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Title: Novel software solutions for automating biochemical assays
Author: Harkness, Rob
ISNI:       0000 0004 2684 3241
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2009
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Laboratory Automation is used throughout the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to assist research within the drug discovery process. Many software packages are commercially available for automating biochemical assays, such as the ELISA, as part of this process. However, it is often difficult for a scientist to translate their assay into what is essentially a piece of programming logic. Advanced users with an understanding of basic programming are often required. By shifting the development approach, a software product has been created that focuses on how the user can set up an assay as opposed to how the software will automate instrumentation. A review of existing software in the field of laboratory automation and the scheduling methods that are used has provided a basic platform from which a new product, Overlord2, has been written using the Microsoft .NET framework. A flow chart interface has been selected as the method of describing an assay. This has the distinct advantage of allowing the user to control how their assay will be processed unlike the commercial products that currently exist. A new method of event driven scheduling has been created that uses fully utilizes this new flow chart interface. A simple underlying architecture has also been created that separates the core functionality into discrete components. This design has significantly improved the development-testing lifecycle. Additionally, this has allowed custom applications, tailored to the users requirements, to be implemented that use a set of common components, a novel concept in the field of laboratory automation. A software package, Overlord2, has been produced as part of this work using the latest programming technologies. At its core, it uses an instantly recognisable flow chart interface for assay creation. A scientist with limited programming knowledge can automate, with this software, the most common type of assays carried out in the Drug Discovery process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available