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How Virtual Labs Are Shaping the Future of Research!
April 24, 2024

How Virtual Labs Are Shaping the Future of Research!

Table of Contents

How Virtual Labs Are Shaping the Future of Research!

Virtual labs are digital models of physical laboratories where individuals explore, learn, and practice without risk. They ensure that learners are free to test and try without any real-life consequences, like wasting resources and explosions. The blog will explore how virtual labs are shaping the future of research.

The labs are augmented with technologies that help simulate the natural world environment and equipment. Researchers can conduct experiments, test processes, or operate machinery without physical instruments and apparatus. The lab can be accessed from anywhere using a computer or a VR headset.

Benefits of Virtual Labs

The Virtual labs are beneficial for researchers because:

  • It provides ease of access from anywhere
  • Doesn’t need physical space or availability of specific equipment
  • Makes a flexible and scalable solution for global organizations.
  • It helps in learning theoretical knowledge and practical applications
  • Limits risks and limitations of a physical lab

Technologies shaping research

How is this possible?? This is a prevalent question that arises in many minds. Let’s connect this idea with technologies, to give a clearer view.

The innovative labs are divided into five broad groups:

  1. Connectivity
  2. Cloud system and Cyber security
  3. Internet of Things (IoT)
  4. Lab design
  5. AI and ML


Virtual labs link people, equipment, consumables, systems, and data to make information accessible and reliable and allow searching whenever demanded. Researchers can communicate to have confidence in the data. The data should be FAIR2(findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable). Access to laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) is essential for data collection.

LIMS is a software developed to improve productivity and efficiency. Tracking previous data and updating new knowledge helps assess a researcher when conducting experiments. The data is associated with samples, experiments, workflows, and instruments. LIMS actively manages all lab processes, from instrument maintenance and samples to people, by reducing human errors and increasing efficiency.

ELN is another software used to create the virtual lab experience. It allows researchers to gather and organise information and notes and document research, experiments, and procedures performed in a laboratory.

Cloud Systems and Cybersecurity

Researchers using virtual laboratories use LIMS and ELNs to save time and effort. When working, data can be accessed, transferred, and restored through the cloud system. The virtual labs have no upfront or staff costs, and security regulations are standardised. However, cyberattacks have always been a problem, increasing risks. Even though stakeholders authorise the data, issues of data breaches remain.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is the integration of smart devices with software. Technology has made it easy to create an interconnected system of operations. IoT has made it possible to generate large amounts of data from different sources and manage it.

The virtual laboratory is interconnected because of the Internet of Things, which permits data to be collected more efficiently. The system helps analyse several aspects of the study, such as temperature, nature, and component properties.

In a pharmaceutical company, for instance, a researcher can control product quality and optimise lab performance, lab workflows and patient drug reactions.

Lab design

A virtual lab provides a more open design for connectivity and information. Its collaborative approach offers a holistic view. Virtual labs also provide sustainable experiences. In a traditional lab, waste can be hazardous. When using virtual labs, waste disposal becomes more accessible and sustainable.

AI and ML

The virtual lab automates and optimises your data and workflows. A researcher can use an advanced analytics model to drive actionable insights. AI uses systems intelligently, automating simpler systems like disallowing mixtures, assessing equations, leaning out the counter, etc.

Systems like VMware Virtual Lab automation (VLA) can automate the setup and teardown of complex configurations using AI and ML. Automation reduces the server-to-staff ratio from 50 % to less than 5%.

The virtual lab’s best feature is its goal-based mode. You can instruct an intelligent system for your desired outcome and allow it to learn iteratively about ways to achieve results. The use of ML leads to AI selecting the optimal experiment.

Complex equipment training

Researchers use specialised equipment to familiarise the tools with risk-free environments for real-life operations. Equipment like aspirator systems can be learnt and improved using virtual labs.

Cleaning procedures

The virtual lab monitoring devices can also assess whether strict protocols are followed in cleanrooms. This process ensures contamination control and the necessary steps to maintain these standards. The Virtual labs can determine whether the components are appropriately sterilised even with aspirant systems. The virtual labs can support fluid analysis and help derive characteristics of the liquid, providing guidelines to handle them.

Surgical Simulation

The virtual labs simulate surgical procedures, allowing researchers to practice operations before performing the actual experiment. This helps improve the efficiency of various treatments in a controlled environment.

Device prototyping

Before trying new equipment, it is necessary to go through the testing and understand the process. The virtual labs are also used as manuals for the aspirator system and how it needs to be connected and processed. They also ensure that the correct method of experiment is being used. Virtual labs provide training on QC processes, ensuring that every product meets the necessary standards.


The virtual labs can be a great source of innovation and development. These labs are revolutionizing research by providing accessibility, scalability and a risk free environment. There is an expanding scope of virtual labs holds a promising future for scientific innovation and collaboration.

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