Thermo Scienfitic boosts productivity in blood banking and cellular processing applications

Blood processing and cellular therapy laboratories can now benefit from centrifugation and cold storage equipment designed to optimise sustainability, sample throughput and safety

Blood banking and cellular therapy centres function as production facilities. As such, high-throughput capabilities that enable run-to-run reproducibility while maintaining sample integrity and process control are essential to ensuring continuous, uninterrupted operation.

With refrigerators, freezers and centrifuges playing a key role in the blood processing workflow, the latest storage and separation equipment has been developed to accommodate the need for improved round-the-clock productivity and ergonomic workflow, all while minimising environmental impact and adhering to global standards.

'Common challenges facing blood processing and cellular therapy facilities include working with large volumes of blood products or timely processing of critical, sensitive samples and there is increasing pressure to deliver accurate results more quickly to facilitate medical research and patient well-being,' said Bill McMahon, president, laboratory equipment, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

'With this in mind, we are focusing product development within these sectors on well-established technologies that are designed for simplified and safe blood processing and cell therapy applications, while boosting productivity in an easy-to-use, ergonomic manner.'

The latest technological advancements from Thermo Fisher were showcased at the recent American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. They included the Thermo Scientific TSX Series of high-performance blood bank refrigerators and high-performance plasma freezers, the Thermo Scientific Sorvall BP 8 and 16 blood banking centrifuges, and the Thermo Scientific Medifuge benchtop centrifuge.

The new Thermo Scientific TSX Series of high-performance blood bank refrigerators operate at a factory pre-set temperature of 4°C to comply with the AABB guidelines for the storage of whole blood and blood components. Thermo Scientific TSX Series of high-performance plasma freezers have also been developed to meet the guidelines established by the AABB for the storage of plasma.

Like the previously introduced TSX Series of ultra-low freezers, the TSX Series high-performance refrigerators and freezers are powered by the unique V-Drive technology, designed to deliver improved performance and significant energy savings. The V-Drive, combined with superior insulation, also ensures up to 10 times quieter operation than conventional instruments, enabling them to be located closer to the point of care without noise disturbance.

In addition, the new TSX refrigerators and freezers use natural refrigerants, in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) for improved laboratory sustainability.

The 16 x 500 mL capacity Thermo Scientific Sorvall BP 8 and 16 blood banking centrifuges are designed to maximise productivity for blood processing centres by offering an increased capacity that exceeds legacy systems by 33%, while maintaining previously validated protocols.

In a production environment where ease-of-use as well as operator ergonomics are imperative, these centrifuges save time and reduce physical strain with Auto-Door and Auto-Lid technologies, enabling the opening and closing of the centrifuge door, and removal and restacking of the windshielded rotor lid to be a seamless, hands-free operation.

The Accumulated Centrifugal Effect (ACE) function of the systems automatically adjusts run time to account for and eliminate acceleration/deceleration variations that could otherwise lead to the incomplete separation of platelets. The centrifuges also feature the innovative Eco-Spin technology, which uses windshielded rotors to allow energy savings of up to 64%. All models are CE marked for the Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC and are listed with the US FDA. In addition, they conform to the latest global safety standards, including UL listing.

Featuring a unique two-in-one hybrid rotor with interchangeable fixed-angle and swinging buckets, the Thermo Scientific Medifuge benchtop centrifuge provides application-specific flexibility. Coupled with a compact footprint, it is an ideal choice for laboratories with limited space.

The centrifuge incorporates safety and sustainability features such as an emergency lid-lock release, quiet operation and a lightweight composite rotor that is easy to handle and saves energy during acceleration/deceleration. The centrifuge can accommodate a wide range of tubes, from 1.4 mL to 15 mL, and even 10 mL standard syringes, as well as enabling fixed-angle and swinging buckets to run at the same time for separation comparison studies. The Medifuge centrifuge conforms to the latest clinical and safety standards, such as UL, CE and IVD, and is listed with the US FDA as a Class 1 device.