AI Technology and the Lab of the Future

In 2022, Agilent announced its acquisition of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed by Virtual Control, an AI and machine learning software developer that creates innovative analysis solutions in lab testing. Agilent will integrate the software, known as ACIES, into its industry-leading gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GS/MS) platforms to improve the productivity, efficiency and accuracy of high-throughput labs the company serves around the world.

ACIES automates the labour-intensive task of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry data analysis improving efficiency in the laboratory workflow, from sampling to reporting. Agilent will integrate the technology into its MassHunter software package for LC/MS and GC/MS instruments.


Digital labs

This move by Agilent signals that the digital age is very much here for laboratories. Science has always driven the world forward and now it will do the same for laboratories.

The lab of the future is a concept built on the foundation of digitalised labs. It encompasses smart technological workflow systems that are connected and capable of collecting vast amounts of data via integrated automation.

A digitalised lab should be considered a more advanced lab as it has more access to data. With data being key to transforming science, increasing amounts of data generated in any lab, let alone a digitally connected lab, could be a game-changer – but only if it’s collected and synthesised into information and knowledge that is useful.

The digital environment (i.e., paperless work in an electronic format) capitalises on digitalisation. It incorporates all of the necessary instrumentation for complete data analysis and enables the full value of the data for decision-making. The ability to monitor operations and provide more sophisticated insights is a core reason for introducing AI into the operational lab environment.



Transforming science

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often defined as the ability of a machine to learn how to solve cognitive challenges. However, in the context of scientific methodology and laboratory interconnectivity, AI is starting to be used for capturing data to model human observation and decision-making processes.

Taken forward, connecting all instruments in a lab via AI enables the opportunity for an even more astute understanding of the interactions between technology and also users, potentially providing an all-inclusive view of all laboratory operations.

Accessing this powerful source of information will become a necessary component of scientific productivity. This is an inevitable next step in creating lab management systems that are so efficient and provide knowledge that is so valuable that only AI will be able to produce them.

AI, coupled with universal sensing capabilities to detect and monitor a range of variables, e.g., an instrument’s power draw, enables companies to realise certain operational and financial benefits to their business and plan for the future. Through high-quality and readily available insights, AI enables the simultaneous monitoring of all equipment usage in the lab and holistic capacity tracking.

Watch our webinar on Industrialising High-Throughput Glycoproteomics Using AI for Clinical Use


Staying competitive in a competitive world

Globally, scientific innovation is accelerating, so labs need to consider the technology investments required to become digitally enabled in order to keep up and stay competitive. We live in a data-driven world, so scientific laboratories must fundamentally transform how they create, manage, and effectively use all the data that is generated in their lab ecosystem. Achieving and sustaining a competitive edge in a world of constant change will require the continual transformation of lab operations and scientific data management. This will be the first and most important step toward becoming a truly digitalised lab.


Standardising honey fingerprinting methods

Although previous work has been done developing case studies for fingerprinting foodstuffs, including honey, the approaches among laboratories have been different regarding sample preparation and instrumental conditions. There are also differences in terms of data processing and analysis. As a result, two laboratories analysing the same sample may obtain slightly different results. Ideally, developing a standardised fingerprinting method that could be used across all LC/MS-based workflows, enabling the same testing technique to be used across multiple laboratories, would be optimal and where future work is aimed.

Read our article on Fingerprinting Honey to Ensure Purity

When addressing the issues of food safety, product quality, and authenticity, each may be governed by separate sets of regulations. For example, looking at the residues of contaminants in honey, such as pesticides, there may be differences globally. Countries may have their restrictions for the maximum limit for specific compounds. Contaminants are a part of the picture when considering fingerprinting for honey, but permitted levels may vary between countries.

Additionally, as samples come from the field to the lab for testing, there is potential interest in reversing this and bringing the lab out into the field instead. This interesting but not yet recognised capability would enable regulators and the global food industry to respond more quickly to honey contamination and food fraud.

Step into the future, elevate your business and talk to our team of experts about how you can improve the productivity, efficiency and accuracy of your lab.

Novel Front-end Strategies to Increase Sample Throughput in LC/MS

Imagine if you could perform ‘LC/MS’ analysis in a comparable time to Usain Bolt’s 100-metre world record!  Over the last 15 years through iterative technological product enhancements and by the replacement of a traditional UHPLC with a simple sample cleanup step, the RapidFire system has accelerated MS analyses in many fields ranging from HTS, ADME, biopharma, synthetic biology, food, and the life sciences.

