TeselaGen helps you manage your automated lab by keeping careful track of essential reagents needed to keep your workflows running smoothly. In this article, we explain the difference between the idea of a 'Reagent' and the physical appearance of a 'Reagent Lot' and its use as an 'Additive' in a reaction or transformation. The diagram below sketches this relationship, which is similar to the one between 'Materials', 'Samples', and 'Aliquots'.
Let's take a look at how this is represented in the platform. In the screenshot below we show the reagents table, accessed via Materials > Reagents.
From the Reagents table, we see that we can enter data for individual reagents, or do batch uploads of many reagents at once.
Choosing to 'Upload' will bring you to the 'Upload Reagents' screen where you can download a useful template for doing this type of bulk upload. Note that some of the fields in the CSV file are required, and others must be taken from a controlled vocabulary configured in the platform.
Here is an example of a spreadsheet of reagents ready to be saved as a CSV file and uploaded.
Note: If you click on the image you will be taken to a download area where you can find files for testing.
If you choose to upload reagents individually using 'New Reagent' you will be brought to the 'Create New Reagent' dialog.
'Reagent Type' is configurable in the App settings. To configure, go to your user admin icon, and navigate to Type Settings: Reagents. You will see a table of Reagent types that you can add to or modify as you wish.
Note: Reagent Type 'Growth Media' should be left as such and not deleted or renamed. It is used by a special bit of logic in the platform that understands what growth media is. This will be tuned in future releases to prevent its deletion and to allow you to rename it to 'Culture Media' if that is your lab's preferred terminology.
Now that we have uploaded 'Reagents', let's discuss 'Reagent Lots'.
Access 'Reagent Lots' from 'Inventory > Reagent Lots'. The Reagent Lots table should look something like this:
Use 'New Reagent Lot' to create a physical lot from our list of 'Reagents'.
Now, this physical lot will be tracked as we use it!
Now we get to 'Additives'. An Additive is a reagent that is added to a reaction well or sample-aliquot as part of a workflow. It does not have quite the same status as a 'Sample-Aliquot' since we are not so worried about tracking (it does not contain genetic information for example). We may want to keep track of its depletion as a matter of course though, so we are warned before we run out and can replenish our supply.
A good example of how this happens during the performance of a workflow is described in the help article called 'Add Reagents Tool'. In that article, you can see how reagents from particular reagent lots are automatically depleted as we use them.
For now, let's see how the volume of a reagent from a particular reagent lot is decreased as we use it. Let's take a simple example of transferring 25 mL from a reagent lot to a 50 mL Falcon Tube.
Checking the Reagent Lot inventory (Inventory > Reagent Lots), we search for 'glycerol' and see that we have a 500 mL Lot ready.
Now let's go to our tube inventory (Inventory > Tubes) and register a new 50 mL Falcon tube called 'Tube for testing reagent transfer' using the 'New Tube' dialog.
Our new tube now appears in the Tubes view.
Now, just click on the tube we are adding a reagent to, and use the 'Add Additives' button to transfer 25 uL to this tube.
In this case, we will add 25 uL of Glycerol from the Glycerol Lot
After submission, we can check the Tube record and see that indeed we have 25 mL of reagent assigned to the 50 mL Falcon tube.
Note that we can repeat this process adding 'Additives' until the capacity of the tube is reached.
After adding 10mL of water, the tube now shows both volumes as additives.
A Check of the Reagent Lots view shows that we have indeed reduced our Glycerol Lot stock by 25 mL.
Most folks may not track simple reagent transfers like this closely, but as you scale into automated environments, this type of functionality becomes increasingly important and using our API and scripting we can keep track of highly automated workflows, reagent depletion etc.
If you have any questions about how Reagents, Reagent Lots, and Additives work, or have ideas to share, feel free to contact us via chat or email.