• Rapid DNA Sample Selection
    Rob van Andel, lab automation specialist at VUMC, using the Mohawk semi-automated tube picker.

DNA / RNA

Rapid DNA Sample Selection

Feb 07 2023

Efficiency meets precision

Leading Dutch genome diagnostics lab, AGDx, is using Ziath’s Mohawk semi-automated tube picker to retrieve DNA samples accurately and rapidly from their extensive biobank.

AGDx, the Genome Diagnostics Laboratory, is based at the VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam, the largest University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. With a network of medical specialists in various fields including cardiology, paediatrics, oncology, neurology, endocrinology, haematology, and ophthalmology, AGDx serves as the European reference centre for genetic testing in familial hypercholesterolemia, imprinting disorders, and cardiogenetics. AGDx specialists, who publish over 50 research papers annually, work on the forefront of genome diagnostics. The laboratory is licensed by the Royal Dutch Government for clinical genetic testing.

Senior Chief Analyst in the AGDx laboratory at the VU Medical Centre, Dr Marja van Stralen said: “A few years ago, with stored DNA samples rising exponentially, the situation had arisen that we could no longer find the right samples so easily. As a result, our laboratory switched from the classic microcentrifuge tubes to 2D barcoded tubes in SBS format 96 position racks for storage of all DNA samples to enable us to efficiently manage our DNA biobank. In recent years, specialised knowledge has been increasingly required to perform DNA diagnostics and there are more and more diseases in which DNA diagnostics can support the correct diagnosis with current techniques. As a result, the number of requests to our laboratory grows every year. As a result, it is vital that we can quickly and accurately pick specific DNA samples enabling us to use the right tests with our various diagnostic techniques. Efficient picking of samples is especially important in larger studies which require a lot of Biobank DNA materials to be found quickly. Since the arrival of the Ziath Mohawk semi-automated tube picker, just over a year ago, we have been able to accurately pick and process more DNA samples in an efficient manner. As a result of this successful implementation, and the great support received from Ziath, our laboratory is in the process of acquiring a second Mohawk.”

The Ziath Mohawk semi-automated tube picker utilises a linear rack reader and ninety-six pins to quickly pick frozen or thawed sample tubes from a scanned rack. Unlike slow and costly robotics, the Mohawk can scan and pick tubes in seconds. No set up or calibration is required, as control is achieved through software that offers an easy-to-use interface. Tubes can be picked from a single rack or from multiple racks using a picklist. The picklist can be initiated by scanning the 1D code on a rack, or it can be manually selected. The Mohawk can also be connected to a 2D barcode scanner for extra sample tracking and security, generating picklists directly from the tube barcodes. For further traceability, a 1D scanner for reading the rack barcode is also included.

More information online


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