Innovative Improvements Increase Productivity and Throughput for Next Generation Cell Viability Analyzer

Increasing the productivity and throughput of all aspects of bioprocessing has been a key goal for most research and biomanufacturing operations. As a result, more and more steps in both upstream and downstream processing are being examined to see where improvements can be made.

Last month Beckman Coulter Life Sciences launched their new Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer. The Vi-CELL BLU is a next generation product that improves on the popular Vi-CELL XR legacy product. The Vi-CELL BLU was designed with customer feedback from around the world, much of which was centered on increasing productivity and throughput.

The new Vi-CELL BLU was designed with these common customer requests in mind:

  • Faster analysis and processing time
  • Increased sample capacity for higher throughput (now with a 24-position sample carousel and a 96-well plate loader)
  • Decreased sample volume requirement (now only 170 µL in FAST mode)
  • Better instrument-to-instrument correlation
  • Expanded data integrity and compliance features
  • As easy to use as the legacy Vi-CELL XR

In addition to the new features, the new Vi-CELL BLU addresses four key goals in bioprocessing. These include:

Increased Productivity

The new Vi-CELL BLU has the capability of processing samples at two speeds. Regular speed is 28% faster than the legacy product and FAST mode is 50% faster. In addition, more samples can be processed in the same amount of time with the improved 24 position carousel and the introduction of a 96 well plate sample option. Increased sample capacity on the carousel means more walk away time to allow operators to focus on other lab activities. Samples can also be processed using customizable analysis parameters. As with the Vi-CELL XR, the analytics can be increased via use of the Vi-CELL MetaFLEX bioanalyte analyzer, which measures cell culture parameters such as pH, pCO2, glucose and lactate.

Flexibility and Ease of Use

An on-board PC and touch screen for the Vi-CELL BLU eliminates the need for a separate computer and video monitor, saving on bench space. Also, reagents and waste are now accessible from the front instead of the side of the analyzer, which allows more efficient use of bench space without the need for side access or clearance. Vi-CELL BLU also provides easy sample vial dispensing and an easy load reagent pak option. The reagent pack is also clean room compatible as there is no paper or cardboard that could release particles into the air.

Improved Control of Consumables

The next generation equipment enables RFID tracking of the reagent part number, lot number, activities, and expiration date. The reagent pack comes complete with Trypan Blue dye, buffer, disinfectant and cleaning solutions.

Data Integrity and Compliance

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences incorporated several improvements in the area of data integrity and compliance in response to customer feedback. As a result, Vi-CELL BLU can help labs maintain compliance with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 and the EU GMP guide requirements for data integrity. The Vi-CELL BLU provides the ability to create an audit trail, error log files. electronic signature, secure user sign-on, user level permissions, and administrative configuration tools.

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