Company News

COPAN Debuts WASPLab™ Incubator at MEDICA

December 6, 2010

Held in Dusseldorf, Germany this past November, the medical trade fair MEDICA showcased new innovations from around the world. One standout was the introduction of the WASPLab™ Incubator, COPAN’s WASP®: Walk-Away Specimen Processor’s latest module. COPAN’s goal for its automation line is to truly complete every task of specimen processing in Microbiology laboratories.

The unveiling of the newest WASP® module is just one more example of the company’s constant innovation and dedication to serving the needs of the Microbiology community.

With over 50 worldwide WASP® installations, the much anticipated new module is a welcome addition to the WASP® product line. After specimens are processed by the WASP®, plates are moved automatically from the WASP® using a conveyor system to the WASPLab™ Incubator. Next, the WASPLab™ Incubator scans the plates’ barcodes and automatically inverts each plate. Simple as this might sound, until now, inverting plates was a task that had to be done manually when using other systems.

This automatic feature prevents condensation droplets from forming on the lid and falling onto the plated media, which could result in contamination of the media or could

create a tight seal that does not allow the free flow of atmospheric air in and out of the culture plate. Finally, the instrument places each plate in a unique location. Unlike traditional incubators that simply store plates in piles or stacks within racks, the WASPLab™ Incubator has a unique incubator design comprising of a 2 meter tall rotating spindle with removable easy to clean circular stainless steel shelves. Each circular shelf has 14 positions, each individual location intended for one plate. This design is beneficial as it allows the robotic system to locate and retrieve any specific plate on command, but most importantly the shelving allows the most efficient thermal conductivity and air flow around every single plate. Culture plates rapidly reach desired incubation temperature and are constantly surrounded in the correct atmospheric conditions.

The new WASP® module, WASPLab™ Incubator, has a storage capacity of 770 plates and handles one plate every 10 seconds.

Variable incubation time (from 16 to 36 hours), manually adjustable temperature range, and ability to work with any plated media allow for high user flexibility in the incubation process. WASPLab™ Incubator will be available with standard aerobic incubation conditions and CO2.

The new robotic incubator is just one of many new innovative applications and modules, which have been developed for the WASP® system, keeping in line with COPAN’s vision for WASPLab™, a system which will automate every aspect of specimen processing. “We have many exciting new modules and applications that will be added to the WASP® in the coming months. Our dynamic team of engineers, programmers and microbiologists are working feverishly to bring new additions to market with the same speed and attention to detail which has been the hallmark of COPAN,” said Norman Sharples, Executive Vice President at Copan Diagnostics, Inc.

Other recent additions include the ability to automatically inoculate enrichment broths, and the Gram SlidePrep™ which automatically prepares Gram slides prior to staining. Each WASP® is designed in a modular fashion allowing users to upgrade their systems as new modules and applications become available. The modular design also allows

customization so that users can acquire a system best suited for their unique, individual needs. WASP®’s modular and open platform design ensures that labs can be confident that their investment is as highly beneficial today as into the future. “By maintaining a close relationship with the Microbiology community and listening closely to their needs in the laboratory, COPAN is committed to be a solution provider and is poised to define the future of pre-analytical automation of specimen processing in Microbiology,” concluded Sharples.

About Copan

With a reputation for innovation in preanalytics, Copan is the leading manufacturer of collection and transport systems in the world. Copan offers a complete range of microbial sampling products used for traditional culture analysis and molecular diagnostic assays. For more information, visit