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Tecan's Phase Separator™: advancing automation for liquid biopsy and biobanking

publication date: Aug 1, 2023
author/source: Tecan Group Ltd


Tecan proudly unveils 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 unique 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.

Tecan’s innovative 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."

The launch of Phase Separator further demonstrates Tecan's commitment to scaling healthcare innovation globally. With this patent-pending innovation, biological samples can be processed faster, more accurately and even more efficiently than with previous methods. These improvements translate to productivity gains and cost savings for laboratories, with a particular impact on the rapidly evolving field of liquid biopsy.


*Timing is volume dependent. Time given for separation volumes of 5 ml.


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About Tecan

Tecan improves people’s lives and health by empowering customers to scale healthcare innovation globally from life science to the clinic. Tecan is a pioneer and global leader in laboratory automation. As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Tecan is also a leader in developing and manufacturing OEM instruments, components and medical devices that are then distributed by partner companies. Founded in Switzerland in 1980, the company hasaround 3,500 employees, with manufacturing, research and development sites in Europe, North America and Asia, and maintains a sales and service network in over 70 countries. In 2022, Tecan generated sales of CHF 1,144 million (USD 1,192 million; EUR 1,144 million). Registered shares of Tecan Group are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (TECN; ISIN CH0012100191).


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