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Synbiosis and AAA Lab Equipment develop colony counting system

Synbiosis and AAA Lab Equipment collaborate

Synbiosis and AAA Lab Equipment have integrated a ProtoCOL 3 colony counting system within an Irina automated plate feeder.

The manufacturer of automated microbiological systems will collaborate with the laboratory automation firm to develop the walk-away system to count colonies on over 300 plates per hour.

The system will allow microbiologists to load plates and count colonies on up to 500 plates in 90 minutes.

Peter Krul, CEO of AAA Lab Equipment said: “We were approached by a large food microbiology testing facility in 2016 and asked if we could integrate an automated colony counter into our Irina plate feeder.

“Since then we have been working with the Synbiosis team for six months to re-engineer our plate feeder hardware and software for use with a ProtoCOL 3 colony counter.”

The plate feeder holds up to 500, 90mm plates in two carousels and automatically removes a plate from the carousel, reads and scans barcodes, removes the lid (if required) and will transfer the plate into an automated colony counter.

Once the plate feeder transfers a plate to the ProtoCOL 3, a high-resolution CCD camera and LED lighting will produce images of colonies as small as 43 microns (0.043mm).

ProtoCOL 3 software will count colonies and results will be transferred to Excel or a LIMS system and plate images stored in an SQL database.

AAA’s experts are programming the plate feeder to account for the time ProtoCOL 3 needs to count colonies on each plate, to ensure the plate feeder’s loading arm replaces the plate into a second carousel after it has been analysed so microbiologists know which ones have been read.

Kate George, senior divisional manager at Synbiosis, said: “Integrating the ProtoCOL 3 into the Irina plate feeder will ensure quick, accurate generation of fully traceable data and will provide a significant competitive advantage for any high throughput microbiology testing facility using this exciting technology.”

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