Review of Analytica 2018: lab efficiency comes first

This April saw the 25th outing of Analytica, the International Trade Fair for Laboratory Technology, Analysis, and Biotechnology. The show is organized by Forum Analytik, an alliance of the most important scientific associations in the German-speaking region. This year it attracted over 35,000 visitors from around the world and more than 150 speakers.

Key themes discussed at this year’s show included:

From big to smart data: there is a lot of hype about the labs of the future and many lab automation and data mining solutions are emerging. At our in-booth talks, Melissa Zeier, Agilent Application Scientist, talked about how to maximize the productivity of your lab using data analytics. She explored the proof points that show the hidden sources of downtime in the laboratory and asset management based on age, use, reliability, and redundancy of instruments and equipment.

Food analysis 4.0: the analysis of contemporary materials in food such as emerging contaminants is high on the agenda of many food labs. Interest is also growing around GMO analysis, detecting antibiotics, and analyzing the origin of raw materials – topics all covered at the show conference. In the realm of foodomics – the scientific study of food and nutrition – advanced techniques for analyzing bio-availability in food were discussed. At the Agilent booth, Melanie Schober, Application Engineer, presented the Ultivo Triple Quadrupole LC/TQ and its role in maximizing productivity in routine food and environmental analysis. The system delivers high-quality routine quantitative analysis using a fraction of the lab space needed by conventional LC/TQ systems.

Multiomics analysis: biopharma developers are always on the lookout for the latest advances in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, and how to integrate and interpret different omics data. Dr. Rebecca Konietzny, Agilent Application Scientist LC/MS, presented end-to-end workflows for Biopharma. From automated sample preparation, via chromatographic separation, all the way to comprehensive data processing, the rich Agilent portfolio is able to cover every aspect of the analytical challenges in the biopharma field. Read our posts on the AdvanceBio expert blog series for the latest insights.

Visitors to the show were particularly interested in products and services aimed at improving overall lab productivity – a topic that is at the heart of Agilent solutions. At the Analytica Forum, a customer case study with Colinda va Tilburg from Mercachem highlighted how working with Agilent enabled her lab to manage large amounts of prep samples with a small analytical team. This work used the new Infinity II LC Prep system and columns, which were launched at Analytica.

There was also a forum exploring the use of Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) imaging as a new standard method for microplastics and microparticle analysis. Applying this technology allows further study of them in the environment, identifying and quantifying the types of microplastics. This practical seminar was presented by Dr. Marion Börger, Agilent Product Specialist Molecular Spectroscopy and Imaging.

Product innovations on show from Agilent included new OpenLab informatics software updates:

Agilent OpenLab CDS 2.3: with improved functionality focused around user experience and latest supportability requirements for chromatography data systems in labs today. This update includes enhancements focused on getting more key insights from LC and LC/MS systems and data portability in to and out of OpenLab CDS.

Agilent OpenLab ECM: this platform has extended capabilities from managing CDS data to handling scientific data from other types of instruments as well as managing office documents, reports and PDFs within a data repository. This software helps customers reduce the cost of managing electronic data and meets their associated long-term storage requirements.

We hope this article has given you a useful overview if you missed the show. We’re looking forward to a brief rest before beginning to plan the next Analytica in 2020!