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Baobab LIMS is a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) designed for the collection, processing and storage of human biospecimens. The system was designed a priori using the Standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the NHLS-Stellenbosch University Biobank. Baobab LIMS comprises modules for biospecimen kit assembly, biospecimen shipping, storage management, analysis requests, reporting and invoicing. Current developed SOPs define the biobanking activities of the Biobank and in an effort to extend the usability of the system, collaborations which incorporate SOPs generated by other Biobanking facilities, are ongoing. The figure demonstrates the workflow of the current system, deduced from SOPs.
Figure 1: Flowchart of activities within the NSB biobank upon which the Baobab LIMS was designed.
Baobab LIMS is both Free and Open Source with some modules being inherited from Bika LIMS. Furthermore, Baobab LIMS can be customized to the specific needs of your laboratory.
Note: For more additional resources, use the following links
Install your Baobab Distribution
Go to ( Select ‘Add Plone site’)
Change the Baobab Theme
The Baobab theme can be changed to the graphite theme. The graphite theme has an easy access navigation panel at the top of the page and a site map.
Follow the instructions below to change your theme;
Select 'Admin', 'Site setup' in the top right corner. Please note only admin privileges have access.
Select 'Add ons'
Check the 'Graphite theme' and then click 'Activate'.
This figure represents the homepage of the Graphite theme. The graphite theme can be turned on and and off on the button to the left of the search box on the top menu bar. It is green when enabled and red when disabled.
Your Baobab distribution
With your installation complete, you can now set up your site. Baobab LIMS requires that your site is set up before you can start to manage clients and projects and certain compulsory information is required for each step. As such, we recommend that you follow this setup section in a stepwise manner.
This will open the homepage for your distribution.
Set up your mail settings
As the administrator for the site, the mail settings will need to be configured, the page will display the following error.
To set up the mail settings select the ‘Mail control panel’ link in the error message. Alternatively, go to ‘site setup’ under Admin in the top right hand corner and select the ‘Mail’ tab.
You will be automatically directed to the ‘Mail settings’ page where you will be required to enter the SMTP server address and will be able to set the administrator username and password. Ensure that all the required fields are completed and select ‘save and send test email’.
Following successful set-up, you will receive an email confirming that the email server is working.
NOTE: For Gmail users, an error may occur due to the security settings on your Gmail account which will prevent sign-in from another device or app.
Please ensure that your Gmail settings permit the site to access your account. Use the following link to understand more; https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255
Set up your laboratory
Mouse over the ‘Laboratory’ Tab and select ‘Laboratory’ Enter the details of the laboratory and press ‘save’. Compulsory fields are indicated by red squares.
Mouse over ‘Laboratory’ and select ‘Lab Contacts’ Add a lab contact by selecting the ‘add’ button
Enter the details of the lab contact and press ‘save’. Compulsory fields are indicated by a red square Select the ‘email, telephone,fax’ tab,enter the email address of the lab contact and press ‘save’.
Set up login details
After saving the contact an edit and a login details tab will become available. Select ‘Login details’.
Enter the details of the user and press ‘save’
An email will be sent to the users email address
Select the link to activate the account and change the password
Set the new password
Mouse over ‘Laboratory’ and select ‘Lab Departments’ Add a lab department by selecting the ‘add’ button. Compulsory fields are indicated by a red square.
Added users are now available to be selected.
Set up your suppliers
Mouse over the ‘management’ tab and select ‘Suppliers’
Add a supplier by using the ‘Add’ button Enter the details of the supplier and press the ‘save’ . Compulsory fields are indicated by a red square.
Once a supplier has been added, contacts, instruments and inventory orders associated with the supplier can be added. Note that products belonging to the supplier must be added using the ‘Products’ tab. Mouse over the ‘management’ tab and select ‘Products’ Add a product by using the ‘Add’ button
Enter the details of the product and press the ‘save’ . Compulsory fields are indicated by Once products associated to suppliers have been added, the products are now available to be selected in the ‘Suppliers’ tab.
