The XL20 Tube Handling System, manufactured by BioMicroLab, is designed for the automated handling of tubes for a number of applications. Many tube handling features are integrated with this instrument for sample preparation purposes. These grant the ability to create libraries of sample information and track samples throughout experimental processes. The first of such features is the collection of barcodes on tubes. Recording 2D barcodes allows the tracking of samples through assay development or other processes. The system is also capable of recording and measuring the weight and volume of samples. The standard weighing function is capable of 0.1 mg readability, while volume measurements have an accuracy of +/- 15 uL. Software for the system generates reports of the data collected in output files for every tube handled.
The XL20 is designed for the handling of 96 tube rack samples. For these sample racks, all tubes with volumes between 0.3 mL to 1.4 mL are compatible and can be sorted. In addition to a range of volumes, the system is capable of handling any brand of tube labware, from Micronic to Thermo. Although the speed of sorting depends on how many functions the user programs the instrument to carry out, a maximum sorting speed of 700 tubes/hour is possible. This speed is decreased with added tasks such as weighing or 2D barcode scanning. With a variety of capabilities, this instrument is optimized for the sorting of tubes to re-array samples. The ability to organize tubes into these arrays or transfer samples into microplates of up to 384 wells makes this instrument ideal for environments where space for samples is limited and/or where production needs to optimized.