In an era of personalized medicine, high-quality research relies on effective biobanking. SPT Labtech has a track record of providing automated, secure technology that enables biobanks to optimize their sample management workflows and scale flexibly according to their research requirements.
We worked with the National Center for Translational Medicine at Ruijin Hospital to create an ingenious automated low-temperature system, connecting 13 arktic XC units using novel pneumatic technology to transfer samples between different laboratories and floors. The capacity already stands at 1.5 million specimens, while the modular infrastructure provides ultimate flexibility for future expansion.
This first-in-class solution optimizes Ruijin Hospital's sample management workflows and helps to realize our customer's bold vision for translational medicine.
In December 2020, the state-of-the-art National Center for Translational Medicine at Ruijin Hospital officially opened after five years of development and planning. The scientific team had conceived a bold vision to power their research with an automated biobank solution and unify sample operation and storage across multiple departments and sample types. SPT Labtech initiated discussions with Ruijin Hospital's leadership in 2017 to understand their unique requirements and workflows. Over the next two years, we remained in close collaboration with our client as they steered their initial concepts from design to funding and construction.
The ultimate solution was ingenious, comprising an automated low-temperature system with 13 interconnected sets of arktic XC units. The modular infrastructure used novel pneumatic technology- operating through a network of pipes- to allow samples to transfer quickly and easily between different laboratories and even different hospital floors. Harnessing SPT Labtech's 20-year track record of innovation in biobanking technology, the complex installation involved a multi-disciplinary team handling all aspects of contracting, manufacturing, shipping and logistics. Close communication and strong project management were essential to fine-tune the implementation, especially in light of the disruption to travel caused by COVID-19.
The sample storage capacity already stands at 1.5 million – and the flexible architecture will allow for significant further expansion in the future. This first-in-class solution optimizes Ruijin Hospital's sample management workflows and helps to advance its ambitions for translational medicine.
Paul Lomax, Product Manager at SPT Labtech
"A project like this makes you feel proud of the ingenuity and hard work of the team to develop and execute a plan and devise a technologically ingenious solution that represents the first such system anywhere in the world. We look forward to seeing how the biobank expands and scales to deliver what that customer wants over the coming years."
From concept to customer:
In 2017, Ruijin Hospital initiated discussions with SPT Labtech to discuss the team's initial concept for an ambitious automated biobanking solution to underpin their research. The National Center for Translational Medicine wanted to unify sample operation and storage across multiple departments and sample types.
SPT Labtech began advising on the operational implications of these complex trade-offs and provided input to support the biobank's investment proposals. The proposed solution comprised 13 sets of arktic XC units and 4 remote systems connect. It used innovative pneumatic technology to allow samples to transfer quickly and easily between different laboratories and even different hospital floors. After six months of due diligence and onsite visits, in 2019, the first units were manufactured and shipped to the site.
In 2020, as the project progressed, the SPT Labtech team had to overcome the unexpected challenges of COVID-19 disruption. We harnessed technology to ensure the engineering team could continue to provide dedicated remote support.
The final site was completed and signed off in January 2021 and presented to a large team of officials in Shanghai. The innovative solution provides ultimate flexibility and an ingenious solution using pneumatic technology to deliver seamless and efficient transfer of samples from collection to storage and back to the bench – empowering scientific research.
The solution brought together 20 years of SPT Labtech experience in pneumatic technology to enable the remote transfer of samples – the first system of its kind.
The modular units enabled Ruijin Hospital to integrate their processes for a single biobank.
Intensive onsite and offsite technical support from the SPT Labtech team ensured high-quality implementation.
The flexible architecture will allow for significant future expansion as Ruijin Hospital further develops its translational medicine capabilities.
arktic provides a flexible, affordable and secure -20°C or -80°C automated sample store to meet research demand for increasing volumes of biological samples. Its user-friendly, vending machine style design allows for efficient management and access to 2D barcoded samples, eliminating the need for inefficient manual searching. Using a unique arrangement for tube storage, arktic is 7x more space efficient than other systems, allowing facilities to minimize overheads while assuring sample integrity throughout its life.explore arktic
arktic XC is an innovative automated biobanking solution bringing together a network of compact arktic storage units into a single high integrity, affordable and scalable biostorage system. Different locations can be linked using novel and reliable pneumatic technology with direct benchtop access for highly optimized workflows. The modular approach offers facilities ultimate flexibility to increase capacity in line with demand and keep the cost per sample stable while advancing research goals.explore arktic XC