WASP® Overview >
Specimen planting and streaking is an important job in microbiology that needs to be done quickly, efficiently and to a high standard. Reliable and accurate diagnosis depends on the quality of the sample and proficiency of specimen set up. Despite its importance, the task of planting and streaking is a laborious repetitive activity that takes skilled personnel away from important interpretative work, esoteric testing and new assay technologies that require their expertise.
Laboratory managers around the world face a rapidly aging population of laboratory staff and a higher incidence of unfilled vacancies for skilled workers. A recent article in The Providence Journal reported that there is a nationwide need for about 10,000 new medical technologists per year. The country’s colleges and universities annually produce only about half that number. Maintenance of precious skilled staff and competency is a serious and increasing challenge, which is compounded by rising workloads due to the increasing prevalence of healthcare - associated infections (HAIs) like MRSA, and emerging drug resistance bacteria such as New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1). The microbiology laboratory is also changing as it adopts a more diverse range of technologies, such as immunoassays and molecular diagnostics, to increase its ability to identify infectious agents in samples with great precision and provide faster results to physicians.

Routine tasks like planting and streaking occupy much of a technologist’s time. Opening, sampling and closing specimens numerous times each day pose a serious concern about repetitive stress and fatigue.

WASP® provides a much needed solution that allows the re-deployment of precious staff resources without compromising the quality of diagnostic testing. WASP® is designed to mimic the best technologist and to bring a high standard of consistent, reliable and accurate specimen planting and streaking.

The WASP®: Walk-Away Specimen Processor addresses many real issues across laboratories:

Copan WASP®: Walk-Away Specimen Processor is a truly revolutionary instrument for liquid sample processing for Microbiology. It automatically de-caps, plants, streaks, and recaps specimens in seconds. WASP® also automates Gram slide preparation and inoculates enrichment broths, truly closing the circle in automated specimen processing. The WASP® system takes care of all specimen processing and preparation work. This leaves precious staff free to focus on work which requires diagnostic and interpretative skills. The WASP® has a throughput capacity equivalent to at least 2 or 3 Full-Time Equivalents, which allows labs to expand their volume potential. WASP® is designed to work 24/7 utilizing any one of its operational modes.
Familiar Classic Streak Patterns Reduce Staff Training and Increase Standardization

Robotic plate streak patterns are standardized and of unmatched quality for easier and faster readability

Intuitive software allows you to choose from a library of classical streak patterns or to create your own streak design

The WASP® is able to plant and streak samples using whole plates with 1, 2, 3 or 4 streaked zones, and biplates using horizontal or vertical patterns

By using classical patterns, the need to retrain staff to read new patterns is eliminated and standardization in planting is achieved.

The benefits that the WASP®: Walk-Away Specimen Processor brings to the laboratory are many: it ensures the highest quality and consistency of specimen inoculation and streaking; it eliminates fatigue and repetitive stress injuries; and, at the same time, either replaces scarce labor or frees up staff to perform other functions that increase productivity. The instrument is a reliable and consistent workhorse designed to mimic the quality of work done by skilled technologists. The combination of the instrument’s versatility, the multi-operational modes, and the high throughput capability ensure a fast return on investment.

For the first time, established automated technology considered normal in Biochemistry and Hematology is now a reality for Microbiology.