Fast 2D barcode rack readers

0

Ziath reports on how its ultra-fast 2D barcode rack scanners are helping the leading COVID-19 testing lab, SummerBio LLC (Menlo Park, California, USA), to provide fast, low-cost, high-volume testing solutions for educational institutions, employers, and labs.

SummerBio was designed in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, to combat expense and slow turnaround times for existing PCR tests. The company was founded by a group of life science automation industry veterans with decades of experience building and operating large-scale laboratory robots. SummerBio’s investment in automating the RT-PCR testing process allowed them to become one of the top COVID-19 testing labs in California in less than a year.

“Through smart use of automation, we’ve reduced the cost per test to less than $10”

Dave Scheinman, President of SummerBio, said: “At the start of the pandemic everyone was scared – do I have it? Do you have it? We felt that if we could provide people with the information they needed to quickly know what their COVID-19 infection status was, they could make informed decisions. COVID-19 test to make it suitable for surveillance testing. To date, SummerBio has processed over 7 million tests during the pandemic, including a peak of 1,000,000 per day in August 2021. Through clever use of automation, we’ve reduced the cost per test to less than $10.”

Their robotic liquid handling cells use a bespoke 2mL cryotube, developed in Korea, housed in boxes of 100 that allow very high levels of automation to process these high-speed racks. Key to this automation are four Ziath Cube 2D barcode rack readers that can image a full rack of 100 tubes and read all barcodes in just over a second.. This means SummerBio can quickly and reliably track every box of COVID-19 patient sample tubes through the testing process. For the RT-PCR step, licensed from Columbia University, samples are decanted by robot into 96-position tube racks compatible with the 96-well PCR plates used in the final analysis. Here, a set of Ziath Mirage readers are used to control the flow of racks through the workstations. Any positive samples identified by PCR can then be removed from the 96-well racks using a pair of Ziath Mohawk tube selectors to make tube selection easier and faster. By pooling positive samples in a daughter rack, confirmatory PCR can be run if needed. Advantageously, the Ziath Mirage can again be used to prepare picklists and confirm which tubes are in the retest racks.

Share.

Comments are closed.