Added products are now available to be selected in 'Suppliers'.
Set up your instruments
Mouse over the ‘Instruments’ tab and select ‘Instrument types’
Add an instrument type by using the ‘Add’ button
Enter the details of the instrument type and press the ‘save’ . Compulsory fields are indicated by
The instrument type and the supplier can be selected from data which was previously added.
Once an instrument has been added, a notification of expired calibration certification will appear and additional tabs will become available for editing.
Select the ‘Calibration Certificates’ tab and add a certification specifically related to the instrument using the ‘Add’ button. Enter the details of an instruments calibration and press ‘save’. Compulsory fields are indicated by a red square. If the calibration dates are current, the notification which occurred, will automatically be removed.
Set up your storage types
Mouse over the ‘Management’ tab and select ‘Storage Types’
Add a storage type by using the ‘Add’ button
Enter the details of the storage type (e.g. a freezer) and press the ‘save’. Compulsory fields are indicated by a red square.
Set up your storage
Mouse over the ‘Management’ tab and select ‘Storage’
Prefix text: such as room, shelf, box Leading zeros: denotes the prefix number ID sequence start: the number on which the prefix should start Number of items: How many units with the prefix must be created Storage unit type: become available once defined in the ‘Storage types’ Department: becomes available once defined in the ‘departments’ section in ‘set up your laboratory’
Enter the details of the storage and press ‘create storage units’
Once a storage has been created, the storage unit can be selected and a hierarchical storage system can be created for each unit. Example: Room > Freezer > Shelf > Box > Position
Select the ‘Room’ initially created. Enter the details of a new storage unit and press ‘create storage unit’
Select a freezer storage unit that has been created. Enter the details of a new storage unit and press ‘create storage unit’
Select a shelf storage unit that has been created. Enter the details of a new storage unit and press ‘create storage unit’
At each level of a storage unit creating, space can be managed (ie. Spaces are assigned) or unmanaged (ie. Spaces are not allocated prior to storage).
Managed storage is used specifically for the storage maintenance of biospecimens. The process of creating managed storage is as follows; Navigate to the storage unit created in the previous step and select the ‘managed storage’ tab.
Enter the details required to create managed storage and press ‘create storage’. By selecting the created storage unit, a list of created positions will be shown. In addition, a graphical display is available.
By selecting a storage unit (a position within a box), the item may be reserved. When the item is reserved, the state of the item will change and this change will also be reflected in the graphical representation.
The storage position can be freed by selecting the position and pressing ‘liberate’.
Unmanaged storage Unmanaged storage refers to locations for items such as inventory stock items that will be used in kit assembly. The process of creating unmanaged storage is as follows; Navigate to the storage unit created previously and select the ‘add new storage’ button. Navigate to the ‘unmanaged storage’ tab and enter the details of the storage. In the example below, Room01 contains 3 shelves for storage of inventory items. The shelves are labeled from 1 to 3 and will contain stock items.
Set up your analysis category
Mouse over the ‘Workflow’ tab and select ‘Analysis category’
Add an analysis category by using the ‘Add’ button
Enter the details of the analysis category and press the ‘save’. Compulsory fields are indicated by a red square
Set up your Sample Type
Mouse over the ‘Samples’ tab and select ‘Sample Types’
Add a sample type by using the ‘Add’ button
Enter the details of the sample type and press the ‘save’. Compulsory fields are indicated by a red square
Set up your other parameters
Once all the above categories have been set up, all other categories can be set up. These can be managed by simply selecting the category and adding information using the ‘Add’ button. Enter details related to the category and press the ‘save’ button. Compulsory fields are indicated by red square.
Other categories to be set up include;
- Analysis specifications
- Analysis services
- AR priorities
- Sampling deviations
- Stock items
- Kit templates
- Price list
- Attachment types