SLAS Technology's October Issue Featuring "Establishment of a Robust Platform for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Using Maholo LabDroid" Now Available

For Immediate Release

Oak Brook, IL (September 29, 2021) – The October edition of SLAS Technology features the cover article, “Establishment of a Robust Platform for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Using Maholo LabDroid” by Miho Sasamata, Daisuke Shimojo, Haruna Sasaki-Iwaoka, Yukiko Yamagishi, Ph.D. (Astellas Pharma Inc., Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki, Japan), Hiromitsu Fuse, Yohei Nishi, Hidetoshi Sakurai, M.D., Ph.D., and Tatsutoshi Nakahata (Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan).

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are attractive for use in early drug discovery because they can differentiate into any cell type. However, maintenance cultures and differentiation processes for iPSCs require a high level of technical expertise. To overcome this problem, technological developments such as enhanced automation are necessary to replace manual operation. In addition, a robot system with the flexibility and expandability to carry out the maintenance cultures and the required differentiation processes would also be important.

The authors of “Establishment of a Robust Platform for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Using Maholo LabDroid” created a platform to enable the multiple processes required for iPSC experiments using the Maholo LabDroid -- a humanoid robotic system with superior reproducibility and flexibility. The accuracy and robustness of Maholo LabDroid enabled the authors to cultivate undifferentiated iPSCs for 63 days while maintaining the ability to differentiate the three embryonic germ layers. Maholo LabDroid maintained and harvested iPSCs in six-well plates, then seeded them into 96-well plates, induced differentiation and implemented immunocytochemistry. Maholo LabDroid was then confirmed to be able to perform the processes required for myogenic differentiation of iPSCs isolated from a patient with muscular disease and achieved a high differentiation rate with CV <10% in the first trial.

In addition to the cover article, this issue of SLAS Technology also includes seven articles of original research:

  • Quantitative Confocal Microscopy for Grouping of Dose–Response Data: Deciphering Calcium Sequestration and Subsequent Cell Death in the Presence of Excess Norepinephrine
  • U-Net Deep-Learning-Based 3D Cell Counter for the Quality Control of 3D Cell-Based Assays through Seed Cell Measurement
  • Numerical Modeling of Temperature-Dependent Cell Membrane Permeability to Water Based on a Microfluidic System with Dynamic Temperature Control
  • Automation of the Whole-Blood Thiopurine S-Methyltransferase (TPMT) Phenotyping Assay Using the Biomek NXP and Biomek i5 Liquid-Handling Workstations
  • A Novel Method to Gently Mix and Uniformly Suspend Particulates for Automated Assays
  • RGB Color Model Analysis for a Simple Structured Polydimethylsiloxane Pneumatic Micromixer
  • Automated Capillary-Based Vacuum Pulse-Assisted Instrument for Single-Cell Acquisition and Concurrent Detachment/Adhesion Assay, A-picK

Other articles in this issue include:

  • Progress and Challenges in Laboratory-Based Diagnostic and Screening Approaches for Aneuploidy Detection during Pregnancy
  • A Flexible System for Stepwise Automation of Microbial Testing of Drinking and Process Water
  • Life Sciences Discovery and Technology Highlights

Access to October’s SLAS Technology issue is available at  

For more information about SLAS and its journals, visit


SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening) is an international professional society of academic, industry and government life sciences researchers and the developers and providers of laboratory automation technology. The SLAS mission is to bring together researchers in academia, industry and government to advance life sciences discovery and technology via education, knowledge exchange and global community building.

SLAS Discovery: Advancing the Science of Drug Discovery, 2019 Impact Factor 2.918. Editor-in-Chief Robert M. Campbell, Ph.D., Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics, Boston, MA (USA).

SLAS Technology: Translating Life Sciences Innovation, 2019 Impact Factor 3.047. Editor-in-Chief Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., National University of Singapore (Singapore).


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