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May 24th, 2005

Designing the laboratory of the future

The primary difficulty facing anyone given the task of designing a state-of-the-art laboratory is that they generally don’t have access to a crystal ball to tell them exactly what will be at the leading edge of technology in two to three years time – the average time it takes to design and construct a facility, reports Phil Taylor.

A lot has been written on the impact of nanotechnology on the pharmaceutical and other industries, not least because of the potential of nanoparticles for the delivery of active compounds. But safety issues relating to the use of these particles will increase the containment demands of cleanrooms, just as nanotechnology itself will feature in new lab control developments, according to William Ferguson.

For instance, nanotechnology can be used to monitor the performance of HEPA filters and monitor and control airflow in the cleanroom through the use of particle counters. Simple, low-cost particle sensors could do away with the need to run HEPA filters day and night, he suggested.


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