Preclassify body fluid samples
The CellaVision DM96 digital cell morphology system from Siemens, Malvern, Pa, automates traditional microscopy for high-volume hematology workflows in a hospital setting. Automatically locating cells on a stained peripheral blood or body fluid smear, the system preclassifies, stores, and presents the data for confirmation by a technologist to enhance speed and productivity. The system groups white blood cells into 18 discrete cell classes and precharacterizes red blood cells for polychromasia, hypochromasia, aniso-, micro-, and macrocytosis, and poikilocytosis. High-resolution images also detect cell inclusions. Users may compare different cell classes on one screen, while magnifying individual cells for closer analysis. A continuous slide feed raises throughput without increasing labor.
(888) 826-9702; www.usa.healthcare.siemens.com
Automated Pipetting System
Optical sensor checks
The epMotion range of automated pipetting systems from Eppendorf North America Inc, Hauppauge, NY, now offers five new models to provide a precise, accurate alternative to manual pipetting and liquid handling tasks. The epMotion 5075 systems combine accelerated operational speed, new software and hardware features, and an increased number of worktable positions. The epBlue software and a new software assistant support simple programming to ensure a short user learning curve. A CleanCap option, including UV light decontamination and a HEPA filter for purified air, ensure decontamination and sample safety. An optical sensor checks labware, liquid levels, tip counts, and type at the start of each cycle, decreasing the risk of error during the run.
Eppendorf North America Inc
(800) 645-3050; www.eppendorfna.com
Automated internal buffer switching
The 405 Touch Microplate Washer from BioTek, Winooski, Vt, includes a high-resolution LED backlit touch screen interface to provide intuitive and flexible protocol creation and implementation, and instrument maintenance. Two integrated flash drives enable file storage, transfer, and operation, while instructional videos provide direction on instrument setup and basic use. A help system offering recommendations, diagrams, and images is readily available. The system includes automated internal buffer switching, quick-release manifolds, and optimized cell washing with low flow rates suitable for loosely adherent cell monolayers. The 405 Touch is powered by Liquid Handling Control software, and can be coupled with BioTek’s BioStack Microplate Stacker for unattended batch processing.
(888) 451-5171; www.biotek.com
Walk-Away Specimen Processor
Mimics lab tech workflow
The Copan WASP Walk-Away Specimen Processor, available from Siemens, Tarrytown, NY, is designed to reduce setup time and maximize throughput by providing a comprehensive system that encompasses all aspects of automated specimen processing, planting, and streaking, Gram slide preparation, and enrichment broth inoculation. Designed modularly to extend the life of the system, the WASP processor individualizes sample processing by imitating the workflow performed by lab technicians on a bench. The benchtop design prevents instrument contamination, while a built-in image recording verification system and Smart Scan technology ensure accuracy and reliability.
(800) 216-4016; www.copanusa.com
Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
(914) 631-8000; www.siemens.com/diagnostics
Laboratory Automation System
Modular configurations for changing needs
The enGen laboratory automation system from Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Raritan, NJ, offers open, configurable, expandable Vitros solutions that allow new modules or interfaces to be added as laboratory needs evolve. Modules and instruments may be attached in a variety of ways, producing combinations that optimize lab performance, improve efficiencies, minimize errors, reduce costs, and increase productivity. Preanalytical configurations include an entry module, centrifuge, decapper, aliquoter, and labeler. The single-tube entry module allows up to 500 samples to be loaded per hour, while the rack entry module offers up to six user-definable drawers. Three robotic arms automate the loading and unloading of the centrifuge. The decapper manages tube sizes from 13 x 75 mm to 16 x 100 mm, removing both traditional rubber caps and screw caps. The aliquoter provides sample level and clot detection and can create up to nine “daughter” tubes via user-defined rules.
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics
(800) 828-6316; www.orthoclinical.com/en-us
PCR-Neutral Pipetting Workstation
Rapid assay setup
Suitable for applications such as gene expression, genotyping, sequencing, and pathogen detection, the Nimbus PCR pipetting workstation from Hamilton Robotics, Reno, Nev, enables rapid assay setup for qPCR and multiplex PCR. The PCR-neutral workstation can accommodate six master mixes and 192 PCRs, and may be used with restriction and ligation reaction setup. A variety of tip and labware types are also available. Instinct PCR graphical software walks users through processing gene and sample combinations, tracing input components, and capturing data for future use. The system can also store protocols and include validation steps to increase safety. An additional feature allows for sample normalization either upstream for PCR setup or as a stand-alone function, such as for sample dilution.
(800) 648-5950; www.hamiltonrobotics.com
Rapid reagent dispensing
The Multi-Flo FX multi-mode dispenser from BioTek, Winooski, Vt, is now available with optional random access dispense (RAD) technology to increase its application range for ELISAs as well as cell-based and bead-based assays. RAD technology enables single-channel dispensing to random individual microplate wells, as well as rapid reagent dispensing into large-volume wells of 6- to 24-well microplates. The MultiFlo FX can also be configured with an optional wash module for 6- to 384-well plates. Parallel dispense technology allows up to four independent reagents to be dispensed simultaneously without risk of fluid carryover. The system offers a choice of a peristaltic or syringe pump to facilitate reagent conservation, and unattended operation down to 500 µL. Angled dispense tips and flexible flow rates help keep cells intact. The system can also be integrated with the BioStack 4 microplate stacker for automation with lidded or non-lidded plates.