However, sometimes when there is an unavoidable requirement for good chromatographic separation, then an alternative, low-cost strategy exploiting Ultra-Fast LC can be adopted to reduce analysis times from minutes to seconds. This webinar presents the new RapidFire400 system for HTS and will contrast its analytical merits to the complimentary Ultra-Fast LC approach.


What you will learn

•    How the RapidFire400 meets the needs of  today’s high throughput requirements
•    Learn how a standard Agilent LC can be configured to the Ultra-Fast LC mode
•    Understand the advantages and limitations of both high sample throughput strategies


Andreas Mielcarek
Pre-Sales Applications Scientist


Andreas Mielcarek is a pre-sales Applications Scientist with Agilent Technologies. He has been with Agilent for 5 years developing LC, RapidFire, and mass spec methods on a wide range of molecules. Prior to joining Agilent, he worked as a LC-MS Core-facility scientist at the University Marburg, were he obtained his PhD in bioanalytical chemistry.


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Ultra-High Sensitivity for Targeted Mass Spectrometry Applications

The Evosep One is a powerful and standardized platform for LCMS workflows that require a sensitivity boost achieved at low flow rates between 100nl/min to 4ul/min. The robustness and throughput of the standardized methods on the Evosep One combined with the sensitivity of the Agilent 6495C triple quadrupole support targeted analysis of proteomes with ultra-high sensitivity down to the single cell level.

We demonstrated this by targeting selected peptides in a complex background of sub-nanogram material and generated dilution curves spanning several orders of magnitude. To ensure seamless integration of the Evosep One with the Agilent 6495C triple quadrupole, we have developed a native driver for MassHunter and a robust solution for the Agilent nanoflow ion source.


 What you will learn

•    The application of the Evosep One chromatography system to high-throughput analysis of large cohorts.
•    How there is a growing demand for high throughput and standardized workflows to allow  the  analysis of increasingly large cohorts of samples for proteomic research
•    How high sensitivity is achieved for the accurate measurement of low abundant biomarkers
•    How the Evotip was designed to improve efficiency and recovery associated with sample purification and loading ahead of MS analysis.


Angela McArdle
Evosep Senior Scientist
Evosep Biosystems


Angie is a proteomics scientist on the application team at Evosep BioSciences. Her work focuses on bringing standardization, throughput, and depth into translation proteomic research studies. During her PhD at University College Dublin studying proteomics in inflammatory arthritis and postdoc at Cedars Sinai, Los Angeles, Angie conducted large scale biomarker studies, where she gained considerable experience with the Evosep One and the Agilent triple quadrupole mass spectrometers.


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Adding an Extra Dimension of Separation

With the increasing demand for high throughput LC/MS analyses, there is a temptation to reduce chromatographic run times, but in some instances, this can give rise to significant interferences, thus compromising the result. Or perhaps, despite improvements in column resolution you still observe a reduction in sensitivity and selectivity due to ion suppression or elevated background noise caused by matrix effects? Could it be that you need to carry out discovery work and need to confidently identify ‘unknown’ compounds using a high-resolution MS strategy?

Maybe all your analyses could benefit from further separation of sample components?

We will discuss the 6560C Ion Mobility LC/Q-TOF system and explain how it exploits ion mobility as an extra dimension of separation to increase feature coverage whilst reducing background noise to avoid losses in sensitivity. An exemplary workflow detailing a bona fide 4-dimensional LC/MS method to characterize compounds including proteins without increasing analytical run times will be described.


 What you will learn

•    The principles and benefits of ion mobility (IM) and how it can help multiple applications
•    How adding an orthogonal gas phase separation (IM) allows faster chromatography to be used to separate isobars and matrix components
•    How accurate Collisional Cross Sections (CCS) values from drift time measurements delivers higher confidence for untargeted workflows
•    How to separate and characterize different protein conformers present in a single solution


Hannah Florance
Application Scientist


In 2006, Hannah gained her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in non-covalent protein interactions in solution and the gas phase under the tutelage of Prof. Perdita Barran.

Hannah is currently an LC/MS applications specialist for Agilent, based in Cheadle, UK and has had multiple roles in the life sciences research, starting as a protein chemist, before moving into the proteomics and metabolomics fields.


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Improved Metabolomics Analysis Using an Iron-Free Flow Path

Metabolomics is a tool to decipher and understand the physiological state of a cell or organism. In recent times, LC/MS emerged as the prevalent analytical technique of choice, still with significant potential for improved robustness and ease of use.

