42 R&DMagazine June 2014 www.rdmag.com
Mobile Control In the Lab
As mobile devices now run lab instrumentation, today’s labs welcome the 21st century.
The ability to adapt to changing situations is critical for today’s labs. Today, many lab equipment systems are designed with the flexibility to accommodate these needs.
Time is also of utmost importance, and the
ability for a researcher to walk away from their
work, or monitor it on the go, is a new standard.
A new generation of researchers are entering
the lab. While the older generation is used to
fixed instrumentation, new researchers are more
mobile and have grewn in a world of social
media and smartphones.
Instrument vendors have noted these trends
and have worked to encompass these growing
needs into their instrument collections. From better automation to mobile control, this new generation of researchers are seeing their needs met.
Mobile control over lab instruments
As labs are filled with a new generation of
researchers that are more familiar with touchscreen interfaces and iPhones than dials and
knobs on box-sized scientific instruments, vendors are following suit in their new instrument
designs. They are incorporating more touchscreen interfaces and some even engineer their
instrumentation to be run from Apple iOS or
Combing high performance and application
versatility, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences’,
Indianapolis, Avanti JXN- 26 centrifuges offer
labs an intuitive interface and advanced data
management feature that expands functionality
and flexibility to free user time in research and
bioproduction. The instruments can be run from
an Apple iOS or Android device using Mobile
Fuge, a mobile application available to run and
manage lab centrifuges. Researchers and facilities
managers can also leverage the instrument’s data
management, user tracking, networking and
remote capabilities for ease-of-use and efficiency
in biological sample preparation, and to meet
quality control standards.
Avanti JXN- 26 provides application versatility with wide rotor compatibility and capacities
to 6 L, and speeds to 26,000 rpm and rcf up
to 81,700 xg. The rotor library has 26 options,
including fixed-angle and swinging-bucket
models with lightweight designs that accommodate a variety of tubes, microplates and bottles. The automatic detection system prevents
the centrifuge from running at higher than
rated speeds for installed rotor types.
Following suit, Xylem Analytics’, Yellow
Springs, Ohio, YSI brand has introduced the
2900M Online Monitoring and Control System,
Sampler as a new solution to
address the online monitoring
needs of bioprocess applica-
tions. The YSI Sitini Online
Sampler can be set-up to auto-
matically draw fluids from the
bioreactor, delivering samples
directly to the 2900 biochem-
istry analyzer for testing. Sam-
pling is done aseptically with
no risk of contamination, as
lines are flushed and antiseptic
is kept in them after each drawing. The analyz-
er and the Sitini Sampler can also connect to
process management instruments via RS232,
Ethernet or Open Connectivity (OPC) to
incorporate into existing applications, and the
searchable database allows for quick access to
LabSolutions Direct from Shimadzu Scien-
tific Instruments, Columbia, Md., is a remote
access tool for the LabSolutions series that
enables control and monitoring of HPLCs from
a smartphone or tablet PC via a simple user
interface. LabSolutions Direct makes it possible
to turn on/off the HPLC’s solvent delivery unit
or oven, start analysis and monitor chromato-
graphs. Therefore, analysis can be performed
while checking instrument status from remote
The HPLC connected to LabSolutions can
be directly accessed from a smartphone or
tablet PC by adding on a wireless LAN router.
This allows the instrument to be controlled and
monitored from remote locations. LabSolutions
Direct supports a series of analysis operations,
including selecting methods used for analysis,
turning on/off the pump and column oven,
data acquisition and monitoring chromato-
grams or instrument status. No special software
is required, only a Web browser, so anybody
can operate LabSolutions Direct with ease.
The functions required for remote operation
are organized in an easy-to-follow manner, so
they can be used with the same look and feel as
smartphone or tablet PC applications. Method
files or batch files created and managed on Lab-
Solutions are read to LabSolutions Direct and
executed to acquire data. The data is automati-
cally saved for analysis using LabSolutions.
Like Shimadzu, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules Calif., introduced its NGC medium-pres-sure chromatography platform where researchers can snap in plug-and-play modules that
enable users to change throughput applications.
ChromLab software controls the functions of
the NGC, including instrument control, method development, real-time monitoring, chromatogram comparison and peak analysis.
The NGC offers remote access that gives
researchers full control of the NGC instrument
via ChromLab Touch. Users can control the
NGC instrument from their home, desk or
anywhere else using mobile devices such as
smartphones and tablets. This feature gives
researchers the ability to monitor progress of
the protein purification, which could run overnight. It also allows researchers to respond to
unexpected situations during an experiment,
such as holding a condition to capture all the
proteins that are eluting, or stop the flow when
a leak is suspected.
Direct enables control and monitoring of HPLCs
from a smartphone or table PC.