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QIAGEN Launches QIAensemble Decapper Sample Preparation Automation System

HILDEN, Germany, and GERMANTOWN, Maryland, January 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Breakthrough sample preparation instrument automates handling of liquid-based cytology and other liquid vials, enables laboratories to eliminate many manual steps
  • Improves laboratory workflow by providing an automated solution for transferring clinical samples from closed primary vials to compatible tubes for downstream processing
  • QIAensemble Decapper launch in the U.S. started in late 2011, rollout under way during 2012 in Europe and other areas of the world

QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) announced today the launch of the QIAensemble Decapper automation system that will facilitate the handling of liquid-based cytology and various other types of liquid samples that are processed by clinical laboratories around the world.

This open platform system enables laboratories to automate many tedious manual steps required for unscrewing (or "decapping") the lids of clinical sample vials, extracting the sample material and pipetting it into testing vials and then recapping the clinical sample vial. This is considered to be a very onerous processing step due to the design of liquid cytology sample collection vials. The QIAensemble Decapper, which is considered the first instrument of its kind to be designed to support downstream molecular testing, will help to reduce the risk for injuries to laboratory staff from repetitive motions, while also eliminating the risk for variation among laboratory staff and improving productivity.

For example, a professional ergonomics evaluation of the sample preparation processing of 88 samples showed QIAensemble Decapper reduced hands-on time by 70% compared to the time required for manual processing by a laboratory worker while eliminating more than 1,200 movements.

QIAensemble Decapper has a capacity to process up to approximately 800 samples per shift (excluding set-up time and post-processing requirements). It has been designed specifically for the handling and transfer of sample materials, and the addition of reagents. The instrument accommodates a variety of fluid types of variable viscosity for both samples and reagents. The software system, which is operated by an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), provides laboratory staff with a comprehensive and user-friendly report for each run. The software also offers chain of custody and an ability to identify samples that were not properly transferred.

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