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Open Access Software

iLAP: a workflow-driven software for experimental protocol development, data acquisition and analysis

Gernot Stocker1, Maria Fischer1, Dietmar Rieder1, Gabriela Bindea1, Simon Kainz1, Michael Oberstolz1, James G McNally2 and Zlatko Trajanoski1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics, Graz University of Technology, Petersgasse 14, 8010 Graz, Austria

2 Center for Cancer Research Core Imaging Facility, Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 41 Library Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2009, 10:390  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-390

Published: 26 November 2009

Abstract

Background

In recent years, the genome biology community has expended considerable effort to confront the challenges of managing heterogeneous data in a structured and organized way and developed laboratory information management systems (LIMS) for both raw and processed data. On the other hand, electronic notebooks were developed to record and manage scientific data, and facilitate data-sharing. Software which enables both, management of large datasets and digital recording of laboratory procedures would serve a real need in laboratories using medium and high-throughput techniques.

Results

We have developed iLAP (Laboratory data management, Analysis, and Protocol development), a workflow-driven information management system specifically designed to create and manage experimental protocols, and to analyze and share laboratory data. The system combines experimental protocol development, wizard-based data acquisition, and high-throughput data analysis into a single, integrated system. We demonstrate the power and the flexibility of the platform using a microscopy case study based on a combinatorial multiple fluorescence in situ hybridization (m-FISH) protocol and 3D-image reconstruction. iLAP is freely available under the open source license AGPL from http://genome.tugraz.at/iLAP/ webcite.

Conclusion

iLAP is a flexible and versatile information management system, which has the potential to close the gap between electronic notebooks and LIMS and can therefore be of great value for a broad scientific community.