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Next generation sequencing is in the process of evolving from a technology used for research purposes to one which is applied in clinical diagnostics. Recently introduced high throughput and benchtop instruments offer fully automated sequencing runs at a lower cost per base and faster assay times. In turn, the complex and cumbersome library preparation, starting with isolated nucleic acids and resulting in amplified and barcoded DNA with sequencing adapters, has been identified as a significant bottleneck. Library preparation protocols usually consist of a multistep process and require costly reagents and substantial hands-on-time. Considerable emphasis will need to be placed on standardisation to ensure robustness and reproducibility. This review presents an overview of the current state of automation of library preparation for next generation sequencing. Major challenges associated with library preparation are outlined and different automation strategies are classified according to their functional principle. Pipetting workstations allow high-throughput processing yet offer limited flexibility, whereas microfluidic solutions offer great potential due to miniaturisation and decreased investment costs. For the emerging field of single cell transcriptomics for example, microfluidics enable singularisation of tens of thousands of cells in nanolitre droplets and barcoding of the RNA to assign each nucleic acid sequence to its cell of origin. Finally, two applications, the characterisation of bacterial pathogens and the sequencing within human immunogenetics, are outlined and benefits of automation are discussed.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Biotechnology advances
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The use of automatic machines or processing devices in libraries. The automation may be applied to library administrative activities, office procedures, and delivery of library services to users.
Acquisition, organization, and preparation of library materials for use, including selection, weeding, cataloging, classification, and preservation.
Review of the medical necessity of hospital or other health facility admissions, upon or within a short time following an admission, and periodic review of services provided during the course of treatment.
Collection and analysis of data pertaining to operations of a particular library, library system, or group of independent libraries, with recommendations for improvement and/or ordered plans for further development.
Formal programs for assessing drug prescription against some standard. Drug utilization review may consider clinical appropriateness, cost effectiveness, and, in some cases, outcomes. Review is usually retrospective, but some analysis may be done before drugs are dispensed (as in computer systems which advise physicians when prescriptions are entered). Drug utilization review is mandated for Medicaid programs beginning in 1993.
DNA sequencing is the process of determining the precise order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule. During DNA sequencing, the bases of a small fragment of DNA are sequentially identified from signals emitted as each fragment is re-synthesized from a ...
An assay is an analytic procedure for qualitatively assessing or quantitatively measuring the presence or amount or the functional activity of a target entity. This can be a drug or biochemical substance or a cell in an organism or organic sample. ...