While this is a well-known technique, the Cambridge Consultants team had some specific needs, requiring the flexibility to rapidly iterate and optimise, that made it more challenging to develop this workflow through the vendor’s software platform. In particular:
Consistently high throughput to run many thousands of samples during the project.
Fast execution speed to process up to a thousand unique samples per day.
The ability to add custom sample handling steps upstream of qPCR reaction set up (Figure 2).
Robust sample traceability to manage the data and its provenance (Figure 3).
Excellent reproducibility to allow optimisation of underlying process (Figure 4).
Minimising execution costs given the scale of testing (reduced FTE time, Figure 6).
The results of the experiments (Figure 5) are used as part of formal acceptance testing therefore liquid handling reliability is essential (especially cross-contamination control) along with clear traceability where both the liquid handling platform and analytic device are under the control of a single software solution.