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All laboratories have Material Databases (MDBs) where all types of information are stored. Plasmids, antibodies, equipment, chemicals, bacterial stocks… you name it and there is a lab that has an inventory for it!
In labfolder’s electronic notebook, you create as many MDBs with as many categories and items as you need. You can also fine tune your items’ attributes; making the tool highly customizable. Furthermore, you can replicate all the MDBs that you currently have in your research.
In this guide we will take the initial steps to create this very common MDB structure:
- Antibodies (MDB)
Activate the App
The Material Database app can be installed for free via our App Store and can be accessed via the Manage menu.
- Go to Manage > Apps.
- Click Activate on the Material Database tile.
- Go to Manage > Material Database.
Create your first MDB
Once in the Material Database view, you can see that an Individual Material Database is already available. In this guide, we will replicate the previously mentioned structure for our antibodies list.
Let’s start by changing the name of the MDB; done by going into the database and clicking the pencil icon to edit the name. You can change this to whatever suits the content, in our example this would be Antibodies.
If you need to have multiple databases, simply make as many as you require. Do this by clicking the blue +Add button and select Material database.
Create categories with attributes
In order to categorize your inventory, you will need to create categories within your database.
- Click the blue +Add button.
- Select Category.
- Give the category a name and select the attributes you want to be associated with it.
- Click save and you are ready to add items.
There is a large number of attributes already existing from you to chose from. You are also able to create your own, by clicking +Add new attribute.
Insert the first item
Once you have created a Category, you can start adding your items.
- Click the blue +Add button.
- Select Item.
- Give your item a name and fill in the attribute fields.
- Click save and you are done.
Change the availability of items
All your reagents in the lab have a lifecycle that goes from ordered to available and finishes as out of stock. These exact same statuses can be applied to your items on the MDB, so from your labfolder ELN you will always know if the specific antibody you need is in stock or if someone else finished it.
If you were the one finishing a reagent, you can also change its status by editing the item on the MDB. These are the steps to achieve this:
When you are in a database, you can choose who from your lab, group or team you wish to share the information with.
- Click the Share MDB icon next to the title.
- Select the team members you want to share with.
- Click save and they will now be able to view and edit the database.
All changes made to items are recorded in your material database. You will not have a visible history or audit trail, but you can know that the changes are documented. It becomes more relevant when you are using Data Elements, which are explained in the next section.