Chromatography is one of the most diverse techniques used in the life science industry. Its applications span the entire spectrum from production to analysis and from small molecule to large proteins. In the realm of chromatography, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is arguably the pinnacle of this technique.
The advent of HPLC brought chromatography from large, inefficient, and slow gravimetric and low-pressure methods, to efficient, automated systems capable of running continuously. They can process 1,000s of samples per single run with little to no supervision. While this process has become incredibly efficient, what happens after is not efficient. You’re left with a lot of chromatography data and utilizing that data has not been simple for scientists and informaticians.
Consider the example of producing proteins, which we explored in one of our previous blogs - Efficient Data Management for Protein Purification with AKTA Data Integration. As the chromatography system produces batches there is a need to examine the product’s quality. A critical portion of quality control is performed by an HPLC system. Through HPLC methods you can measure the molecular size, concentration, and many other properties which can provide information on quality control. However, before you can report on quality control you have to ready all that chromatography data.
How does it happen today? First, data is often collected by a Chromatography Data System (CDS). The challenge is that CDSs are good at acquiring data, but not searching or standardizing it. Additionally, they do not support added integrations with other data sources like mass balances, plate readers, BGAs, or in this case, the source purification system.. Finally, moving data downstream from a CDS to a visualization tool (where a QC report is generated) is a real challenge. Analyzing chromatography data across multiple batches, samples, or instruments is even more of a challenge. A simple QC report turns into a series of PDF, text files, and CSV exports all requiring hours of manual transcription into Excel sheets, ELNs and visualization tools.
We created the Empower Data Integration because we saw a desperate need for more efficient chromatography data management across the entire life sciences industry.
Waters offers a range of high-performance analytical system solutions including Liquid Chromatography. Empower is Water’s flagship CDS. You can find more about Waters instruments on their website.
Our customers craved a better way to manage and utilize their Empower data. As we discussed in our AKTA blog, scientists, informaticians, and analysts require tools that are capable of handling the huge volumes of data produced by chromatography systems, and they want to analyze data across multiple batches, samples, runs, and instruments.
Empower data, automatically, flows from Empower into the TetraScience Data Lake where it’s standardized and thus searchable across the entire organization including multiple users, groups, departments and sites. Through APIs the data can be interfaced with third-party software making data accessible at the click of a button.
Connecting to Empower starts with the TetraScience Empower agent, which takes data from your Empower client and transfers it to the TetraScience DataHub. The DataHub is a software installed on a Linux system inside of your network and serves to host the TetraScience Empower Connector as well as any other TetraScience Data Connectors (AKTA, Egnyte, Plate readers, BGAs, etc). The data hub serves as a single point of data transfer to the TetraScience data lake. Once data is in the data lake it is standardized and made searchable and retrievable via the Data Lake REST API.
Science doesn’t happen with a single instrument or tool. Connecting Empower to the TetraScience Data Integration Platform makes data centralized, standardized and accessible, connecting you to more upstream and downstream targets including ELNs such as Dotmatics, LIMS such as IDBS, and visualization tools such as Spotfire. For a full list of our integrations, visit our Integration Library.
The results of efficient chromatography data management are significant. There are huge time-savings realized by scientists and informaticians. What that means for the scientists is… more science! For the informaticians and IT specialists, that translates into higher-order analysis and a chance to evaluate high-impact tools and processes. For the entire company, it makes data available in a standard format which can be accessed without having to maintain outdated software systems for decades.
A particular process we see often is using Tibco Spotfire to visualize Empower data. Our Spotfire integration allows users to create complex visualizations of Empower data across multiple sample sets, projects, sites, and more. The structured data available from the TetraScience Data Lake makes it easy to filter visualizations in order to narrow down data analysis to desired targets and reports.
TetraScience continues to create data integrations with leading instrument and software vendors. To learn more about our Empower Data Integration visit our website and request a demo.