“It all started during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. There was so much pressure on diagnostic laboratories that they needed to optimise their workflow to be able to diagnose more quickly”. – explains our colleague Dr. Cristina Escolar, Product Specialist for Molecular Diagnostics at Viasure by Certest.

We came up with an easy-to-use system that would automate the processing of different clinical samples for subsequent RT-PCR analysis with VIASURE reagents.
For the development of this system, we decided to work with Tecan, with whom we had been working for some time. We based our platform on the Cavro® Magni Flex.
We designed a basic worktable, and incorporated the modules that our users would need, knowing that most of them work with clinical in a 96-well format, as well as using different types of primary sample tubes.

The system has eight channels that can be moved independently, allowing the desired level of flexibility and throughput, and we incorporated a gripper arm so that the equipment could move the plate between different positions on the worktable to carry out the different steps of the extraction process; adding a ThermoShaker for heating and stirring the samples, and another position for the nucleic acid washing and elution stages by means of a magnetized block and the use of magnetic beads.

In addition, a cooler unit was added to store the final nucleic acid for up to eight hours, as well as a station for tips of different sizes. This kept everything inside the worktable, which is very important to maintain as aseptic an environment as possible when working with potentially infectious clinical samples.

This is how VIASURE V-Flex was born, a fully automated solution for nucleic acid extraction, purification, and PCR set-up. A system adapted to the needs of diagnostic laboratories regardless of their workload, capable of processing even different types of clinical samples, as well as different diagnostic kits on the same processing plate, reducing time to results and increasing the number of parameters analyzed.

In addition, the VIASURE V-Flex incorporates an intuitive and easy-to-use integrated software, the Tecan MAPlinx™, which facilitates configuration and maintenance. In addition, MAPlinx offers the possibility to troubleshoot any hardware issue in real time, via remote connection by the technical service.

After the launch of the VIASURE V-Flex, Certest has continued working to adapt the equipment even more to the laboratories, which is why we are already working on a second version.