(888) 451-5171; www.biotek.com
Minimizes impact of thaw/refreeze cycle
The SampleSeal instrument from Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Mass, uses automated heat-sealing technology to seal and individualize samples, completing a full rack of 96 or 384 2D-barcoded tubes in less than 1 minute. The system enables low-volume, high-density storage to facilitate single-use sample access for downstream use, minimizing the impact of thaw and refreeze cycles on sample integrity. The foil-sealed tubes can be stored at temperatures from -196°C to 25°C and pierced with manual or automated pipette tips. SampleSeal can be used as a stand-alone benchtop instrument or as part of an integrated system using sample barcode readers and tracking software. The tubes and racks are validated for storage down to the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen, while the sealed tubes are certified by the International Air Transport Association.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
(508) 902-7041; www.thermoscientific.com
Reduce cycle times
The Sorvall RC BIOS 10 centrifuge from Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Mass, features a high-capacity carbon fiber rotor and is suitable for a range of cell culture and bioprocessing applications. Designed to improve productivity and ensure sample safety and integrity, the system accelerates bioprocessing with higher volumes to reduce cycle times. A Fiberlite F5-10×1000 LEX non-corrosive carbon fiber rotor reduces cycle times by spinning up to 10 1-liter Thermo Scientific Nalgene centrifuge bottles in a single run. The capacity and design can accommodate numerous applications, including bacterial and mammalian cell pelleting, pelleting of cell cultures from fermentation tanks, large microbial cultures, biologics and vaccine production, clarifying broths, and harvesting cell and tissue cultures. The Sorvall RC BIOS 10 centrifuge can also be used with Thermo Scientific Centri-Log software for complete process traceability for cGMP compliance.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
(866) 984-3766; www.thermoscientific.com
Reduces operator variability
The Microlab Immunostain Nimbus workstation from Hamilton Robotics, Reno, Nev, is suitable for automated immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH) applications. The workstation accepts multiple slide configurations and staining kit brands for error-free operation. The Immunostain Nimbus can process up to 24 slides at once and supports single-color and multi-color IHC and ISH kits, reducing reagent use and reducing operator-to-operator variability. It can also process slides for conventional light microscopy, and comes with two washing options: automated pipetting or a tilt module. A software wizard provides systematic instructions for slide setup and reagent processing, which can be adapted to various requirements.
(800) 648-5950; www.hamiltonrobotics.com
Sample Processing System
Offers intelligent aliquotting
The Automate 2500 Family Sample Processing system from Beckman Coulter Diagnostics, Brea, Calif, offers a single point of entry to manage samples from receipt to archiving. By streamlining pre- and postanalytical processes and allowing labs to eliminate steps between sample receipt and the analytical stage, the system helps facilitate optimal performance and appropriate allocation of labor. The Automate 2500 delivers sorting speeds of 800 to 1,200 tubes per hour and through-the-label sample volume detection, along with intelligent aliquotting and tube labeling to enable faster, more accurate secondary tube preparation. A cap color analysis tool validates the sample type against the test ordered to prevent errors. Up to 24 configurable rack locations are available for sorting flexibility.
Beckman Coulter Diagnostics
(800) 526-3821; www.beckmancoulter.com
Next-Generation Microplate Stacker
The latest version of the BioStack MicroPlate Stacker from BioTek, Winooski, Vt, offers efficient de-lidding and re-lidding of microplates for sensitive cell-based assays. Compatible with BioTek’s washers, dispensers, detectors, and imaging systems, the BioStack 4 facilitates rapid plate exchange for assay workflows with and without plate lids to increase throughput and productivity. A rotational gripper allows ergonomically friendly instrument panel access and compact integration positioning. The device helps automate washing, detection, and liquid-handling processes with 96- and 384-well microplates. Stackers are available with 10, 30, or 50 removable and interchangeable microplate storage stacks.
(888) 451-5171; www.biotek.com
Multi-Slide Gram Stainer
Automatically staining, decolorization, and counter-staining
The MGS-80 from GG&B Company, Wichita Falls, Tex, uses a technology that produces high-quality stain results that are consistent and easy to read. The decolorization process works equally as well on thick and thin specimens. The patented electronic eye precisely decolorizes every slide, regardless of sample type. Each slide is automatically stained, decolorized, and counter-stained, and dried at a rate of 80 slides per hour. The unit features an automatic cleaning cycle and internal diagnostic software for recording all critical data.
(800) 295-9588; www.quickslide.com
Gram Staining Kit
Automatic classification of tissue samples
Automated for use on the BenchMark Special Stains instrument, the Gram Staining Kit from Ventana Medical Systems Inc, Tucson, Ariz, aids pathologists in the most basic classification of bacteria into Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in fixed tissue samples. Gram stain classification is clinically useful because it provides an initial indication of the nature of a patient’s infection, but is among several histochemical special stains still run manually today in labs around the world. The automatization of the stain gives pathologists an efficient method to perform this assay, enabling them to achieve increased productivity, consistency, and testing quality.
Ventana Medical Systems Inc
(800) 227-2155; www.ventana.com
Automated Sampler Changer
Increase throughput with minimal benchspace
A new line of InMotion autosamplers for titrators, density meters, and refractometers from Mettler Toledo, Columbus, Ohio, has been designed to increase lab productivity while minimally affecting benchspace. The Mettler Toledo Flex and Pro series offer professional automation with a 42-cm-wide rack, while the Max series can manage up to 300 samples in a 57-cm-wide rack. Modular boards slide into the base and magnetic locking pumps stack adjacent to the towers to add peripherals and pumps without taking up extra space. Additional features provide maximum flexibility for customized workflows. A PowerShower rinse system and set of conditioning steps clean tubes to prevent sample carryover. The T90 Excellence Titrator allows for simultaneous titrations, while a CoverUp function protects operators from noxious solvents and shields volatile reagents from evaporation. LED status lights enable monitoring from across the lab.
(800) 638-8537; us.mt.com