CHRONOS is the core controller for all CHRONECT products provided by iChrom Solutions, including:
- All CHRONECT Symbiosis Systems
- All CHRONECT Symbiosis Modules
- All CHRONECT UHPLC Products
- CHRONECT Dried Blood Spot Autosampler (DBS)
- CHRONECT Extract Collector
- All CTC Autosamplers with CTC firmware
In addition, CHRONOS sample lists are readily transferred directly to most major mass spectrometer software, enabling single sample-list building for the entire analytical system.
CHRONOS controls the above systems and components an efficient and intelligent way, and enhances sample throughput by performing overlapping processes.
Most chromatographic processes in analytical laboratories use autosamplers. The purpose of these samplers – and automation in general - is to increase throughput without the need for additional personnel. Until now, samples have been processed strictly in linear sequence, and often require dedicated personnel for sample prep.
One result of this is lost time due to lack of analyzer use while samples are prepared.
CHRONOS recaptures this lost time, by increasing the active measuring time of the analyzers, and therefore considerably raising the efficiency – and throughput - of the laboratory.
Automation is an important topic in chromatographic laboratories. A de¬crease in the number of personnel and increasing throughput requirements make automation necessary whenever possible. Decreasing sample cycle times - and overall laboratory turnaround times - is tremendously difficult without high-performance auto¬mation.
Apart from considerations of efficiency, au-tomation has the advantage that the analytical precision typically increases, since indi¬vidual errors due to manual steps are re¬duced. The CHRONOS software solution offers extensive automation options and helps the laboratory the challenges of daily operations - simply and effectively.
One of the particular strengths of CHRONOS is automation for complex analysis methods; this includes methods in which automated sample prepara¬tion by the autosampler may consume consid¬erably more time than the instrumental analysis itself. These methods often result in analytical system delays; such delays are minimized using the CHRONOS parallel-processing approach.
Parallel Processes for Sample Preparation
CHRONOS software facilitates parallel processes for sample preparation and analysis. Using CHRONOS, a new sample is prepared, while the chromatographic analysis of the previous sample is performed.
In addition, CHRONOS organizes the connection to the mass spectrometer control and data system, including triggering data acquisition and starting chromatographic runs. Thus all CHRONECT Symbiosis Systems are capable of processing multiple batches - even across multiple assays – quickly and reliably, with the highest analytical performance… fully unattended.
A graphic representation of the sample processing is created at the touch of a button; overall duration and current progress can readily be followed in real time. Multi-stage sample preparation procedures can be run in parallel to instrument analysis by means of an integrated algorithm:
A representation of time elapsed for a complex analytical method, with and without CHRONOS control. The upper image shows a typical serial process for sample prep followed by analysis, one sample at a time. The bottom image shows autosampler (sample prep) steps overlapping with analytical procedures, and fuller utilization of the instruments via CHRONOS.
The use of parallel processing between sample preparation steps and instrumental analysis leads to significantly more efficient instrument usage in the laboratory, as shown below:
Overall cycle time savings as a function of sample numbers, for a typical chromatographic method as a result of parallel processing between a) samples in the autosampler (sample prep side), and b) prepared samples being processed in the chromatograph.