Professional Pharmaceutical Book from C.H.I.P.S.

Practical Pharmaceutical Laboratory Automation
by Brian Bissett


  • Provides information that can be used to construct simple, low cost, automatic test systems
  • Discusses high throughput screenings (HTS) and assay development
  • Includes practical examples and solutions to real world problems that are hard to find in other sources
  • Explores the concepts and methods of reverse engineering
  • Helps you set up systems to measure a variety of quantities
  • Provides a Web site with companion files to the text

A step-by-step, how-to reference and guide, Practical Pharmaceutical Laboratory Automation explores the processes needed to automate the majority of tasks required in research today.

The author discusses topics ranging from automated mathematical analysis to robotic automation of chemical processes, to combinations of these and other processes. It presents a detailed discussion of high throughput screening and assay development and takes an in-depth look at Visual Basic as the primary programming language used in laboratories. The text has a dedicated web site that contains all the sample code and examples contained within the text as well as other information related to laboratory automation.

Providing a starting point for tackling automation problems, Practical Pharmaceutical Laboratory Automation helps you develop a strategy for automation that gets consistent results.


  1. Microsoft Excel Visual Basic Macros
    • The Importance of Consistent Laboratory Notebooks and Reports
    • Running VBA Macros in Excel
    • Setting Up a Microsoft Excel Visual Basic Macro
    • Getting the Data into Excel
    • Finding and Extracting Data
    • Analysis and Manipulation of Data
    • Activating Sheets within Different Workbooks
    • Creating a Custom Report Worksheet
    • Saving the Custom Report Worksheet
    • Creating an Uploadable File for a Database

  2. Advanced Microsoft Excel VB Macro Techniques
    • Using Hidden Workbooks to Store and Run Macros
    • Adding Custom Menu Items to Run Macros
    • Keeping a Macro from Crashing When a Cell has Invalid Data
    • Not all InputBoxes are Equal
    • Using Templates and GUIs
    • Opening and Using Other Applications within Excel
    • The Importance of "Idle Time"
    • The Magic of the "SendKeys" Statement
    • Exchanging Data between Excel and Other Applications
    • Programming Functions into Workbook Cells
    • Adding Drop Down Boxes to Worksheet Cells
    • Opening Files in Other Applications Using Macros
    • Interworkbook Recognition of Variables
    • Waiting for User Selections
    • The End: Closing all Nonhidden Workbooks
    • Saving Settings to the Windows Registry
    • Self Writing Macros

  3. Robotic Automation Using Visual Basic
    • Communications Overview
    • The MSComm Control
    • Using the Timer Control
    • Deciphering a Communication Protocol
    • Sending a Command
    • Interpreting a Reply
    • Setting up a Que Using the Timer Control
    • Controlling Multiple Instruments from Differing Manufacturers
    • Hardware Considerations in Robotic Automation

  4. Low Level Hardware Interfacing Using VB
    • Controller Cards and Addressing
    • Installing and Using the PortIO DLL
    • Controlling Relays
    • The MEM-08 Relay Card
    • The MEM-32 Relay Card
    • The MBB-32 Digital I/O Card
    • The MAI-16 Analog Input Card
    • Discrete Time Measurement
    • Sampling Theory and the Nyquist Theorem
    • Aliasing
    • Sampling Limitations of Visual Basic
    • Sampling of Non Periodic Signals
    • Pseudo Continuous Time Measurement
    • Possible Causes of Inconsistent Data
    • Methods for Faster Acquisition
    • Adding Auxiliary Power to the Metrabus System

  5. Electronics for Automation
    • Voltage Division
    • Diode Waveform Shaping
    • The Transistor
    • The Comparator
    • Compensating for Noise Effects with Hysteresis
    • Window Comparator
    • Peak Detection
    • Low Pass Filtering
    • Decoupling Capacitors
    • Creating Custom Instrument Interfaces
    • Liquid Level Sensing Circuits
    • Solenoid Valve Driver Circuits

  6. Robust Data Analysis Using Origin Lab's Origin
    • Labtalk Fundamentals
    • Button Scripts
    • Script Files
    • Passing Parameters in Labtalk
    • Curve Fitting Using the "nlsf" Commands
    • Harnessing Origin Remotely
    • Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) with VB
    • Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) with VBA

  7. Agilent (HP) Chemstation Macro Writing
    • Basics of Chemstation Macro Writing
    • Chemstation Macro Variables
    • Using Macros as Functions and Subroutines
    • Tools to Aid Macro Writers
    • Registers, Objects and Tables
    • Loading Sequences into an HPLC
    • Loading Sequences which Contain both Plates and Vials
    • Exporting Data after each Sample is Analyzed
    • Exporting Actual XY Data from the Chromatograms
    • Adding Macros to Chemstation Menus
    • Some Generic Macros and Techniques

Appendix A: Downloading and use of sample files from Web site
Appendix B: Setting Up the Excel VBA Macro Examples
Appendix C: Kloehn Syringe Protocol
Appendix D: Communications Datasheets
Appendix E: Electronic Devices Datasheets
Appendix F: Setting Up the Origin Examples
Appendix G: Setting Agilent Chemstation Macros
Appendix H: HPLC Chemstation Macro Hook Information
Appendix I: For Further Reading

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Practical Pharmaceutical Laboratory Automation
by Brian Bissett
464 pages $238.95 + shipping
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