Industry News: NGS workflow optimization draws a crowd at ASHG 2019

19 Nov 2019


Artel gave a talk that focused on optimizing the NGS workflow at the recent American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas.  The presentation entitled, NGS Workflow: Overcoming Barriers for Successful Automation, was well attended and the talk aligned with ASHG’s theme – discover, educate, and advocate. 

Attendees interested in improving their assay workflows and overcoming challenges related to genomic method development, validation, and troubleshooting attended the talk.  The presentation provided information on how labs can reduce costs and increase throughput, especially as they are faced with pressures to drive miniaturization and adopt automation. The presentation detailed common steps in workflows that are sensitive to variations introduced by inaccurate liquid delivery operations and offered information on how to prevent them from occurring, resulting in quicker development and automation time, increased productivity, and reduced cost. 

Artel scientist Nicholas Enea has extensive experience in genomics and immunoassay development. His goal was to challenge those in attendance to think about the steps in their workflows involving critical liquid volumes and recognize how volume accuracy can impact the validity of their data. After the talk, he met with the attendees to discuss their specific assays and the challenges they pose. 

Liquid handling challenges play a significant role in method development, optimization, and automation of qPCR and NGS workflow processes. The quality checks for these workflows are often time reactive and happen later in the processes. Sample volume inaccuracy in qPCR translates into concentration inaccuracy, which translates into inaccurate results. Proactively preventing variations introduced by equipment and operators reduces development and optimization time significantly, especially in most genomic workflows. These applications normally take days to run and to analyze the data. The talk at ASHG addressed quality solutions utilizing Artel technology as a way to ensure consistent volume accuracy from day to day and from operator to operator. 

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