Saturday, December 17, 2005

Robots Screen Bacteria and Fungi

A new robotic system also provides useful data for genetic engineering.

Despite the automation of many routine laboratory tasks, types of analysis still requires a great deal of manual input. Especially when working with pathogens that present a risk to human health, strict safety precautions have to be observed during sample preparation. This is not the case with "Mirob", a new robotic system for rapid microbial analysis.
Working autonomously, the robot extracts the samples under the guidance of a camera and image processing software, and transfer them to the mass spectrometer. An important aspect of the continuous process is material flow control, as Oliver Lange of the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg explains.

The engineering side of the Mirob project was also handled in Magdeburg, by local companies engelke engineering art and Symacon GmbH. Another project partner was Proteome Factory AG. The first robotic system was recently sent to biotech firm Anagnostec for testing. Marketing is due to start soon.

Robotic microbial protein analysis


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