UniVerse® FAQ

This FAQ provides detailed insights into the COPAN UniVerse® system, a cutting-edge automated platform for molecular sample preparation. It covers key aspects such as functionality, applications, benefits, compatibility, and technical specifications, offering a thorough understanding of how UniVerse® enhances laboratory operations and efficiency.

What is the COPAN UniVerse® system?

UniVerse® is a cutting-edge automated system designed for the molecular laboratory. It simplifies the upfront sample processing for molecular diagnostic testing by automating key steps such as accessioning, labeling, vortexing, and aliquoting into assay tubes or 96 deep well plates. This system is fully integrated with the Laboratory Information System (LIS) to enhance laboratory throughput while ensuring complete traceability, reliability, and accuracy.

How does UniVerse® work?

UniVerse® automates the molecular specimen setup by performing several critical tasks:

  • ID Scan: It identifies inbound specimen barcodes and matches them with LIS data.
  • Vortex: Offers various vertexing protocols based on sample type.
  • Decap and Recap: Independently manages the opening and closing of primary and secondary tubes.
  • Aliquot: Transfers specimen aliquots to tubes or assay plates with precision.
  • Label and Reconcile: Applies custom labels to output tubes and synchronizes with LIS for full traceability.

What are some key fields of application for UniVerse®?

The UniVerse® system can be used for automated molecular sample preparation in several areas, including:

  • Respiratory diseases
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HPV
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Genetics and microbiome studies
  • Hospital acquired infections
  • Tuberculosis Specimens
  • Screening applications

Besides molecular testing, what are other applications where UniVerse® can be used?

While primarily designed for molecular sample preparation, UniVerse® can also be used for:

  • Preparing specimens for antigen testing
  • Aliquoting samples for immunoassays or archiving

What are the key benefits of using UniVerse®?

Key benefits include:

  • Automates labor-intensive sample preparation tasks to reduce manual work
  • Eliminates transcription and transposition errors
  • Manages many specimen containers, tubes, and plates simultaneously
  • Fully integrates with the laboratory’s LIS for complete traceability
  • Increases laboratory throughput, reliability and accuracy

How does UniVerse® enhance laboratory operations?

UniVerse® brings numerous benefits to laboratory workflows, including:

  • Efficiency: Capable of processing up to 130 tubes/hour or 220 96-well plate samples/hour, UniVerse® significantly accelerates sample preparation while significantly reducing manual labor
  • Safety: Equipped with a HEPA BSL-2 filtration system, it ensures a contamination-free environment for both staff and specimens.
  • Compatibility: Designed to work harmoniously with a broad range of molecular assays, enhancing its applicability across different testing platforms.
  • Flexibility: Supports multiple tube sizes, swab types, and customized assay plates, accommodating diverse laboratory needs.

What types of specimen inputs and assay formats does UniVerse® support?

UniVerse® can process multiple tube sizes, customized 96-well plates, and various swab types without requiring manual swab removal. This allows UniVerse to prepare specimens for many molecular assays.

In addition to many custom tube types, UniVerse® is compatible with COPAN’s line of liquid-based collection and transport devices such as UTM®, ESwab®, eNAT®, and MSwab®. Using these optimized devices unlocks the full potential of the automation system.

What operational modes does UniVerse® offer?

UniVerse® boasts four operational modes to suit various laboratory requirements and includes:

  1. Tube to Tube: Transfers from one primary specimen to one secondary tube.
  2. Tube Pooling: Consolidates multiple primary specimen into one secondary tube.
  3. Tube to Plate: Dispenses from one primary specimen to a designated well on a secondary 96-well assay plate.
  4. Plate Pooling: Combines multiple primary specimens into a single well on a secondary 96-well assay plate.

How does UniVerse® ensure sample tracking and traceability?

UniVerse® utilizes integrated barcode readers and a label printer for secondary tubes and 96-well plates ensuring each sample is accurately tracked from input to output. This seamless integration with LIS systems ensures end-to-end traceability and minimizes errors.

What add-on modules are available to expand the capabilities of the UniVerse®?

What add-on modules are available to expand the capabilities of the UniVerse®?

UniVerse® offers optional modules to expand its functionality:

  • Turntable for HPV Molecular Testing: Automates specimen setup for HPV testing using BD SurePath™ and Hologic ThinPrep® vials.
  • QuantiFERON Sample Processing: Prepares QuantiFERON daughter tubes for tuberculosis exposure testing, including initial specimen mixing and tube labeling.

Can UniVerse® support specimen pooling?

Yes, UniVerse® offers innovative specimen pooling capabilities allowing laboratories to test multiple patients in a single sample. This increases testing volume and efficiency especially in low incidence diseases. UniVerse® supports the creation of “pools” with up to 20 patients per sample when paired with UTM® PodSwab™ pooling tubes, optimizing resources and reducing material consumption. UniVerse® supports pooled testing in two ways:

  • Pooling multiple patient specimens into one secondary tube
  • Sampling from multiple patient swabs pooled into a single tube like the PodSwab™

How does UniVerse® help standardize laboratory workflows?

By automating the tedious, repetitive tasks involved in molecular sample preparation, UniVerse® enables consistent and precise processing across diverse assay platforms. This reduces variability and frees laboratory staff to focus on other diagnostic tasks.

What kind of efficiency improvements can laboratories expect with UniVerse®?

UniVerse® significantly improves laboratory efficiency by maintaining consistent and precise processing. This allows laboratory staff to focus on other diagnostic tasks, reduces manual touchpoints thus minimizing the risk of cross-contamination and errors, and reduces repetitive stress injuries.

How does UniVerse® handle the vortexing step?

UniVerse® has a double vortex station with selectable protocols optimized for various specimen types and collection devices. This ensures proper sample mixing prior to aliquoting.

What consumables does UniVerse® use?

UniVerse® uses specialized liquid-sensing conductive pipette tips to ensure accurate specimen aspiration and dispensing using an automated waste bin for tip disposal. The system is designed to integrate with the laboratory’s choice of assay tubes, plates, and collection devices for maximum flexibility.

What key safety features are built into the UniVerse® system?

UniVerse® has an integrated Class II biosafety laminar flow hood with HEPA filtration to contain any aerosols and droplets. The automated pipetting also has anti-droplet control. These features protect both the specimens and operators from contamination risks. Automating repetitive manual steps also reduces repetitive stress injury risks for lab staff.

What is the technical specification of UniVerse®?

  • Dimensions: W 52 / D 39 / H 92 inches
  • Weight: 1361 lbs
  • Noise Emissions: Max 55 Db
  • Thermal Output: 2900 BTU
  • Peak Power Consumption: 1100 W
  • Filtration Type: HEPA, ensuring clean and safe air circulation.
  • Biosafety Certification: Field certified NSF/ANSI 49 Class II.
  • Inoculation Volumes: From 10µl to 1000µl.
  • Liquid Handling Accuracy: Ranges from ≤1% for 1000µl to ≤2% for 100µl volumes

Where can I learn more about UniVerse®?

UniVerse® is a testament to COPAN’s commitment to advancing the field of molecular diagnostics through automation. Its comprehensive suite of features and functionalities streamlines laboratory operations, ensuring safety, efficiency, and compatibility with a wide array of molecular assays. For laboratories looking to automate elevate their molecular testing pre-analytical capabilities, UniVerse® offers a scalable, flexible, and efficient solution.