Advancing automation

Tecan has launched Phase Separator, an innovative liquid separation technology that promises to save time and improve accuracy in laboratory workflows. With specific applications in liquid biopsy and biobanking, its benefits will be felt in genomics, proteomics and across multiple disease areas, from oncology and neurodegenerative disease to metabolic disorders.

Phase Separator is a pipetting capability of the new Air Flexible Channel Arm (Air FCA) on Tecan’s flagship liquid handling platform, the Fluent automation workstation. It addresses the critical challenge of detecting liquid-liquid interfaces and effectively separating neighboring phases, while avoiding the risk of contamination, making it ideal for separating plasma in centrifuged blood samples.

The technology detects liquid levels with pinpoint precision inside the tube, so there is no interference from barcodes or other tube markings. By combining phase detection with the pipetting action, Phase Separator can achieve remarkable speeds, working with either tubes or plates. Processing speed is further enhanced when all eight channels on the Air FCA are used in parallel, enabling the aspiration of plasma from 24 tubes of centrifuged blood in under 10 minutes, and is twice as fast on dual-arm systems. These benefits come with no loss of bench space and no additional equipment to maintain.

"Phase Separator represents a significant advance in liquid-separation technology,” said Luca Valeggia, Senior Vice President of Laboratory Automation at Tecan. “With its precision and streamlined workflow, it will deliver new levels of efficiency and reliability for both research and clinical applications. It will make an enormous contribution to liquid biopsy workflows, impacting disease diagnosis and monitoring, and to broader research applications, where it will help to accelerate discovery."

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