Physiological Workload Response of Laboratory Staff during simulated Life Science Processes
Authors: Matthias Weippertab, Annika Riegera, Ricarda Lehmanna, Weiping Zhanga, Kerstin Thurowa, Regina Stollb
Abstract: High demands for new drug development and advances in robotic technologies have led to automation of compound screening and biological culturing processes in life sciences. Nevertheless, not only cognitive skills during planning, programming, supervision, and evaluation are mandatory but also human manual skills are still essential for system performance in highly automated life science laboratories. Aim of this study was to assess the physiological workload response during simulated cell culturing tasks.20 healthy volunteers underwent a standardized test protocol including typical cell laboratory tasks. Cardio-respiratory parameters including heart rate (HR), breathing frequency, minute ventilation, oxygen uptake (VO2) and blood pressure (DBP, SBP) were measured and analyzed.There were strong effects of task condition on blood pressure (SBP: F(10,210)=30.8, p<0.001, η² = .618; DBP: F(10,210)=17.9, p=.000, η²= .485), HR (F(10,210)=34.5, p<0.001; η²= .793) and VO2 (F(10,210)=253.5, p<0.001; η²= .969). Especially during material transportation including static work components, SBP and DBP increased significantly, while HR and VO2 were significantly elevated during dynamic transportation tasks.We found significant increases of physiological activation during typical tasks in a modern life science laboratory. During transportation tasks including stepping stairs, average HR reached cut-offs for sustained effort (120 bpm), during all other tasks HR was well below these cut-offs. Episodes of static muscular work during charging and transportation where associated with blood pressure elevations. However, as these muscular loads occur only intermittent during a work shift these elevations seem to be uncritical. Nevertheless, individual assessment is advised for persons at risk.
Keywords: Life Science Automation, Physiological Workload Response, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, Laboratory Staff, Automated Cell Culturing
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