Will an AltemisLab decapper work with my current brand of 2D barcoded tubes?

Will an AltemisLab decapper work with my current brand of 2D barcoded tubes?

It is nearly impossible not to fall in love with any of the 2D barcoded tube decappers from AltemisLab.

From the one-tube-at-a-time Solo; to the adjustable, one-row-at-a-time Switch, up to the 96-tube-at-a-time Swift, laboratory technicians and scientists are discovering what makes AltemisLab decappers amazing and desirable.

Following a demo presentation, the number one question people ask is:

“Can I use your decappers with my current tubes, or do I have to switch all my samples to your 2D barcoded tubes?”

To appreciate the question, we need to understand how 2D barcoded tubes and decappers work together.

2D barcoded tubes are designed for high-throughput automation sample processing; meaning many tubes can be opened and closed quickly at once, often using a motorized tool with a rotating head.

In the middle of each tube cap is a divot with gear-like ridges that allow the rotating driver in the decapper to lock into the cap and twist it on or off.

To ensure smooth operation, the rotating head on the decapper needs to align perfectly with the divot in the tube cap.

Since there is no universal design for 2D barcoded tube caps, it is to be expected that only tubes made by the decapper manufacturer will work with their device.

Since this would be very limiting, decapper manufacturers go to lengths to create optional accessories that accommodate a wide range of competitor tubes.

For example: Sarstedt 2D barcoded tube caps have no divot at all but can be used with AltemisLab decappers using a driver that grips the caps from the outside to twist them on or off.

So, the simple answer to the compatibility question is:

If you are using 2D barcoded tubes from popular brands like: Azenta, Micronic, FluidX, Sarstedt and Hamilton; AltemisLab has an off-the-shelf customized driver for those tubes.

Which leads to the second most common question:

“I am not using any of those brands of 2D barcoded tubes. Can a custom driver be made for my tubes?”

This question is trickier to answer because it requires a thorough evaluation of the QC methods used by the 2D barcoded tube manufacturer.

Not all lab consumables are the same and this is especially so where low-cost manufacturers try to duplicate expensive, well-designed products.

When it comes to 2D barcoded tubes, quality variations from lot to lot can undermine the product integrity and utility.

Variations can affect the quality of the cap seal and expose samples to contamination.

Deviations in the precise location of the cap divot make it impossible to align with motorized cap drivers.

Generally speaking, a lab that sees the value and importance of investing in a high quality 2D barcoded tube will have an easier path towards working with an AltemisLab decapper.

Of course, the easiest solution is to purchase AltemisLab 2D barcoded tubes from Stellar Scientific together with one or more of their decappers.

When sample security and sample management are a must, trust Stellar Scientific and AltemisLab to deliver a one-stop solution.