Brooks Introduces Next-Generation Automated Sample Storage Systems; Feature-Rich, Flexible, Reliable Technology in a Standardized Platform
21 Jan 2014

Brooks Life Science Systems, a division of Brooks Automation, Inc., has introduced its next-generation of automated systems for sample and biological storage. The systems include standardized control software that offers a best-in-class user experience. The company also launched its new “Ask Brooks” expert services portal.

The announcements were made at the Society for Lab Automation and Screening’s 2014 annual conference.

“Our next-generation automated storage systems establish new industry standards for flexibility and reliability,” said Christopher McNary, vice president and chief commercial officer, Brooks Life Science Systems. “We’ve drawn upon the best technologies developed over Brooks’ 15 years of automated storage market leadership to design a storage platform that is highly adaptable to customer needs over the lifetime of the system.”

The flexibility in Brooks’ new sample storage platform comes from its modular architecture and control software. Each system has six bays that can be populated with the industry’s widest range of modules for picking, imaging, and input/output functions. Additional sample banks can be added to the initial system via an internal bridge for future expansion. The control software offers simplified operation and installation. This versatility makes the platform easy to configure and operate, plus highly scalable to meet changing customer requirements.

“We’re leveraging Brooks’ long history in the semiconductor industry where highly reliable products have been a standard requirement for decades,” said McNary. “We incorporate this high level of reliability in our automated storage platforms to improve system uptime for the life science market.”

Built-in Dynamic Storage Optimization technology allocates storage space whenever samples are loaded, eliminating the need to predefine the mix of sample containers. High-density trays increase tube storage up to 65% in the same footprint versus 96-tube racks. A high-throughput configuration can process over 100,000 tube picks per day.

The new standardized sample storage platform consists of the following components:
• SampleStoreTM II system: for dry powder, small molecule, and DNA samples from room temperature to -20° C with 300,000- to over 10 million-tube storage capacity
• BioStoreTM II system: for biological sample storage to -80° C with 700,000- to 5 million-tube storage capacity
• StrataTM automated control software: easy-to-operate and configure icon-based interface with mobile device accessibility. Simple integration with IT/LIMS systems, plus intelligent diagnostics enhances reliability.

“We’ve established a new benchmark for automated sample storage by offering the best user experience, highly flexible configuration, and ultra-reliable operation,” said McNary. “This ensures our customers can meet the changing needs of their applications – from compound storage for drug discovery to DNA, tissue, and blood serum storage for biobanking.”

The company said the first commercial systems are being installed in customer facilities and that orders can be placed immediately with Brooks’ sales representatives.

“Ask Brooks” to Provide Automated Sample Storage Expertise
 
Brooks also announced it has launched Ask Brooks as part of a new strategic advisory services offering. The Web portal will allow automated sample storage users to question Brooks’ experts about any problems or issues they are facing.

“With over 250 storage systems in place, over 1 billion samples under management, and the industry’s largest engineering staff, we are uniquely qualified to answer tough questions and solve difficult problems,” McNary said. “We encourage sample storage professionals to use the new Web portal when they face challenging applications.”

Users simply type their questions into the form on the Ask Brooks portal and Brooks’ experts will promptly respond.

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Sarah Thomas
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