- What is Identity Automation?
Identity Automation™ solutions are optimized automation packages for DNA-based human identification. Packages are currently available for the Differex™ System (differential extraction), the DNA IQ™ System (extraction), the Plexor® HY System setup (quantification) and the Normalization and PowerPlex® setup (STR analysis) on the robotic platforms listed below. Each package includes:
- Professional installation
- Expert-tested robotic methods
- Optimized accessories and consumables
- Promega reagents
- Forensic-tailored software interfaces for the DNA IQ™ System (on the Biomek® NXP) and for Normalization and PowerPlex® setup
- Staff training and post-installation technical support
- Which workflow processes are supported?
Identity Automation™ packages exist for:
- Differential extraction using the Differex™ System (Biomek® 3000, Tecan Freedom EVO®)
- DNA extraction using the DNA IQ™ System (Biomek® 3000 and NXP, Tecan Freedom EVO®)
- DNA quantification using the Plexor® HY System (Biomek® 3000, NXP, Tecan Freedom EVO®)
- Normalization and STR reaction setup using the PowerPlex® Systems (Biomek® 3000, NXP, Tecan Freedom EVO®)
- Which robotic platforms are supported?
Differex™ System DNA IQ™ System Plexor® HY System Normalization & PowerPlex® System Beckman Coulter Biomek® NXP Laboratory Automation Workstation X X X Beckman Coulter Biomek® 3000 Laboratory Automation Workstation X X X X Tecan Freedom EVO Workstation X X X X
- Can Identity Automation™ packages be developed for other automation platforms?
Promega remains focused on the Beckman Coulter Biomek® platform. Additionally, we are expanding offerings on the Tecan Freedom EVO® platform in the future. Development of Identity Automation™ remains focused on these platforms.
- How much development time is required to get the robot "working?"
Identity Automation™ solutions work "on delivery." The Promega installer will help with initial settings and provide full training. Subsequent internal validation should be performed by the laboratory. Time for internal validation can vary greatly based on staffing commitment, accreditation guidelines and requirements, and the specific process to be automated.
- If I automate just one process now, will I be able to add other processes later with the same robot?
If you purchase Identity Automation™ for one process, additional processes can be added to the same platform in the future.
- If my lab's automation expert leaves, how will we retrain our staff?
We offer refresher training services for new staff. Promega has been developing and supporting automation solutions for 10 years. Our proven expertise will be available for years to come.
- Will we be forced to change how we set up PCR plates (controls, samples, spacing, etc.)?
No. The Identity Automation™ normalization and PowerPlex® setup uses the flexible STR Normalization Manager™ interface. This interface allows extensive control of laboratory preferences, including plate layout. The flexibility of the Identity Automation™ solutions and interfaces were designed to help fit these methods into a laboratory's current workflow rather than requiring a significant change in workflow to accommodate automation.
- Our lab uses a chemistry from another company, will you help automate?
The automation supplier and manufacturer of the chemistry are the best resources to provide and support the automation of their chemistry. However, Identity Automation™ solutions are flexible in allowing automated chemistries from other manufacturers to co-exist on the same robotic platforms with Identity Automation installations.
- Can I use the STR Normalization Manager™ with Quantifiler® or Quantifiler® DUO data?
Yes, the STR Normalization Manager™ will recognize outputs from the Applied Biosystems 7500 Sequence Detection Software (SDS). Of course, it will also accept Plexor® HY data from the Plexor® Analysis Software.
- Can I use the STR Normalization Manager™ with non-PowerPlex® STR kits?
No. The STR Normalization Manager™ is developed to output directly into robotic normalization and PowerPlex® setup methods.
- What throughput can I expect for Identity Automation™ solutions?
Approximate run times for average runs are listed below. Specific conditions of a given run may cause times to vary. Times do not include thawing of frozen reagents.
Differex™ + DNA IQ™ Systems (40 samples)1,2 DNA IQ™ System (80 samples)1,3 Plexor® HY System (80 samples + 14 standards + 2 no-template controls)4 Normalization + PowerPlex® Setup (80 samples + 2 standards + 2 no-template controls + ladder gaps)4,5
- Sample preparation time is not included (placing swabs or cuttings into SlicPrep™ 96 Device for Differex™ or DNA IQ™ methods or transferring lysates from tubes to plate for DNA IQ™ method).
- All "Differex™ + DNA IQ™" times include 1) a 1.5-hour incubation for Proteinase K digestion, 2) 15 minutes for the centrifugation near the end of the Differex™ method and 3) two 10-minute deck setups.
- All DNA IQ™ times include the 1-hour incubation for sample preprocessing.
- Thermal cycling times are not included.
- Normalization & PowerPlex® setup times are based on an 80-sample plate that is a mix of "one-dilution" samples and "direct transfers." Numerous "two-dilution" samples (very high starting DNA concentration) will increase this time.
Biomek® 3000 Total time (hours:minutes) 5:15 3:17 0:35 1:40 Hands-on time (hours:minutes) 0:35 0:10 0:10 0:10 Biomek® NXP Total time (hours:minutes) 2:50 0:20 0:36 Hands-on time (hours:minutes) 0:10 0:10 0:10 Manual Total time (hours) ~10 hrs ~7 hrs ~1–2 hrs ~2–4 hrs Hands-on time (hours) ~8.5 hrs ~6 hrs ~1–2 hrs ~2–4 hrs