FDA Cleared UriSponge™ for More Convenient Urine Collection, Preservation, and Transport

Product Features

September 6, 2018

Microbiology laboratories receive more urine samples than any other specimen type. One of the challenges with urine collection occurs during transportation. It is imperative that the sample does not incur an overgrowth of normal bacterial flora and that it is able to support the pathogen’s viability. COPAN’s new FDA cleared UriSponge™ offers a safe, convenient and automation friendly alternative to vacuum style urine collection containers.

Urine Trouble
The CLSI (NCCLS) M40-A standard states that urine samples should be transported and plated within two hours of collection. This short window is not very practical, especially for clinics that have offsite laboratories where samples are sent.

Alternatively, it is acceptable to store urine by refrigerating the sample within 30 minutes of collection, increasing the viability to 24 hours. This is also a challenge for most collection sites where, often an overwhelming number of samples are collected and there is not enough refrigerator space to store so many specimens prior to testing.

Traditional Transport Systems
Traditional systems for urine collection and transport include urine cups and vacuum style containers. While urine cups are simple, they lack preservatives, such as boric acid, to prevent bacterial overgrowth.  Urine cups also come in a variety of shapes and sizes which creates a challenge for laboratories looking to standardize containers for easier transportation and automation in the lab.

Vacuum style containers help to standardize, as they allow for the transfer of sample from the patient collection container to uniform shaped tubes. This can be performed either at the clinic, the patient floor or at the laboratory. Vacuum style containers also offer vital preservatives required. However, the use of these types of containers poses some limitations such as: the quantity of specimen drawn can vary due to altitude, ambient temperature, barometric pressure, tube age, and filling technique. Vacuum style containers are also required to be filled to a minimum fill line. In addition, most systems require the use of a urine transfer straw, which increases the risk of stick injury.

Urine Luck with COPAN’s UriSponge™
To help simplify, standardize and improve processes for urine collection, COPAN developed UriSponge™,  the latest addition to COPAN’s Liquid Microbiology Line (LBM™). FDA cleared since March of 2018, the UriSponge™ kit comprises of a standard plastic tube and twistable cap, which includes an attached applicator stick surrounded by two cylindrical sponges. These sponges have been specifically fortified to include urine preservatives and have been proven to maintain the viability of bacteria for up to 48 hours at both ambient and refrigerated temperature.

How UriSponge™ Works
After a patient delivers the sample, the urine specimen is transferred by dipping the applicator sponge into a urine sample for approximately 5 seconds (enough to saturate the sponges) and then recapped and sent to the laboratory. Some sites also collect by having the patient void urine on the sponge directly.  Collection with UriSponge™ will yield about 2 mL of liquid sample. At the laboratory, UriSponge™ specimens are processed for the cultivation of bacteria and Candida albicans and can also be used for molecular testing.

Performance and Benefits of UriSponge™
Studies have shown that UriSponge™ is comparable to the BD Vacutainer without the use of a minimum fill line, as presented in the study Standardization of Urine Samples Processing on COPAN WASP®DT, as well as maintaining significantly more urine pathogens than the urine culture paddle with fewer mixed or contaminated culture, as presented in the study entitled Comparison of Uriswab to Alternative Methods for Urine Culture Collection and Transport: Confirmation of Standard Culture Methodology for Investigation of Urinary Tract Infections. While the stats on the impressive sponge system are notable, what makes the kit a “no-brainer” in comparison to other transport options are the benefits specific to UriSponge™. The benefits include:

Versatile System
UriSponge™ can be used for traditional culture, as well as for preservation of nucleic acids.

Does not use a urine transfer straw, eliminating the risk of stick injury.

Easy to Use
Preservatives, Boric Acid and Sodium Formate, chemically bonded into the sponge, are activated on contact with urine.  Once the sponge applicator is saturated with urine, simply close the container and send it to the lab for analysis.

No Fill Line Needed
Stoichiometric principle guarantees mixture of urine and preservatives in correct proportions.

Optimized for Automation
As part of the LBM™ line, UriSponge™ was designed for use with automation, allowing laboratories increased return on investment by easily automating a high-volume sample that comes into the laboratory

Urine Good Hands with UriSponge™
With a handful of notable advantages to using UriSponge™, urine collection and transport can be made easier and safer by implementing this innovative tool. As mentioned by Dr. Susan Sharp, Director of Scientific Affairs for COPAN Diagnostics in a recent webinar, there is an increasing pressure on healthcare facilities to examine every aspect of care they provide to maximize efficiency, safety and best patient care. By adopting UriSponge™, facilities can ensure their samples are collected easily, correctly and that most importantly when laboratories receive the samples, the viability of the organisms have remained, and tests results are accurate.

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