TetraScience has the honor of being featured in this month's issue of Science Magazine in an article entitled Companies in the cloud: Digitizing lab operations by Mike May.
A range of cloud-based tools—collectively known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT)—can connect everything in a lab, from research protocols and pipettes to data storage and manuscripts. As these tools get easier to use and data become more secure on them, an increasing number of scientists and companies will likely take advantage of complete connectivity.
On TetraScience and manufacturing partner Consolidated Sterilizer Systems:
Designing an ecosystem
As IoT digs deeper into labs, the entire R&D “ecosystem” will change and grow more interconnected—like NASA combining a wide range of devices and locations to launch a rocket. Alok Tayi, CEO and cofounder of TetraScience in Allston, Massachusetts, describes his company’s technology this way, calling it “mission control for R&D.” He elaborates, “We use IoT to connect individual experiments and instruments into a single online dashboard.” Customers leverage the dashboard for three core functions: managing instruments and assets, automating experiments, and collecting and managing data.
Two factors that challenge companies like TetraScience are the numerous types of lab equipment available and the diversity of equipment manufacturers. “So we create partnerships with manufacturers,” Tayi explains. “That way, they can offer new capabilities to customers, such as remotely diagnosing problems and adding automated analytics and imaging.”
By combining these capabilities and different versions of equipment, Tayi plans to change labs in fundamental ways. “We’re trying to create an ecosystem of instruments, scientists, and research,” he says.
To get this done, Tayi knows that he can’t get people to build completely new labs filled with state-of-the-art equipment. Instead, he explains, “We help labs enter the digital age by retrofitting existing instrumentation and putting it on the cloud. We help support that ecosystem, as labs and research evolve over time.”
One of the partnerships combines TetraScience with Consolidated Sterilizer Systems (CSS), also located in Allston, which manufactures autoclaves. “We wanted to get our autoclaves to communicate through the cloud, like your thermostat or TV at home does,” says Arthur Trapotsis, president and CEO of CSS.
Instead of having CSS build its own cloud, Trapotsis decided to team up with TetraScience. “If end users have to log into 37 different clouds, it will be annoying and very cumbersome,” he explains. “So we went with the TetraScience ecosystem because manufacturers of different equipment types can, theoretically, plug into it. As a result, lab personnel can have one cloud platform to monitor their entire lab.” Trapotsis and his team have already released their cloud-enabled autoclaves. “In 2017,” says Trapotsis, “we’ll have a cloud-conversion kit that you can retrofit onto an older autoclave to make it cloud-compatible.”
Read the full article here and pick it up on a science newsstand near you.