There are more than 6,000 laboratories operating in North America at the moment. Each of these plays a vital role in deepening our understanding of the world around us. From medical diagnostics to soil sample analysis, your lab makes a huge difference.
However, this also means that you are responsible for running your laboratory to a high standard. Without this, your results, research, and analysis could fall short.
This is where sample prep can make a big difference. So how can you improve sample prep for your lab tests, and what lab equipment will you need for this? Read on to find out everything you need to know about improving your lab’s automated sample prep.
Why is Sample Prep So Important?
As the name suggests, sample prep involves preparing each of your samples before analysis. This provides you with a sample in form suitable for analytical instruments
Of course, you also have to clean your samples without compromising them. If you manage this, you will find that you get more accurate results.
This helps to improve the integrity and progress of your lab’s research or analysis. It can also help to protect your lab from the legal ramifications of inaccurate results.
Automating your lab preparation can also have huge benefits for your bottom line.
This will reduce the amount of sample waste in your lab. It also means that you need fewer employees working on your sample prep. That way, you can focus your resources where you really need them.
What Does Sample Prep Involve?
Once your samples arrive at the lab, there are several things you need to do before analyzing them. This includes:
- Releasing and extracting the analyte from its sample matrix
- Removing any interfering species from the sample
- Pre-concentrating the analyte levels to improve the detection limits (or)
- Diluting the analyte to improve the detection limits
- Mineralise sample to increase solubility
- Ash sample to eliminate matrix around analyte
- Storing your samples correctly to prevent cross-contamination
You may also need to derivate the analyte to improve the detection sensitivity.
This means you have a lot of work to do before you can start testing your samples. Fortunately, you can now automate a lot of these processes using state-of-the-art sample prep equipment. This ensures that your samples are prepped properly and deliver accurate results.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the best lab sample prep equipment around at the moment.
The Vulcan Open Vessel Automated Acid Digestion System
When it comes to prepping lab tests, The Vulcan is a vital piece of tech. This equipment can handle six automated steps of lab sample digestion. You can even customize it with the help of our experts to suit your lab’s needs.
The Vulcan features:
- A QPump – a peristaltic acid dispensing pump capable of dispensing 1.3 mL/s
- A syringe accurate delivery system that offers 0.05 mL accuracy
- Hot block digestion modules that provides heat up to 230 C
- A pneumatic tray to lift your vials in an out of the block smoothly
- Contactless sensors for filling your vials post-digestion
- Probes that will stir and mix your samples for as long as you need
- Transfer probes that will organize samples that are ready for analysis
The digestion system also helps you to prevent cross-contamination between samples. You can use whichever type of acid you choose within it.
The Vulcan system also comes with steps of software you can use to make lab work simpler. This software features three intuitive steps:
- Recipe creation
- Batch creation
So you can set up the lab tests you need in no time at all. This piece of equipment will truly transform your lab.
It also helps to protect you and anyone else working in your lab. The Vulcan handles a range of hazardous materials so that you don’t have to. If you are interested in improving the safety of your lab, then it is also worth checking out The Scrubber.
The QWave Microwave Digestion System
You can use The QWave to digest, extract, evaporate, and synthesize samples in your lab. The machine is equipped with:
- Temperature and pressure monitoring for each vessel
- Safety features to protect your samples
- A rotating antenna and 360° carousel to guarantee uniform sample heating
- A corrosion-proof, PTFE-coated cavity that will stand the test of time
- Multiple configurations to suit every sample’s needs
You can use The QWave as an open or closed vessel microwave. This makes it an extremely versatile piece of equipment for any lab.
You can also develop and store unlimited digestion recipes in The QWave. So over time, you will seriously speed up your sample prep.
The QPrep Automated Dilution System
If you have to handle a large number of samples on a regular basis then The QPrep Automated Dilution System can help.
This system can hold a large number of samples in different rack configurations. It also:
- Performs multiple dilutions quickly
- Spikes your samples to meet internal standards
- Calibrates and prepares QC standards
- Manages serial dilutions and aliquot transfers
- Provides consistent and precise reagent addition
This can seriously help to speed up the prep process with guaranteed accuracy for a large number of samples processing..
Make Lab Testing Easier With Automated Sample Prep Equipment Today
There is no denying that sample prep is a vital step in any lab testing process. In fact, this can impact the validity of your entire test, so it is worth investing time and money in this process.
Thankfully, automated sample prep equipment can improve the accuracy of your results and make your life easier. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with Questron today to find out how our products can help you!