If you need laboratory equipment in San Diego, you can contact Biotechnical Services Inc. This article looks at the key technologies you’ll find in a lab.
What Is a Laboratory?
A laboratory is a place where scientific research or experimentation is conducted. It is equipped with specialized equipment and materials for conducting experiments and analyzing results. You can find laboratories in different fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering. As you’d expect, they are in schools, specialized institutions, and hospitals, among other places.
What Is the Purpose of a Laboratory?
The purpose of a laboratory is to provide a controlled environment where scientific research and experimentation can be conducted. Laboratories are used to test hypotheses, develop new technologies and processes, and advance scientific knowledge.
Scientists and researchers can control variables and carefully observe and measure the results of their experiments to draw conclusions and make discoveries. They also play a critical role in developing new products and technologies, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer products. In addition, they are used to perform quality control and testing to ensure the safety and effectiveness of these products.
Key Technologies Used in a Laboratory
There are many technologies used in laboratories in San Diego. They range from analytical to automation and robotics. Let’s look at them.
The purpose of analytical instruments is to measure and analyze the properties of substances or materials to understand their composition, structure, or behavior.
They can measure various properties, including chemical composition and physical properties (such as density, melting point, or refractive index). They also measure structural properties (such as atomic or molecular structure). Here are laboratory equipment in San Diego used for analytical purposes:
A spectrometer is a tool that measures the properties of light, such as intensity, wavelength, or frequency, by breaking it down into its various parts. It is used to identify the chemical composition of a substance by analyzing the spectrum of light it absorbs or emits.
They are different types of spectrometers, including:
- Mass spectrometers
- Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers
- Optical spectrometers
Uses of spectrometers range from space exploration, characterization of proteins, respiratory gas analysis, and monitoring dissolved oxygen in freshwater,
Chromatography is a technique used to separate the components of a mixture based on their physical and chemical properties. It involves dividing the mixture into two phases, one stationary and the other moving, allowing the mixture’s components to partition the two phases based on their affinity for each stage.
It allows the components of the mixture to be separated and analyzed individually. As you’d expect, researchers and scientists in San Diego use chromatographs to achieve the separation.
They are used to determine the concentration of a substance by measuring the volume of a reagent required to react with it. They are used in titration, a method used to identify the presence or absence of specific substances in a mixture and determine the concentration of those substances. It is used to understand the chemical makeup of a sample and can provide important information about the properties and behavior of the substances present.
- X-Ray Diffractometers
An X-ray diffractometer is a scientific instrument used to study materials’ atomic and molecular structure. It works by firing a beam of X-rays at a sample and measuring the diffraction of the X-rays as they pass through the sample.
The diffraction pattern produced can be used to determine the arrangement of atoms in the sample and identify the chemical bonds present.
Other analytical instruments include pH meters, refractometers, atomic absorption spectrophotometers, and infrared spectrophotometers.
Different software types are used in Laboratories in San Diego, each managing a complex process. Let’s look at some of the most common:
- Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN)
An electronic lab notebook (ELN) is a digital tool that replaces traditional paper notebooks used in research and development (R&D) processes. It provides a more organized and efficient way to document and share experimental results and procedures.
It allows lab staff to search, share, collaborate, and organize data. An ELN can help researchers have a better overview of their data and improve their work’s reproducibility and transparency.
- Laboratory Information Management System (LMS)
It is a software tool used to track and manage information related to samples and their analyses in a laboratory setting. It is often used in routine analytical laboratories to process and analyze samples.
A LIMS system can help to organize and track sample information and metadata. It can perform analyses and present the results of those analyses. It uses several tools and technologies, such as barcode scanners, label printers, and integrations with other databases to facilitate the transfer of data between systems.
- Laboratory Data Management System (LDMS)
It is a software tool used to track and manage information related to samples and their analyses in a laboratory setting. In addition to storing research data, a LIMS also stores relevant metadata, which makes the data searchable and easier to organize.
Other important features of a LIMS may include access control, electronic signatures, audit trails, lifecycle management, and collaboration tools to facilitate sharing and working with others.
- Process Analytical Technology (PAT) Software
Process analytical technology (PAT) is a software tool that helps to manage online control systems and adjust production parameters as needed to improve quality and efficiency. By using PAT, biotechnology companies can more effectively monitor and control the production process, leading to higher-quality products and enhanced efficiency.
Other software you can find in a lab in San Diego includes laboratory execution system (LES), automation scheduling software, and chromatography data management system (CDMS).
Microscopes and Imaging Equipment
They are tools used to capture and analyze images of objects or samples. They include microscopes, scanners, cameras, and imaging software. Imaging equipment is often used in conjunction with microscopes to enhance the resolution and contrast of the captured images and allow for digital analysis and manipulation of the data.
Application of the equipment includes the following:
- Polymer science
- Materials science
- Semiconductors, and more.
Laboratory Automation and Robotics Instruments
It is laboratory equipment in San Diego designed to serve a specific purpose, either by automating a task or helping a human technician or staff member complete a task more efficiently. Thanks to advancements in microcomputer science, microelectronics, and micromechanics, researchers have been able to develop laboratory robots.
Lab automation uses specialized equipment and software to perform laboratory processes with minimal human input. Automation can be applied to a single step of an experimental process or automate the entire workflow from start to finish.
Laboratory automation improves efficiency and accuracy in the laboratory, reduces the risk of error, and increases the reproducibility of results. There are several types of automation in a lab. They include the following:
- Pre-analytical automation
- Analytical automation
- Post-analytical automation
Benefits of Technology in Laboratories
● Reduces Injuries
Manual labeling laboratory equipment in San Diego can often lead to hand and finger strain. It can lead to tingling and numbness in one’s hand. With automation, you can avert this risk, reducing injuries in the lab.
● Reduces Cost
Using lab automation can reduce the need for many lab technicians. As such, you reduce expenses, allowing you to invest in other laboratory departments.
● Eliminates Human Errors
Since there are many steps in keeping track of research samples, human error is inevitable. Lab automation can help reduce these errors and increase efficiency in the lab.
● Saves Space
Most lab automation equipment come in a compact design, enabling you to save space.
● Enhanced Data Analysis and Management
Data analysis and management software can help scientists organize, analyze, and interpret data from laboratory experiments. It can improve the accuracy of results and make it easier to identify patterns and trends in the data.
● Remote Access to Data and Equipment
The increasing use of technology such as cloud-based solutions, remote monitoring, and virtual reality has allowed for the remote access of lab data and equipment, increasing the collaboration among researchers and making it more accessible for training.
● Greater Sensitivity
Mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and X-ray crystallography can detect and analyze samples at very low concentrations, allowing scientists to see previously unknown compounds or study previously unknown properties of known compounds.
As you can see, technology plays a critical role in modern labs, providing many benefits, such as greater sensitivity. Some key technologies are advanced analytical instruments and automation. These technologies have significantly increased the capabilities of laboratories.
Biotechnical Service Inc. is a leading dealer in laboratory equipment in San Diego. You can reach us via our contact channels if you need technology incorporation in your lab.