October 1, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 17)
Automated Solutions Revolutionize the Routine Laboratory Workday
Exciting ideas are at the root of scientific breakthroughs. Every day, researchers around the world are expanding the frontiers of science by finding answers to the fundamental questions of life. To translate unique ideas into scientific breakthroughs, researchers need flexible and reliable solutions, as well as state-of-the-art technologies for their scientific experiments.
These include automated systems that are nowadays used routinely in molecular biology or molecular testing labs. Utilization of such systems has changed the typical workday for many lab scientists. While enabling researchers to benefit from advantages inherent to automation, such as standardized processing, increased user safety when handling potentially infectious samples, more reproducible results, and increased productivity, automated systems also free up scientists’ time from tedious routine work, allowing them to creatively work on their next exciting idea.
However, the world of laboratory automation has evolved dramatically over the last few decades. Originally, automated solutions focused more on the high-throughput environment, whereas today’s solutions address almost any throughput requirements and all steps across the workflow, from sample disruption to nucleic acid purification, assay setup, and, ultimately, detection and analysis.
About the Company—QIAGEN’s Automation Journey
Founded in 1984 as a spin-off at the University of Düsseldorf, QIAGEN has continuously developed and turned into what is today the world’s leading provider for innovative sample and assay technologies. Our solutions enable access to valuable information from any biological sample.
While QIAGEN’s initial success was based on revolutionizing molecular biology by introducing the first DNA and RNA purification kits, enabling researchers to save time, standardize their processes, and become more efficient, QIAGEN quickly leveraged its position by developing and acquiring complementary technologies—including automated solutions.
In early 1996, the BioRobot® 9600 was introduced—a multifunctional laboratory workstation preprogrammed to automate plasmid purification and DNA cleanup. Today, QIAGEN provides a complete portfolio of automated solutions that covers each step of the laboratory workflow—from sample to result.
Unique research and development capabilities, combining the expertise of hardware and software engineers together with application scientists and optimized chemistries, enabled the development of cutting-edge dedicated solutions that deliver the high-quality results scientists are striving to achieve in their daily work.
QIAGEN’s automated systems can be seamlessly integrated into the laboratory workflow, eliminating manual handling errors and freeing up personnel time. Furthermore, they are easy to use allowing operation by all lab personnel—from the automation novice to the expert—assuring fast startup and continued success.
A researcher’s needs may vary considerably depending on their working environment. Rapid technological advances in the life sciences demand flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to change, while in molecular diagnostics everything can be summed up in the concise formula: sensitivity + accuracy + speed = success.
QIAGEN’s products set standards in molecular diagnostics, applied testing, life science research, and the pharmaceutical industry. From universities where new and exciting ideas are born and laboratories in industry where these ideas are transformed into tangible applications, right through to medical practice where new diagnostics facilitate the detection of diseases and the development of personalized treatments, QIAGEN disseminates the application of molecular biology into daily life for the benefit of individual patients and our society as a whole.
QIAGEN offers a broad portfolio of stand-alone automated sample and assay technologies. The company holds a leading position in automated nucleic acid purification using membrane-based as well as magnetic particle-based technologies, with platforms such as the award-winning QIAcube® and the EZ1® Advanced, both addressing low-throughput customer needs, or the BioRobot product line for high-throughput DNA and RNA purification.
Combined with any of the state-of-the-art detection technologies, including real-time PCR, capillary electrophoresis, multiplex detection, and Pyrosequencing®, sample processing is highly standardized. Thus, significant advantages are created for laboratories and life science researchers in terms of convenience, cost-efficiency, and quality of results.
With the QIAsymphony® RGQ, the latest addition to the novel laboratory automation systems, this concept was taken a step further and the instrument provides an integrated workflow solution, from preparation of a biological sample to delivery of the final results. The system is extremely flexible, with features including random access and continuous loading, and it can be used with a diverse range of sample types and processing routines as well as with assay kits.
As a proven innovation leader, QIAGEN is committed to continue enabling scientists to explore the building blocks of life, thereby fulfilling its mission of making improvements in life possible.
5911 KJ Venlo
Date Founded 1984
Number of Employees 3,600