WASP® ID Disc Application for Complete Automation in Specimen Setup
Copan Diagnostics announced this week the launch of the ID Disc Application module for the Walk-Away Specimen Processor, WASP® The new feature joins the many tasks which have already been automated by WASP® such as planting and streaking, broth inoculation and Gram slide preparation.
The new ID Disc Application function comes in response to market demand from the Microbiology community to automate this step in specimen processing. The most common practices of the new module are the application of Bacitracin (or A disc) for Streptococcus pyogenes identification, Optochin (or P disc) for Streptococcus pneumonia identification, and Metronidazole for detection of anaerobes in mixed cultures. Using the versatile Warehouse Carousel, onboard the WASP, users can load regular BD, Oxoid, MAST or BioRad disc dispensers with ID discs and robot Tarzan will automatically position and dispense the paper discs onto freshly streaked plates.
The application of ID discs completes the entire process of automating specimen processing. WASP® un-caps and recaps specimen containers, plants and streaks samples, performs Gram slide preparation, inoculates enrichment broths and finally applies the appropriate identification disc according the user defined protocol. Automation of specimen processing eliminates repetitive stress caused by opening, sampling and closing specimen containers numerous times each day, which can lead to fatigue and work related stress and injuries. Beyond the benefit of eliminating tedious tasks faced by laboratory technicians, further automation in clinical microbiology allows staff to be redeployed from repetitive laboratory tasks to functions that require judgment and interpretative skills. Improving efficiencies in the laboratory helps identify infectious agents faster, with greater precision and provides faster results to physicians.
"Applying discs automatically is the last piece of the setup process. Now plates can simply be collected from the WASP® and put straight into the incubator without further operator intervention. The technician does not have to sort through the cultures to find those plates which need discs applied," said Norman Sharples, Copan Diagnostics' CEO and Co-Founder. No unique equipment or reagents are needed for this functionality; WASP is programed to work with regular BD, Oxoid, BioRad or MAST disc dispensers and paper discs.
This new task performed by WASP® adds yet another value for labs, automating yet one more task and making the WASP® an even more attractive proposition for a market that may not have considered automation in the past.
"When we think of true automation we need to complete all tasks in the pre-analytical phase of Microbiology. With the addition of this valuable feature to its automation checklist, WASP® now does just that," concluded Sharples.
Click to watch a video of ID discs being automatically applied by WASP® to culture plates.
Date Published: 11th March 2013