Taking Analysts' Needs into Account

Forensic labs today face obstacles beyond the routine processing and analysis of casework. Increasing caseloads, backlogs and tightening budgets to name just a few. We designed Spectrum CE System with the day-to-day challenges of the forensic analyst in mind. Whether that means continuously accessible plates and flexible scheduling, 4-plate capacity or even simple ergonomic considerations like a raised door, Spectrum will make a noticeable improvement in an analyst’s workday.

Adding to analysts' stress levels is the need to schedule CE runs to minimize wait times or scheduling conflicts with their benchmates. You’ve spent time finding a colleague to batch samples. Trying to avoid partial plates or negotiating whose work takes priority on precious instrument time can introduce delays of hours or days and subsequent decreases in productivity. We think you’ll quickly fall in love with the Spectrum CE System plate drawer. Plate access is separate from electrophoresis, so you’ll have continuous access to any plate not currently being injected. This means that you can run partial plates and add samples on a new plate during a run already in progress—gaining scheduling flexibility while still maintaining productivity. It's even possible to adjust plate priority, meaning those urgent cases get processed sooner. The 4-plate capacity will also double throughput to improve your lab's workflow efficiency. The extra plate positions give much greater capacity, meaning you can get through the same number of samples with fewer capillary electrophoresis instruments, freeing up lab space and requiring less upkeep.

Increased throughput and convenience is important, but any next generation CE instrument must also integrate a new generation of STR multiplexes to handle the most demanding samples. Spectrum CE System supports new 8-color PowerPlex® System STR chemistry, and this will give you numerous advantages. For starters, shifting the largest markers into new dye channels gives more room for smaller, more numerous markers that increase the likelihood of success with degraded samples. A narrower range of autosomal amplicon lengths can increase the consistency of your results. The inclusion of an internal positive control allows differentiation between inhibited and degraded samples; armed with this information, you can make better decisions on when to re-run analysis and when to move on to a different sample. And as seen in previous PowerPlex® kits, half-volume reactions can deliver the information you need while helping to stretch your budget. 8-color chemistry can deliver more complete and informative results and help better manage your throughput and financial bottom line.

Not interested in 8-color chemistry because your 6-color kit meets your current needs? We get it—not every lab will be excited at the prospect of validating new chemistry, especially if they have recently gone through an arduous validation process. That’s why Spectrum CE System and its associated analysis software maintains backward compatibility to support existing 4-, 5- and 6-color STR kits from multiple vendors. We wouldn't presume to tell you what works for your lab and what does not. You should choose the chemistry and instrument that work best for your lab and not face lock-in as a result of a single purchase decision.

The purchase of a new CE instrument is a large investment for your lab; that commitment deserves only the highest level of performance. Promega chemistry and hardware are integrated to provide optimized results for the Spectrum CE System. As already mentioned, PowerPlex® 4-, 5-, and 6-color STR kits will work well in addition to the newest 8-color chemistries on the market. In addition to market-leading compatibility, the instrument features an ergonomic raiseable upper door to preserve access to bench space and make room for the computer, monitor and keyboard with which to run the instrument.

Usability doesn't end at hardware features like raiseable doors and continuously accessible plate drawers. We've made the barcode recording and importing of plate maps a breeze. Spectrum CE System Control (SCS) automatically records plate barcodes and imports existing plate map files—making importing sample names a one-click process. The Spectrum Control Software (SCS) also directs maintenance and calibration, and easily starts plate runs in an intuitive, visual format.

We're launching new consumables designed specifically for use with Spectrum CE System and executed thoughtfully to make your work easier. Whether it's polymer pouches that install upside down to eliminate bubbles, or RFID-tagged arrays that let you automatically record usage, you'll appreciate these touches. You'll get all the supplies you need from a trusted supplier, whether for capillary electrophoresis, PCR or qPCR.

We offer on-site installation and training for the instrument, software and STR kits, as well as timely on-site repair and preventative maintenance service to ensure minimal interruption of your laboratory operations. Our team of experienced field service engineers and support scientists will ensure a seamless installation and provide on-site training for your staff to get your lab up and running on Spectrum CE System as quickly as possible while minimizing interruptions to your lab's daily operations.

Our team of former practitioners will use their experience and expertise to design a customized validation solution to fit your laboratory’s needs and preferred scope of work. Our collaborative approach will ensure a seamless implementation of the Spectrum CE System.

To learn more about the Spectrum CE System, or to be notified when it launches, please visit www.promega.com/Evidence.

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Product News

Six interchangeable LED lamps

highlight the features of the OPTIMAX Multi-Lite Forensic Inspection Kit from Spectronics Corporation. This portable kit is designed for crime-scene investigation, gathering evidence, and work in the forensic laboratory. The LEDs provide six single-wavelength light sources, each useful for specific applications, from bodily fluids to fingerprints. The wavelengths are: UV-A (365 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), amber (590 nm), red (630 nm), and white light (400-700 nm). The cordless flashlight weighs only 15 oz. To learn more, go to: www.spectroline.com