QIAcube Connect – redefining automated sample processing for increased confidence in valuable insights

qiacube connect

Almost 12 years ago, on January 29, 2007 to be precise, QIAGEN unveiled the revolutionary sample processing platform called the QIAcube to be used in any research laboratory throughout the world. The aim of this instrument was to allow a new level of ease in sample processing, to eliminate manual processing steps, automate QIAGEN spin-column prep kits, standardize results, increase performance and free up valuable time.

During the past 12 years the QIAcube instrument won the hearts of many fellow researchers and was even given names to reflect the appreciation of its being there for them in the lab:

What people think about the QIAcube

qiacube connect testimonial

 

QIAGEN is proud of its strong connection with our clients. Thanks to your tremendous support, valuable feedback, questions and wishes provided over the years with regards to how to improve the QIAcube instrument we continued our journey and developed the instrument further, continuously connecting with users in the labs.

In 2019 our efforts have borne fruit. The new generation has arrived, with advanced digital capabilities and full connectivity, we call it QIAcube Connect!

QIAcube Connect – more functionality and connectivity

There are four key features and benefits when working with QIAcube Connect:

  • Automation assures streamlined processes and a seamless transition into benefits such as enhanced reproducibility with reduced human error and less hands-on time. QIAcube Connect enables any lab to standardize the first step in their research workflows using QIAGEN golden standard spin column kits.
  • Dynamic processing capabilities enable QIAcube Connect to automate over 80 QIAGEN kits with over 3,000 proven protocols, empowering researchers to easily manage increasingly complex sample-processing needs.
  • Full connectivity allows researchers to stay connected with their instrument, enabling quick response times and remote monitoring of runs through the included tablet. Enhanced digitization allows for easy access management, data import and sharing.
  • Highest safety standards include features such as automated worktable decontamination, lighted worktable, managed user access, protocol control, pre-run checks and barcode-enabled sample tracking, for increased efficiencies and confidence in results.

QIAcube Connect enhances lab workflows for DNA, RNA and protein sample processing with its additional connectivity capabilities. While spin columns can also be used manually, automation with QIAcube Connect assures standardization of the purification of multiple sample types and frees researchers from repetitive manual processing.

Building on 12 years’ experience we invited both team members from the Strategic Marketing department, Dr. Inga Irle and the Global Product Manager, Dr. Jan-Niklas Schulz for a round table Q&A session to tell us all about what´s inside the new QIAcube Connect instrument, it’s features, functionality and connectivity.

Q: How did we end up with the final design for QIAcube Connect?

A (Jan): the QIAcube Connect instrument is designed for redefining the benefits of automated sample processing. The worktable has room to include the materials required within the device and optimized so that sample purification steps, lyse, bind, wash, elute are fully automated. The robotic arm and various sensors ensure a streamlined process. QIAcube Connect facilitates a new level of automation and connectivity for full standardization in purification of multiple sample types with reduced human error and less hands-on time.

QIAcube Connect worktable

The centrifuge and sample shaker can contain up to 12 samples per run. There are three tip racks for easy loading of various tip sizes. Enzyme reagent racks are easy to access and fill.
A thorough and automatic loading checkup is conducted before the sample purification begins to ensure correct setup and smooth processing. For each step the robotic arm moves the selected tip through a sensor to check for correctness. The tip is discarded after its use in the procedure is complete. A fully automated UV light decontamination process is started with a push of a button once the run is complete and samples are removed.

Q: What was the focus in developing the new QIAcube Connect Assistant software?

A (Inga): The focus was creating the connectivity concept and living up to its promise of a seamless procedure. We created a user interface that allows for a streamlined sample purification process with easy setup, sample tracking and checkups and remote monitoring capabilities for standardized research workflows and enhanced researcher safety.

Q: The instruments name – QIAcube Connect – says it all! It is all about staying connected with your instrument. Can you elaborate?

A (Inga): The connectivity concept enhances digitization of the sample purification process for setup and monitoring. A bar code reader simplifies lab setup and a tablet enables you to stay connected with your instrument even when away from QIAcube Connect via the Assistant software. Features included are guided setup and protocols at a push of a button, scanning sample kits with bar code reader for easy data import, remote real-time run status, error alerts and complete run messages. Once run is complete reports can be easily generated. All this allows for a new dimension of utility and enhanced process safety.

ILLU_1330_QIAcubeConnect_connected_workflowai_Medium (720px)_45431

We are already planning for additional software features, such as sending a custom protocol to the tablet, remote system access, digitized kit ordering for even higher efficiency.

Q: How many samples can QIAcube Connect purify per run?

A (Jan): Throughput has not changed. QIAcube Connect, like its predecessor, can purify up to 12 samples per run.

Q: Which kits can be run on QIAcube Connect?

A (Jan): QIAcube Connect is fully compatible and has power to automate over 80 QIAGEN kits with over 3.000 proven protocols, empowering researchers to easily manage increasingly complex sample processing requirements.

Please Note:

The QIAcube Connect is intended for use in molecular biology applications. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

The QIAcube Connect is intended for use only in combination with QIAGEN kits that are indicated for use with the QIAcube Connect, for the applications described in the kit handbooks.

Q: Why did we decide to enlarge the touchscreen of the QIAcube Connect?

A (Inga): As an essential part of the Connectivity concept, the new touch screen has an important role in setting up the instrument in the lab. With the larger screen and enhanced user interface protocols are clearly viewed and setup guides are easy to use.

Q: What do I need the bar code reader for?

A (Inga): The bar code reader seamlessly imports kit data as well as sample bar codes into your workflow.

Q: Can you elaborate about the new built-in UV light?

A (Jan): When a run is completed and the samples are removed, an automated UV light decontamination of the work table takes place, started with a push of a button.
The use of UV light is an efficient method to decontaminate the whole instrument, especially for areas that are hard to reach by wiping and including aerosols. This procedure provides peace of mind for subsequent runs.  For more information about  decontamination, look at the App note: “Decontamination procedure using the UV LED source from QIAcube Connect”.

Q: Can you elaborate about the illuminated worktable?

A (Inga): Many QIAcube customers mentioned, that they would like to see what is under the hood. The worktable of the QIAcube Connect is now illuminated for a more convenient setup. Further, you can always clearly see the worktable and what is going on during a run.

Q: How can I learn more about QIAcube Connect?

A (Inga): We invite you to take a closer look at the QIAcube Connect with our new Online Demo Tool, which elaborated regarding the instrument’s workflow. For additional information please go to the product web page.

Q: With whom can I speak to about QIAcube Connect?

Please contact our sales department using this form.
Our sales representatives will be happy to assist you.

Kjell Kirschbaum

Kjell Kirschbaum, M.Sc., is a Global Market Manager based in QIAGEN’s Venlo office, the Netherlands. He trained as a bioveterinary scientist at the University of Utrecht and has hands-on experience in nucleic acid and protein purification, cell culture, PCR and qPCR technology. Kjell joined QIAGEN in 2011 as a CRM specialist, regularly interacting with customers about their day-to-day experimental needs and offering relevant solutions. Currently, he is involved in managing global projects for sample preparation and automation technologies.

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