For many people, a career in science represents a chance to explore and understand the world around us; to experiment and make new discoveries that bring about exciting changes or new ways of seeing the world. But any researcher will tell you that there is plenty of monotony to go along with the excitement. Scientists often find themselves spending hours doing tedious, multi-step processes that, while necessary for their research, can often take several hours to a day to complete. One such task is library preparation, a necessary process for next-generation sequencing (NGS) that usually takes more than a day to finish and has numerous points of failure where variability can be introduced. It’s tasks like this that can greatly benefit from automated systems like the TECAN MagicPrep™ NGS, freeing researchers up to focus on analyzing their data or planning their next experiment.
It was this very desire to liberate researchers from lengthy NGS preparation workflows that inspired Ashesh Saraiya, senior project manager, and the team at TECAN to create the MagicPrep NGS. “I think about it in terms of my experience in the lab,” Saraiya says. “If I had this when I was doing my postdoc, what could I have accomplished? If I didn't have to do the library prep stuff, I could spend that time doing something else, whether it's analyzing data, thinking of the next hypothesis, doing other experiments, [or] talking to colleagues and collaborating.”
While the NGS preparation workflow has already been automated by other products, some of those devices can be hard to work and are often built to run very high throughput. The team at TECAN instead wanted to build a system that was simple to use and could facilitate research for lower throughput laboratories.
Designed for prepping 8 samples at a time, the MagicPrep NGS also boasts a cartridge-based system for all the reagents and consumables a researcher needs for NGS library prep and only takes up to 10 minutes to start a run. The user interface and workflow are simple enough that it only takes 30 minutes to train someone on the machine and, once started, the MagicPrep NGS is a fully walkaway system.
The addition of the MagicPrep NGS system to the TECAN portfolio means that they can provide a solution for a lab of any throughput, whether it’s low, medium, or high, explained Saraiya. He also added that what the team at TECAN really wanted to achieve with the MagicPrep NGS was a fully automated, library preparation system that will fit in any laboratory, no matter how small. The new system is not only small enough to fit on your benchtop, but it's also fully integrated—meaning everything is run through the integrated touchscreen and there is no need for external computers. “It's really simple, easy to use, minimizes errors, and it provides a reliable, robust solution using proven technologies along with some novel technologies that we've developed for highly efficient NGS library prep,” Saraiya concludes.