Bioanalysis Zone

Chapter 2: Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) for bioanalysis

Doi: 10.4155/FSEB2013.14.147


RD McDowall
Director, R D McDowall Limited
73 Murray Avenue
Bromley, Kent BR1 3DJ, UK
Tel: 020-8313-0934

About the Author

Bob McDowall has a PhD in forensic toxicology, 15 years’ bioanalytical expertise in two major pharmaceutical companies and for the past 20 years has been a consultant running his own company. He was one of the eight co-chairs of the first Bioanalytical Methods Conference in 1990 and the only European co-author of the subsequent published paper. Bob has over 30 years’ experience with laboratory informatics, automation and computer validation; he was the editor of the first book on laboratory information management systems (LIMS) in 1987. He has written many papers on the topic of laboratory informatics and taught at many scientific conferences. He was presented with the 1997 LIMS Award from the LIMS Institute for his contribution to advances in the subject as well as his teaching on the topic.

Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) for bioanalysis


This chapter discusses what a laboratory information management system (LIMS) is and the functions that it automates within a bioanalytical laboratory. The functions that should be automated by the system are presented along with the mandatory need for interfacing to analytical instruments, for example, LC-MS, plate readers and immunoassays, to ensure fast and error-free transfer of data from equipment to the LIMS. The content is intended for bioanalytical laboratories working to either GLP or GCP regulations.

What is a laboratory information management system (LIMS)?

A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is defined by the American Association for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Guide E1578 on Laboratory Informatics [1] in three ways, as follows:

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