Having gone through ups and downs in recent history, the biotech industry is now ushering in a new generation of advances. In fact, biotech is driving the lab science industry with renewed vigor. New reports show that biotechnology is fueling specific fields like pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and techniques, biofuel, agriculture products, and environmental technology. These new advances are exciting and paving the way for even more advances in years to come.
Advances in imaging systems have “seen dramatic advances over the past several years, giving biotech researchers new bioscience information and capabilities that were previously unavailable.” (1) Benchmark imaging systems can provide sensitive applications that lead to earlier diagnoses in the medical field and improved understanding of early disease onset. Many new imaging systems are now commercialized, and some labs may wish to incorporate this new technology into their equipment repertoire.
More efficient computational accelerants are pushing computer processing forward. Better software systems provide the foundation for biotech research. For instance, a new method has been discovered to track and predict the 3-D movements of cells. This technology dramatically improves research efficiency by providing an automated methodology for cellular activity. In other words, scientists do not have to reconstruct an animal’s processes cell by cell; the new technology supports this function instead.
More Advances in Biotech Equipment
While imaging systems and enhanced computer processing have generated considerable excitement in the biotech equipment field, there are many new advances on the horizon. In the near future, labs will likely be using more 3-D printing equipment in their research and processes. For instance, scientists are working to create 3-D cancerous tumors for study. By relying on this new technology, scientists hope to better understand certain types of cancer and how to treat them successfully. For instance, new cancer drugs could be used to treat the 3-D models without harming the patient in any way with experimental treatments. In this way, breakthroughs in cancer treatment could be closer at hand.
Another improvement in biotech lab equipment relates to pipettes and workstations. These traditional biotech lab tools have remained essentially stagnant for years. New advances, however, are leading to improving pipetting and workstations that improve efficiency and speed up processes. These upgrades mean that lab workers can improve productivity simply because of better automation.
Of course, these are just a few advances in biotech lab equipment. Many more are in the works. Many labs are excited about the prospect of new equipment; however, new equipment–particularly state-of-the-art equipment can be a huge expense for a lab with tight budget constraints. Many labs have discovered that buying used lab equipment allows them to outfit their lab more affordably. Labs have access to “large quantities of instruments and facilities relating to NMR’s, HPLCS, mass spectrometry, centrifuge, chromatography, dissolution, incubation, agitation, separation, analysis, robotics, inspection, DNA sequencing” and much more. Used gear in excellent condition allows labs to obtain more advanced equipment at reasonable prices. Other labs find that selling their older equipment is a great way to help fund new purchases of lab equipment.
1. Laboratory Equipment, “Next-gen Biotech Drives Equipment Advances,” http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/08/next-gen-biotech-drives-equipment-advances