Expert Insight: Ready-to-use digitalized nucleic acid preparation

This on-demand webinar shows how to simplify your nucleic acid extraction, limit operator-dependent variation, and improve the traceability of your workflows

29 Jun 2020

Steve DeCabooter, Dr. Philipp Widmann
Steve DeCabooter, Gilson, Dr. Philipp Widmann, QIAGEN

Gilson and QIAGEN have announced a collaboration to build a turnkey digital system that integrates Gilson's TRACKMAN® Connected digital bench tools and QIAGEN's manual nucleic acid extraction kits.

In this on-demand SelectScience webinar, Steve DeCabooter, Director of Connected Platforms at Gilson, and Dr. Philipp Widmann, R&D Scientist at QIAGEN, discuss this new system and how it can bring many of the benefits of automation to pipetting, including increased consistency between collaborators, greater confidence in the execution of extraction protocols, and improved traceability at the bench.

Catch up on this webinar to learn how to:

  • Simplify your nucleic acid preparation
  • Improve traceability on the bench 
  • Boost your experiment reliability 
  • Get immediate reproducibility 

Read on for highlights from the live Q&A session or register to watch the webinar at any time that suits you. To sign up for the Early Adopter Program mentioned during the webinar, go to

Q: What data does the system provide in its reports?

SDC: The system report provides the in-depth traceability you need when working on anything that requires sample prep. At the broadest level, it records who performed the experiment, which experiment was performed, and when. Further details regarding the materials and the equipment used throughout the experiment, such as the pipettes, buffers, and other materials, are also recorded. It also provides the specific protocol that was run. Most importantly, at the end, it shows a list of every single action that took place, including environmental records of what happened at each step, any comments that were added throughout the run, and any undo or redo work.

Q: With what QIAGEN kits do you expect this system to work?

PW: We haven't decided which exact protocols we will launch yet, but at the beginning, the idea is to launch 10 to 15 of the most-used protocols, in order to cover a broad spectrum of applications. These will include protocols like DNeasy, RNeasy and QIAamp, for example. We will also include the customer feedback we get during the Early Adopter Program in the selection process. 

Q: Can I use the pieces of this system independently?

SDC: Yes, you can. The pipettes, as well as TRACKMAN Connected, can both be used separately as well as together – although a lot of the benefits you’ve seen here come from the combination of the two. Our connected pipettes are electronic, and they can be used with anything that you're using in the lab. Similarly, TRACKMAN Connected works best with our Gilson pipettes, as you saw with the automatic selection, but also supports non-connected pipettes and other tools in your lab, so you can use it with equipment you already have.

Q: Is the digital system CFR 21 Part 11 compliant concerning data integrity?

SDC: Currently, we have a lot of the parts to support the 21 CFR 11 workflow. For instance, the login capability, which allows you to know who specifically did the work, and the traceability of all the experiment events. As such, we can work within a 21 CFR 11-compliant workflow, but we are also currently working towards building the overall system as standalone 21 CFR compliant.

Q: In the product video, the plates used were 96-well. Is the system compatible with 384-well plates?

SDC: Yes. We support both 96 and 384-well plates as default selections, but beyond that, we also support other configurations of labware. You can enter in a specific array for whatever you need to do. You can also support things like tube racks and other labware that you can use to work with products like QIAGEN's spin columns

Q: Are the tips used specific to the pipettes supplied, or can more generic pipette tips be used?

SDC: Gilson pipettes are optimized for Gilson tips, but our pipettes have a universal collar on them, so we will work with many vendors' tips. 

Q: Are the protocols preloaded on the tablet?

PW: We don't expect them to be preloaded, but we haven't decided on this yet. We will, however, make the protocols downloadable. We will also set up an email for customer requests to provide guidance on selecting the correct protocols.

Q: Could you tell us about the cost of the platform?

SDC: The nice thing about this system is that it’s built from current standard products that are available on both of our web pages. Speaking from a Gilson standpoint, both the TRACKMAN Connected price, as well as the price of the Connected pipettes, can be found directly on our web page. Regarding price, an entry-level system is affordable – not much more than you would expect for the electronic pipettes separately. On top of that, the system can be scaled to support whatever flexibility you need. This means that you can get the base platform at an affordable price, and then scale it to support any volumes and any workflow that you need within our PIPETMAN® volume range.

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