Gilson brings IoT potential to the lab

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Gilson Connect
Gilson Connect

Related tags: Research

Gilson has launched a cloud-connected platform that it says will help researchers achieve ‘verifiable science’.

First products as part of Gilson Connect are Trackman Connected and Pipetman M Connected.

They give scientists the ability to record and track pipette performance data in real-time and transmit to sciNote, a free, open-source electronic lab notebook (ELN).

At the end of an experiment, the researcher gets a report which they can export as a PDF or use sciNote which has security protocols to protect data against third party security breaches.

Making liquid handling verifiable

Trackman Connected is a kit that includes a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 tablet pre-loaded with PipettePilot, a microplate pipetting tracker application.

The app interacts with the Pipetman M Connected, a Bluetooth-enabled smart electronic pipette, to guide researchers through their pipetting protocol. By tracking and storing performance, scientists can review data for errors and export experiment results, accelerating report sharing.

Gilson’s Internet of Things (IoT) products aim to make the manual exercise of liquid handling in the lab verifiable.

Potential of the Internet of Things

Nicolas Paris, CEO of Gilson, said it is bringing the potential of the Internet of Things to the lab and helping researchers focus on doing actual science instead of data management.

“With the Gilson Connect platform, we envision a connected lab bench of the future in which all scientists have access to laboratory tools that communicate seamlessly with each other.”

They are available through a limited release to customers who will help co-develop future upgrades through early access testing and feedback.

Tiphaine De Jouvencel, product manager at Gilson, said researchers are using IoT devices in daily life such as smartphones, tablets and other devices.

A study by McKinsey indicated potential impact of IoT could be $3.9trn to $11.1trn per year in 2025  (McKinsey & Company 2015), she added.

“Labs are not outside this phenomenon and become connected through automated devices, instruments, incubators, freezers which generate a large volume of data (Perkel 2017),” ​she told FoodQualityNews.

“Gilson’s goal is to make the lab smarter and for that, we are bringing tools to facilitate integration, harmonization and integrity of the data to connect the bench, the protocol and the scientist.”

Gilson said studies show irreproducibility could impact 50 to 90% of all research. (Freedman 2015).

“Day-to-day lab operation is also negatively impacted, including reduced collaboration with other labs,”​ said De Jouvencel.

“Many scientists report data management challenges related to finding lost data, managing/organizing/sharing data, and multiplication of systems and consolidation. Reporting experiments also takes considerable time and could be a source of error.”

Pipetting as source of error

It is possible that 50 to 90% of published research cannot be replicated by other scientists.

Pipetting can be a significant source of error. Pressing a plunger slower than usual, performing droplet touch-off on the wall of a liquid container and ambient temperature can affect performance.

Gilson said engineers have been researching options to make lab instruments at the bench smarter so scientists can achieve more productive research and verify their science.

“Through numerous sessions with life science researchers, the teams looked to the cloud and the IoT to help. And that is how Gilson Connect was born. The concept was kick-started to build a platform that flows information between Gilson devices and the cloud,” ​said De Jouvencel.

“We are starting at the foundation: manual steps of liquid handling. These new devices will take care of data recording, letting scientists focus on the big picture and the interpretation of results. We understand that to make progress, researchers need to focus on doing actual science.

As lab methods are evolving continuously, our software and firmware evolves to follow the latest techniques in the laboratory to be always closer to researcher expectations. We need to adapt our products, because experiments at the bench require this type of evolution, and so does the industry.”

De Jouvencel said it chose to do a limited release to build a relationship with researchers.

“When a presentation of the connected product is done in a lab, we try to verify, update and improve our app to be adaptable to customer requirements. There are so many different types of experiments, and so we try to find the best solution to adapt to all experiments and all researchers with an intuitive use,” ​she said.

“The best thing with the IoT and applications is that we can adapt and evolve them to be closer to customer needs. There is no one-step launch, but it’s rather the beginning of a complete connected environment which will be enriched with new features, new apps and new connected products to reach customer needs.”

Sources:

  1. Aarts, A. et. al. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349(6251). doi:10.1126/science.aac4716
  2. Baker, M. (2016). Biotech giant publishes failures to confirm high-profile science. Nature, 530(7589), 141-141. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19269
  3. Mullard, A. (2011). Reliability of ‘new drug target’ claims called into question. Nat Rev Drug Discov, 10(9), 643-644. doi:10.1038/nrd3545
  4. Freedman, L. P., Cockburn, I. M., & Simcoe, T. S. (2015). The Economics of Reproducibility in Preclinical Research. PLOS Biology PLoS Biol, 13(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002165
  5. Baker, M. (2016). 1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility, 533(7604). doi: 10.1038/533452a

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