Custom Software Solutions

We understand the technology and business needs of life science companies because we have been part of the evolution of information technology use in academic and biotechnology environments. The challenges are multi-dimensional. In order to aid the planning and execution of laboratory experiments we have devised web-based experiment design tools and created laboratory instrumentation automation software and databases to reduce the scientists’ burden.

Examples of Our Expertise

Web-based screen design tool

We have created from scratch a web-based crystallization screen design tool and integrated with e-commerce and manufacturing functionality. We created a database of more than 55 commercially available, mostly 96-well based formulation descriptions (protein crystallization screens), devised algorithms for the generation of new formulations to enable users create new, standardized optimization screens with a single click of a button and allowing adjustments of the screen design parameters on the fly. This web-based tool is incorporated into a shopping cart and is in active use (link to E-Screen Tool). The created formulation definitions are integrated into the operation of hardware at a manufacturing facility, instructing liquid dispensation robots to formulate customized reagent kit products.

Laboratory instrument automation software

We have architected and designed protein chromatography automation control software. This included an experiment design module and execution of parallel aspiration and dispensation motions on a highly parallel workstation (Protein Maker™, (2)). During the project we generated use cases, user personas and eventually provided a software solution that translates scientist-generated protocols into machine-based protein purification schemas. In addition we have developed user interfaces for microscopic imaging workstations and devised software to translate and format instrument data, making instruments from different vendors compatible.

Protein and gene databases

We have architected and created a central repository and searchable database for protein structure files, and gene design files (1), capturing and protecting key company assets. This included the development of tools for feeding selected information from one data repository into a protein information management system for subsequent use in laboratory operations. These databases and accessory tools form the foundation of a mission critical information infrastructure and preserve historical company information.

Software technologies applied

Databases: Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostGres

Languages: C++, C#, F#, ActionScript, Javascript, ASP.NET

Platforms: Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Project Server, Hardware (Agilent, Formulatrix, Rigaku…), Web Services, Embedded Systems


1. Lorimer et al., Gene Composer in a structural genomics environment Acta Crystallographica F67, 985-991, 2011. Download

2. Smith et al., The Protein Maker: an automated system for high-throughput parallal purification 67:1015-21 (2011) Acta Cryst F Download