In this webinar, we will demonstrate the advantages gained by using a biocompatible flow path over stainless steel by direct comparison of the Agilent 1290 Infinity II Bio LC and Agilent 1290 Infinity II LC. The 1290 Bio LC showed improved peak shape and resolution for phosphorylated compounds like nucleotides and sugar phosphates without apparent adsorption effects, compared to the Agilent 1290 Infinity II LC. Analyzing intracellular metabolite extracts derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, excellent retention time RSD values of 0.1% were generated, and essential metabolites for physiological parameters like the adenylate energy charge could be analyzed consistently. These results show that the 1290 Bio LC is the ideal choice for the seamless and robust analysis in metabolomics.


 What you will learn

•    How HILIC/MS separation is used for the detection of metabolites.
•    How an iron-free flow path delivers superior performance for phosphorylated metabolites.
•    Improved tailing factors of nucleotides
•    Robust performance in analyzing metabolites in a complex yeast extract


Andre Feith
Application Scientist
Agilent Technologies


André Feith is an HPLC application scientist at Agilent Technologies, focusing on biopharma and biotechnological topics. He was involved in testing and validation of the Agilent 1290 Infinity II Bio LC regarding bio-specific applications and more recently he has focused on analyzing new modalities like oligonucleotides and online analysis of critical quality attributes with process analytical technology (PAT). During his Ph.D., he researched at the Institute of Biochemical Engineering, University of Stuttgart, in the field of Bioanalysis, Metabolomics, and Metabolic Engineering.


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SFC – Only the Solvent is Critical

Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC) was first developed in the 1960s, using supercritical carbon dioxide and this technology has been commercially available from Agilent for over a decade. Often known for its application to the analysis of chiral compounds, SFC is the ‘greener’ alternative over normal phase separations, further increasing the demand and acceptance of this technology.

This webinar will explain the basic scientific principles of SFC as a highly powerful liquid separation technique for the efficient separation a wide range of analytes. Examples will be given to illustrate, how an SFC system can be coupled to a mass detector to form an integrated LC/MS system to deliver high throughput applications.


 What you will learn

•    Similarities and differences between SFC and conventional HPLC
•    Why SFC is the green technique in separation sciences.
•    The advantages of SFC with application examples
•    Theoretical background to SFC
•    How to set up an SFC system with MS detection


Dr. Jens Trafkowski
Product Specialist HPLC
Agilent Technologies


Jens Trafkowski studied food chemistry and received his PhD at the Institute of Legal Medicine from the University of Bonn for his work on applications of HPLC-MS/MS in forensic and clinical toxicology.

Prior to joining Agilent in 2011, Jens spent more than 6 years as LC-MS as an application specialist in the industry before leaving to undertake a global HPLC product management responsibility at Agilent Technologies. Later, in 2017 Jens moved into his current role as an HPLC product specialist where he is based in Basel Switzerland.


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Boost your Performance with 2D-LC Separation

This scientific presentation is for analytical chemists, chromatographers, and mass spectrometrists that want to learn, how an additional chromatographic dimension can deliver deeper insights into their samples, particularly when integrated with a mass selective detection system.

Several concepts of the different types of 2D-LC will be explained to enable a comprehensive understanding of this well-established technology.

The benefits of comprehensive Multiple Heart-Cutting, High-Resolution Sampling 2D-LC and the unique technique of Active Solvent Modulation will be explained in detail. Real-life examples will be shown to illustrate the advantages that incorporating an additional separation dimension brings to LC and LC/MS analysis.


What you will learn

•    First principles of 2D-LC technology
•    How to configure a mass detector with 2D-LC
•    How 2D-LC technologies enhance the quality of MS detection
•    Where 2D-LC makes a positive difference with several application examples


Dr. Jens Trafkowski
Product Specialist HPLC
Agilent Technologies


Jens Trafkowski studied food chemistry and received his PhD at the Institute of Legal Medicine from the University of Bonn for his work on applications of HPLC-MS/MS in forensic and clinical toxicology.

Prior to joining Agilent in 2011, Jens spent more than 6 years as LC-MS as an application specialist in the industry before leaving to undertake a global HPLC product management responsibility at Agilent Technologies. Later, in 2017 Jens moved into his current role as an HPLC product specialist where he is based in Basel Switzerland.


Register and watch on demand >