A Trick to Lab Process Improvement
Do you believe in magic? A quick survey of scientists in our office unearthed stories of singing the “right” songs, assays successful in one person’s “magic” hands, or the “cursed” centrifuge that would inevitably produce disappointing results. These seemingly “magic” results often give scientists pause and suggest a bit of superstition in our research. The details of the issue often masking themselves, like slight of hand.
Realistically, the underlying causes in these situations were based on quantifiable differences. But, as one former bench scientist commented, “You’d be surprised by how many of us believe in magic.” So, there it is—magic. Unfortunately, magic can’t be included in a peer-reviewed journal, so researchers are forced to pull conclusions from real information. The best way to do this is by recording data points across the process to find variables and account for the differences.
Example: Managing Data Points in Bioprocess Workflows
Capturing and analyzing the data points in bioprocess, from strain engineering, through wave bags, and purification can be overwhelming. After achieving your desired output, back-tracking to analyze and optimize the process is necessary for large scale production. An informatics platform that captures your data across multiple points can help to reveal the secrets of your process.
Thermo Fisher™ Platform for Science™ software manages complex bioreactor time series data and tracks all experiments back to the originating cell line. Whether you are managing multiple experiments upstream or involved in downstream large batch or continuous processing, all information is available in the platform. You can check all metadata related to any batch or cell line and can see conditions for any point in time. The platform records all data and attributes, such as: titer, pH, viable cell density, metabolites, process fermentation conditions, media, and purification methods, allowing you to assess the impact of variables and optimize and replicate your processes.
The “process” is one of the most valuable concepts in bioprocess R&D, and optimizing and automating the workflows after selection ensures your process is performing at its peak. They say a magician never reveals his secrets, but with proper data-driven lab process improvement, it is possible to reveal exactly what “tricks” will make a process successful and help to minimize the “magic” in your laboratory processes.