ATLANTA and CHELMSFORD, Mass., July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Magellan Biosciences, a global manufacturer of products designed to make diagnostic testing easier, more cost-effective, and less labor intensive, unveiled its Dynex Agility microplate sample processor in Atlanta yesterday at the AACC Clinical Lab Expo. The Agility system represents a long-awaited advance for laboratories seeking to improve the workflow efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and reliability of results of open enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing systems. The Agility system significantly reduces hands-on time for ELISA test procedures, offering walk-away performance for sample and reagent loading, liquid transfer steps, plate transfers, and pipetting. ELISA immunoassays are ubiquitous in diagnostic labs, used for a wide variety of applications from infectious disease to drugs-of-abuse testing.
Breakthrough Automation for Open ELISA Systems
"The Agility system will revolutionize ELISA microplate processing," said Adrian Bunce, Magellan's executive vice president and chief innovation officer. "Open systems are usually lower volume and slower than closed ELISA instruments. The Agility system bridges the gap: never before has one instrument combined the workflow performance typical of closed ELISA systems with the flexibility of an open system. You can run more tests in less time with fewer tedious steps and costly errors."
Bunce explained that even with automated closed systems, processing errors could occur in the dozen or more required manual steps. For example, users must decant and measure reagents and monitor and stock consumables, such as pipette tips and wash buffers. The Agility system automates all these steps. "With laboratories facing ever-increasing pressure to do more with less, labor-intensive front-end procedures have become especially burdensome due to the shortage of qualified laboratory technologists and escalating demand for medical testing generated by an aging population," he added.
SmartKit Reagent Packs Save Time, Increase Throughput
The key to the Agility system's streamlined workflow is the SmartKit pre-packaged, direct-load reagent kit. Magellan designed the SmartKit to contain all consumables required to perform ELISA tests, and will collaborate with reagent manufacturers to develop and validate SmartKits for their ELISA assays. Generic kits for end users will also be available. Two-dimensional bar codes provide accurate and secure information to eliminate manual data input, and illuminated, color-coded access positions on the instrument guide loading for reagent pack tips, microplates, and other consumables. The Agility system has three robotic arms for sample pipetting, reagent pipetting, and transferring plates, consumables, and SmartKits. Up to 16 SmartKits can be stored on one Agility instrument at a time.
"The SmartKit automates workflow by drastically reducing front-end set up, which eliminates half of the manual steps required with most open ELISA systems," said Bunce. "Laboratories can expect to reduce the time interacting with the system significantly and free up technician time for other tasks."
Benefits for Reagent Manufacturers
ELISA test kit manufacturers seeking to differentiate their offerings can rely on the Agility system to help their customers achieve higher levels of automation. "Marketing your ELISA reagents within the Agility system provides a significant competitive edge for securing new contracts with both existing customers and new accounts," commented Bunce. "The Agility system enables ELISA reagent companies to offer a new level of reagentinstrument integration and automation."
Agility's intuitive design requires minimal operator training and significantly lowers potential for errors. Navigation on the touch screen is simple and allows comprehensive monitoring of consumables. Attractive graphics give a full overview of all system operations from the number of tests scheduled to remaining consumable levels.
The Agility system will be offered for limited release to reagent manufacturers this year, with full availability to end users by Q2 2012.
About Magellan (www.magellanbio.com)
Founded in 2004, Magellan's innovative technologies make diagnostic testing easier, more cost-effective, and less labor intensive. The company's products deliver the timely information that clinicians need to make appropriate treatment decisions and improve outcomes for patients. They include LeadCare-brand rapid point-of-care systems to screen children and adults for lead poisoning and Dynex®-brand automated ELISA processing systems for a wide variety of immunoassays from infectious disease to autoimmune and food-safety testing.
SOURCE Magellan Biosciences