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Lee Fixed Volume Dispense Pumps Simplify Sample Preparation for PCR-Based Molecular Testing


Molecular diagnostics are increasingly used for the rapid detection and identification of existing and emerging pathogens. The need for rapid results has required testing to move from normal settings, such as physician’s offices, to smaller, more widespread, and often temporary point of care (POC) locations. Sample cartridges can simplify polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and require careful preparation. Automated sample preparation systems that lyse, wash, and elute the sample from the matrix—prior to PCR—require precision and speed to ensure accurate testing.



The Lee Company offers miniature fixed volume, solenoid-driven dispense pumps used to transport the fluid through the “lab on a chip” prior to PCR. These dispense pumps facilitate sample preparation by delivering small, discrete pulses of fluid that move the sample and reagent throughout the device cartridge. The testing process may include steps such as lysing the sample, adding enzymes, washing with buffer solution, and eluting the RNA or DNA sample for PCR amplification. Miniature valves operating in tandem enable the routing of the sample, buffers, and reagents through the chip, thereby completing the sample preparation for the PCR amplification phase.


The portability of this new generation diagnostic tool requires components suitable for instruments that are compact in size and weight. The small footprint of Lee fixed volume solenoid pumps and valves meets these parameters. The minimal drive requirements of our fixed volume pumps result in simplified circuitry and reduced power requirements. Valve response time and pump accuracy ensure superior testing sensitivity and specificity. Automated sample preparation minimizes the need for highly skilled personnel and sophisticated lab equipment; this facilitates the use of point of care in locations outside of the hospital and lab.



The new generation of POC molecular diagnostic test instruments requires compact, reliable fluid management solutions with little or no skilled intervention. Our solenoid-driven pumps provide a proven method of routing samples and reagents through the complex channels of sample cartridges, even as they have become smaller and more disposable. Using Lee fixed volume pumps to push fluid eliminates the possibility of cross-contamination, and the same pump can be used to perform multiple tests. As a result, disposable cartridges can be as cost-effective as possible and precision components are kept clean and on the instrument side. The Lee Company’s miniature fixed volume pumps provide accurate and stable flow; they are, therefore, appropriate for use in test instruments deployed in remote locations where there is a growing need.



The Lee Company has been at the forefront of fluid control technology since 1948, supplying millions of innovative products worldwide from our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Connecticut, USA. We transform complex problems into deliverable solutions through ongoing research, design, development, and our commitment to quality and innovation. Our in-depth application knowledge enables us to collaborate with customers and provide personal technical support through a wide network of experienced sales engineers who are ready to address any challenge

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