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HighRes Biosolutions’ Uses Innovative Robotic System to Automate NCI’s Biological Samples Library

National Cancer Institute (NCI’s) Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) has chosen HighRes Biosolutions to automate the grouping of around 8 million biological specimens of NCI’s library. The samples are stored at -80°C.

The present library will be listed and gathered based on study and substance type to aid sample removal for research purposes. The sample holders will be processed at -20°C by advanced autonomous vision, detection, labeling, and tube-picking equipment. Subsequently, the sample containers will be quickly returned to their standard -80°C storage conditions.

Presently, the storage of NCI’s -80°C library is done in mechanical upright and chest freezers. From these freezers, the movable TundraStore freezers from HighRes Biosolutions will shift the biological specimens to a HighRes tube processing system present in a -20°C cold room.  The TundraStore freezers have been exclusively designed for biobanking and compound storage purposes. During transportation, the biological specimens will be maintained at -20°C. The tube categorization and defragmenting tasks are carried out by a flexible elevated-speed tube picker.

The specimen library features several types of holders and label arrangements. Therefore for every tube, an exclusive imaging system will gather and group images of the complete wrap-around label. Barcodes can be interpreted in any direction on the tube. If barcodes are undetectable, the image is marked and the label is easily analyzed by the user without the requirement of entering the cold room.

In addition, the HighRes system will facilitate research activities that have encountered sample removals over the years to be merged, avoiding free spaces in freezers. DCEG is looking forward to regain a major portion of freezer space, following the implementation of the HighRes robotic system.

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