ONE pipettes a full batch in 30 minutes,” says Nicolas Van Haecke.
He also explains that his team seems more relieved in their everyday work after they were freed of manual pipetting.
“It has really helped with our focus. Pipetting manually becomes very tiring and mentally challenging. That is no longer an issue, and we can put our focus elsewhere,” Nicolas Van Haecke explains.
Simplicity front and center
DoCoLab uses the flowbot® ONE as a stand-alone table-top unit – one of the easiest forms of automation to implement into an established lab routine.
“It is surprisingly easy to use. The software is very simple, and our lab technicians have had no problems with it at all. We love that there isn’t any unnecessary information that could confuse the user. We have only one flowbot® ONE, but it runs both programs in turn without any issues. The simplicity of the plug & play solution is really ideal if you run more than one program on the same instrument,” he finishes.
In many ways, the strength of automation revolves around simplicity. And the simplicity of flowbot® ONE helps DoCoLab guarantee that sensitive data is handled efficiently.
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About DoCoLab, University of Ghent
The major goal of DoCoLab is to develop detection methods for prohibited substances and to inform the general public of the fight against doping and the efforts made in this fight by the Ghent University.
Ghent University is an open, pluralistic, and socially engaged university located in Belgium with more than 200 programs, conducting in-depth research within a wide range of scientific domains.