Component Management

Pipetting robot supports PCR-based HPV screening

12th February 2021
Alex Lynn

Labs are increasingly choosing INTEGRA Biosciences’ liquid handling pipetting robot to help them address growing workloads associated with Human papilloma virus (HPV) screening. Several studies have recently suggested that PCR-based screening is more accurate and offers earlier detection of pre-cancerous growths than the conventional Papanicolaou (Pap) test and liquid-based cytology, leading to a gradual shift towards molecular diagnostics approaches.

The ASSIST PLUS pipetting robot is suited to this type of diagnostic screening workflow, offering fast and easy, walkaway automation of protocols. The Centre de Pathologie du Maine Normandie (CPMN) in Le Mans was the first lab in France to install an ASSIST PLUS to process HPV samples, and this system has now been adopted by several labs nationally. Nucleic acid extraction and PCR set-up are combined into a single program on the ASSIST PLUS, significantly simplifying the workflow and ensuring superior reproducibility with error-free pipetting.

Dr Quentin Breton, a pathologist at CPMN, commented: “We chose the ASSIST PLUS because we wanted a solution that would allow us to automate the protocol for HPV testing as much as possible, while maintaining strict quality requirements and avoiding pipetting errors. It has now become an integral part of management of our HPV samples, and we have ideas on how to implement it for several other molecular biology workflows.”

CPMN’s ASSIST PLUS is equipped with a VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipette, which is used to transfer samples and mastermix from tubes to PCR plate.

Maria Falco, Laboratory Technician at CPMN explained: “We use many different labware formats, and precisely and accurately transferring between them is complicated and time consuming to perform manually. Thankfully, the VOYAGER, in combination with the ASISST PLUS, processes these automatically and simultaneously, allowing us to achieve very accurate and reproducible results, and streamlining the entire workflow.”

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