Concentrating Pipette

with single-use filter tips

 

The Concentrating Pipette is an automated, rapid  micro-particle concentrator developed for general microbiology use. The system essentially performs  ‘mechanical enrichment’  as a front-end to rapid microbial detection in minutes, replacing laborious centrifugation or enrichment steps.

The one-pass method provides sample volume reduction and removal of matrix-associated inhibitors for direct detection—enabling sample to answer in hours rather than days.

Problems with many liquid samples include 1.) the titer of dangerous biological materials can be low, and 2.) the input volume of the rapid detector is so low resulting in a significant volume mis-match.  This mismatch can be addressed by using the Concentrating Pipette to concentrate the entire sample – delivering a final sample volume from 200 µL,  improving the limit of detection by two, three, or even four orders of magnitude thus enabling detection at previously undetectable levels.  Because the system performs an automated concentration and simultaneous clean buffer exchange, sample washing to remove potential inhibitors is also reduced, saving time and effort.

The concentration process uses dead-end filtration to capture particles onto the surface of a porous membrane filter within the Concentrating Pipette’s single-use tip. After the sample has been processed and the particles have been trapped, InnovaPrep’s patented Wet Foam Elution™ process is employed to wash the particles off of the membrane surface into a very small liquid volume.

The single-use Concentrating Pipette Tips have the ability to capture micro-particles including biological particles, such as bacteria, parasites, molds, spores and whole cells from samples based on the pore size of the membrane within the tip, then, delivers those micro-particles into an extremely small final volume to match the input volume of detection methods such as immunoassay, PCR etc., Nowhere is this more important than for the preparation of biological samples for trace analysis in collected samples.

The Concentrating Pipette is so simple that non-technical users can be trained in less than 10 minutes. The intuitive controls provide one button push to begin the concentration process and one button push to elute the final sample. It is also fast – with the ability to concentrate up to a 100 milliliters per minute. Watch the demonstration

How it works:

Liquid samples are aspirated into the Concentrating Pipette Tip and particles larger than the chosen membrane pore size are captured on the membrane surface; while liquids, dissolved solids and particles smaller than the chosen pore size pass through the filter and to an external waste container.

When the entire sample has passed, a drop in the liquid flow rate is detected and the run is ended.  The user is alerted to the end of run and is requested to perform an extraction.

When the user presses the extraction button, InnovaPrep’s patented Wet Foam Elution™ process is initiated to extract the capture particles.  An extraction valve opens for a short period of time allowing the wet foam to enter the top of the tip. The foam travels tangentially across the surface of the membrane within the tip as it washes the particles from the surface. The concentrated sample is pushed out the sample port into the final sample container where the foam quickly breaks back down into a small liquid volume (final volumes are user selectable from 200 to 1000 microliters). See the animation

The elution foam is supplied in prefilled and disposable aerosol-type cans that snap into a port on the Concentrating Pipette device. Each can contains enough fluid for 30 to 50 filter extractions.

Ultra-filtration tips are currently in development for proteins/toxins, viruses and DNA. This development will offer the ability to run the samples in a cascade fashion. For example, once a sample has been processed through a bacteria-sized pipette tip and eluted, the waste fluid can be processed again using an ultra-filtration pipette tip to capture viruses and free DNA from the same sample.