SOFT - TIAFT 1998 Poster Session 4 Friday October 9, 1998

R. H. Barry Sample, Michael S. Feldman, Peter Sagona

SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories

In Forensic Urine Drug-Testing (FUDT) laboratories, many of the processes may be automated to increase throughput, reduce manual handling, and increase accuracy. For example, automated chemistry analyzers are capable of testing 100-300 specimens per hour while automated extraction platforms may process up to 300 specimens per hour. Specimen processing (receiving, accessioning, aliquotting) has been the most challenging to automate and remains the most labor-intensive process in FUDT labs. This report describes an evaluation of a new automated aliquotter (CV-1000) for preparing specimens for immunoassay analysis using an Olympus AU-800 or AU-5200 analyzer. The CV-1000 can also be configured to prepare aliquot samples for the Hitachi 747 analyzer.

The CV-1000 was evaluated for the following: carryover/cross-contamination using a fluoroscein dye solution, which can detect 250 PPM of contamination, and a high concentration of the "drugs of abuse"; maximum fill level of specimen bottles for safe liquid handling; bar-code reading accuracy of specimen bottles and destination tubes; accuracy of the LIS interface and batch reports; QC dispensing; guarding and access; through-put; and accuracy as compared to hand-poured specimens analyzed in parallel. This study demonstrated sustained throughput of 800-850 specimens per hour with no measurable carryover or cross-contamination with properly filled specimen bottles. The throughput is based on running 10% QC samples -- throughput can exceed 1000 samples per hour with no QC samples. The parallel analysis of more than 3000 specimens showed no significant difference between hand-poured and aliquotted (CV-1000) specimens.

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