Fully automated cultivation of cell cultures

Laboratory activities often require routine work to be performed by trained personnel. Fully automated, modular laboratories increase throughput and reproducibility - for example for stem cell cultivation.

© Fraunhofer IPT

Individual solutions

New, efficient processes also require the appropriate equipment - we develop custome-made systems for demanding automation tasks in the laboratory environment.

Laboratory automation

Higher reproducibility due to automated laboratory processes

Routine laboratory work is labor-intensive and usually requires qualified personnel with specialized know-how. However, many of these activities in the laboratory can be automated to increase reproducibility and throughput - and thus relieve the workload on skilled personnel.

One example of such time- and labor-intensive laboratory processes is the propagation of stem cells. To reduce repetitive procedures for staff and avoid human error through interaction with cells, the Fraunhofer IPT offers solutions for automated cultivation of stem cells in the laboratory. Here, we refer to experiences from past and current projects in which we have developed fully automated laboratory facilities as well as partially automated facilities to produce stem cells for research and therapy.

It would be our pleasure to support you and provide you with recommendations for the development of fully and partially automated plant concepts as well as individual process automation in your laboratory. At this point, we focus on compliance with GMP/GAMP (Good Manufacturing Practice/Good Automated Manufacturing Practice) recommendations so that biological processes are carried out in accordance with these guidelines.

Would you like to test your laboratory processes with us? StemCellDiscovery is a fully automated laboratory which is available as a testbed for cooperating universities and companies.

Our services

  • Support in the automation of laboratory processes
  • Development of laboratory automation concepts (fully or partially automated)
  • Control system development and adaptation
  • System planning and commissioning
  • Automation and optimization of laboratory protocols
  • GMP-compliant design and construction

Modules for partial automation in the laboratory

Decapper – Automated opening and closing of containers with screw cap

The Fraunhofer IPT develops devices for automated opening and closing of cell and liquid containers with screw caps.

CoolGate – Cooled storage and automated supply of heat sensitive liquids

The interior of the CoolGate can be cooled down to 4°C in order to store containers with heat sensitive liquids for longer periods of time. An integrated mechanism transports the liquid containers to the removal point so that a robot can take over.

Greifer – Gripping objects of different shapes and sizes

Specially shaped grippers, which we have developed at the Fraunhofer IPT for different tasks, can move different objects within the system without having to change the grippers.

Lock – Transfer of materials between rooms with different degrees of cleanroom

A special lock, which we have built at the Fraunhofer IPT, enables the transfer of material from a room with a high to a room with a lower cleanroom level. A ventilation system prevents contamination, while an integrated cooling system allows even heat-sensitive liquids to be absorbed.

Cooperation

Learn about the various collaboration opportunities offered when working together.

Customized solutions for a fully automated laboratory environment

Control system

Automation of processes in the adaptive networked laboratory

The production control system, which we developed at the Fraunhofer IPT together with partners, allows the networking of different machines in laboratory automation, for example incubators, centrifuges, robots, high-speed microscopes. Processes can thus be automated and flexibly configured.

Scheduling and optimization

Intelligent control of automated laboratory processes

Working with stem cells often leads to unpredictable process times and complex processes with frequent media changes, splits and much more. With the help of artificial intelligence, production planning and control can be optimized and a more efficient use of laboratory automation measures can be ensured.

Production planning and cost presentation

Optimal planning and provision of consumables

Consistent process monitoring and data acquisition allow to react efficiently to deviations in the process flow and to adjust material requirements more precisely. Visualizations of the material stock allow the user to plan material precisely and with foresight.

Applications

Online measurement technology in cell culture

The automation of cell culture processes requires suitable measurement technology to monitor cell growth. Custome-made measurement techniques can guarantee comprehensive quality control in automated production environments.

Special machinery construction

The Fraunhofer IPT develops special solutions for laboratory automation, such as the development and operation of fully automated systems for cell culture processes, precisely specified to the user's requirements.

Concept development

Laboratory automation can increase the efficiency and throughput of processes - when used in the right place. We develop custome-made solutions for all areas of automation - automation concepts for laboratory protocols and GMP-compliant design using GMP Wiki.

Automated cell production

The Fraunhofer IPT develops fully automated systems for the production of pluripotent or mesenchymal stem cells. The systems can produce cells in high throughput or large volumes for scaled production. State-of-the-art technology ensures optimum quality control.

 

 

Pipetting process development

In many cases, the automation of laboratory protocols involves pipetting processes. Based on our many years of experience with liquid handling systems, we have created a library of function blocks that fully automates a wide range of pipetting processes.

Automation of laboratory protocols

The processing of cells requires many steps, such as media change, separation and seeding of cells, cryopreservation, genome meditation or sample handling for quality control. In our projects we develop automated protocols for the reproducible handling of cells.

Projects

StemCellFactory

The project uses standardized and integrated methods for personalized stem cell-based drug prediction to develop test systems for drug testing and pharmacotherapy in the field of neuropsychiatric diseases.

AutoStem

Stem cells are promising candidates for cell therapy. In the EU project AUTOSTEM, a fully automated system was developed to produce cells in a robot-assisted environment.

 

 

 

JointPromise

The purpose of the project is to design a manufacturing platform for the automated production of complex joint implants for the regenerative therapy of osteoarthritis-related cartilage defects.