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Rapid, Cost-Efficient Sample Processing in Workflows such as COVID-19 Testing Enabled through Hamilton Storage and Rhinostics Partnership
Novel RHINOstic™ Swab Collection Device and LabElite® DeCapper Increase Sample Throughput and Consistency Compared to Manual Methods
Hamilton Storage and Rhinostics, an early-stage Harvard University spin-out company, are pleased to announce the first step in a collaboration to improve decapping and accessioning of patient samples. These common bottlenecks occur during clinical sample processing of assays to detect antibodies and antigens in relation to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, as well as many other pathogens. The agreement includes joining Hamilton Storage’s LabElite® DeCapper with the RHINOstic™ swab collection device for hands-free and high throughput sample processing.
The patent-pending RHINOstic nasal and buccal swab collection device integrates a unique, polypropylene-based swab with an automatable cap. After the patient sample is collected, the swab is placed into a barcoded sample container and ready for dry shipment; bypassing the need for viral transport media (VTM). This reduces reagent costs as well as risks of leaking, accidental biohazard contact, and variability due to VTM composition. The lack of VTM also enables greater sample concentrations for use in PCR, next generation sequencing (NGS), ELISA methods, and more.
The easy-to-use LabElite DeCapper automates decapping and capping of tubes and vials with internal or external threads in 24-, 48-, or 96-tube racks. This increases sample processing speed while protecting users from biohazard exposure. When processing RHINOstic devices, the LabElite DeCapper’s 12-channel head and a conversion kit are required. This accessory is available with new models, and field-upgradeable for those with existing LabElite DeCappers. Additional functionality to further enhance sample throughput will be announced as it becomes available.
Cheri Walker, PhD, President and Chief Executive noted that automation is foundational to drive speed and efficiency in the RHINOstic workflow, especially in times of overwhelming demand – as many labs are currently experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Hamilton Storage is a strong, reputable leader in automated technologies and highly engaged in supporting our growth,” she commented. “We’re delighted to partner with them, and together, we will make a meaningful difference across the healthcare community.”
“We’re enthusiastic about working with Rhinostics as they apply a fresh perspective to an often-overlooked element of clinical laboratory workflows,” said Matthew Hamilton, President of Hamilton Storage. “The resulting automatable innovation is as elegant as it is highly impactful for time-pressed labs and the clinicians and patients that they serve.”
The collaborative agreement will include co-promoting the RHINOstic device and LabElite DeCapper solution along with marketing and educational initiatives aimed at making customers aware of the increased convenience, speed, and consistency of the combined solution.
Rhinostics Inc. is an early stage company commercializing a simple and elegant solution to bring efficiencies and cost savings to the laboratory workflow. The RHINOstic nasal swab provides features that increase sample throughput by more than 10-fold while removing labor and errors from the laboratory workflow. The swab is integrated onto a cap that can be automated for removal from the tube while all 96 samples are simultaneously accessioned through scanning a 2D barcode on the bottom of the tubes. Additionally, the device allows dry shipment of respiratory samples without viral transport media, and the nasal collection allows for an easy and comfortable collection. Viral samples can be released directly into a small amount of saline, providing sample concentration of 30x or greater, providing greater standardization and improving downstream assay reliability. The product provides an immediate impact to increasing COVID testing efficiencies while being applicable to broader respiratory viral, bacterial, and genetic testing using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and next generation sequencing (NGS). The RHINOstic product is registered as Class I exempt medical device with the FDA and is available for purchase.
About Hamilton Storage
Hamilton Storage is a global leader in the design and manufacture of automated storage systems for biological and compound samples. By safeguarding the integrity of even the most precious samples, our solutions and expert knowledge empower researchers to reach new heights of laboratory efficiency while remaining focused on life science research. Hamilton Storage is an affiliate entity of Hamilton Company. For over 60 years, Hamilton has manufactured laboratory automation and measurement systems with an enduring commitment to precision and quality; and has headquarters in Reno, Nevada; Franklin, Massachusetts; Timișoara, Romania; and Bonaduz, Switzerland; along with subsidiary offices throughout the world. Hamilton Company is a privately held company with ISO 9001 certification.
All trademarks are owned and/or registered by Hamilton Storage or Rhinostics in the U.S. and/or other countries.
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