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We love automation. We design and build innovative robotic systems and laboratory devices used by pharmaceutical and biotech companies and academic research laboratories. HighRes helps scientists accelerate such areas as drug discovery, high-throughput genotyping, siRNA screening, next-generation sequencing sample prep, biorepository science, molecular diagnostics, and more. We offer highly flexible, expandable and modular integrated systems and bench-top devices that are easily configured (and reconfigured) for fast-paced, dynamic laboratories.
We are located in Woburn, MA, about 10 miles north of downtown Boston and Logan airport, and conveniently located close to I-93 and I-95 in a state-of-the-art 50,000 square foot facility that houses our offices, assembly area, machine shop, electronics shop, and a showroom in which customers can view demonstrations of our integrated systems, storage devices, instruments, and software.
The company started in 2004 as High Resolution Engineering. We soon changed our name to HighRes Biosolutions to highlight the company’s life sciences expertise. In the beginning our primary focus was to build flexible integrated systems for laboratory automation. We developed and patented a docking station, called MicroDock, the key to the flexibility and modularity that are the hallmarks of HighRes’ automation. In a HighRes robotic system, an array of MicroDocks surrounds a central robot “pod". Devices and peripherals live on carts that are designed to dock and undock in seconds from the robotic work cell via the MicroDock, which also automatically connects power, data and gases for all of the devices on the cart. This technology allows a user to swap devices in and out of the robotic system in less than 30 seconds, without reteaching the robot. This groundbreaking approach has enabled researchers 1) to deploy automated systems for multiple purposes by reconfiguring them as needed; 2) to stay up-to-date with advancements in device technology; 3) to automatically track contents of storage devices even as they move between systems; and 4) to use expensive devices optimally, both on an automated system and in an offline mode.
HighRes has developed a small number of standard robotic work cell sizes that can be combined as needed to accommodate virtually any process. In order of descending size, these are the 12-, 9-, and 6-sided MicroStar™ platforms, followed by the 4-sided NanoCell platform, and the most compact of all, the ACell benchtop system. Each of these systems or combinations thereof may be housed in HighRes’ proprietary enclosures, which can be BSL2+, temperature controlled, dry with air filtering (positive or negative pressure) for compound management, and opacity-settable for light-sensitive assays.
HighRes’ initial focus was on the founder’s core capabilities, high-throughput screening (HTS) and compound management (CM) in support of basic research for pharmaceutical companies. In the past 3-4 years HighRes has been extending its application portfolio to other laboratory automation areas. For example, systems for viral screening, anti-bacterial screening, DNA extraction, siRNA screening and high content screening have been deployed. Over the past 2 years HighRes has been focusing on the development of genomics applications including DNA/RNA extraction, genotyping and high-throughput sequencing with next generation sequencing technologies.
HighRes developed a proprietary scheduling software package, Cellario, for control of all robotics platforms. Cellario is the most advanced and capable scheduling software on the market today. Its dynamic scheduling capabilities and advanced flow control options allow for the best of both static and dynamic scheduling domains. The on-the-fly error recovery and protocol modification allow users to handle any situation that may arise in the lab environment. The flow control options can ensure that samples are treated uniformly and critical timings are maintained. Cellario can easily be integrated with standard 3rd party LIMS, custom “in-house" LIMS and HighRes’ own LIMS offerings.
HighRes also offers an array of innovative lab automation devices including labware storage components, liquid transfer devices and plate/lid-cleaning devices. HighRes also offers a revolutionary line of labware storage devices including carousels, incubators and freezers. The storage products include the MicroServe and NanoServe (high-density, last-in/first-out ambient carousels), the AmbiStore (random-access ambient carousel), the SteriStore (the world’s only self-sterilizing automated incubator), the TundraStore (a dry freezer for compound storage), and the SampleVault (a modular long-term automated sample store), which can be used in both biobanking and compound storage applications. All products offer best-in-industry labware density for optimizing the quantity of labware that can be stored in precious laboratory square footage. The random-access units offer high-speed barcode inventorying in less than 2 minutes, barcoded stackers for pitch identification, and interchangeable stackers.
We have offices in the Boston area and on the West Coast, as well as in the UK. Our headquarters in Woburn, Massachusetts, just minutes from Boston, is where we build our systems and devices, and develop our software in a state-of-the-art 50,000 square foot (4600 m2) facility. Our recently expanded offices include multiple assembly areas, a machine shop, electronics shop, testing areas, and a showroom where customers can view and try out our innovative systems, instruments, and software. HighRes has a global presence, with installations, service, and support in the North America, UK, Europe, and Asia.