Press release Hubrecht Institute

STRIP-1 test robot developed for SARS-CoV-2 testing

27 January 2021

The Hubrecht Institute and Genmab have developed a new robot, the STRIP-1 – test robot, that can process up to 20,000 samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing per 24 hours. This makes the STRIP-1 much faster than all other systems used to date. On Wednesday the 27th of January, Minister Hugo de Jonge from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, visited the robot at the PAMM medical microbiology laboratory in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. 

The robot is financed by the Dutch government and can also be used during future pandemics.

Researchers from the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) and biotechnology company Genmab, together with many other collaborators, have developed a robot that can process up to 20,000 samples per 24 hours for SARS-CoV-2 testing. This means that the robot, called STRIP-1, can process more tests in less time than any other machine known to date. In addition, all samples can be tracked precisely, because they have a barcode that is scanned multiple times throughout the process. This also enables an automatic online return of test results to the tested persons. Because STRIP-1 can work with very small volumes, it uses less of the materials that are currently very scarce across the world. The costs per test will also be much lower than current testing costs. Lastly, using STRIP-1 will relieve the laboratory personnel that was overloaded during the first wave in the spring of 2020. 

A desire to contribute

For fundamental researchers, it may not seem very obvious to get involved in optimizing the COVID-19 testing method in the Netherlands. However, during the first lockdown in April 2020, the researchers felt a strong desire to help improve the testing capacity, which was very limited. With their expertise in the field of molecular biology, they wanted to optimize the test. In a heartbeat, initiators Marvin Tanenbaum and Wouter de Laat had gathered dozens of researchers that were eager to contribute.

Read the full article on the website of Hubrecht Institute.

Hubrecht Institute

The Hubrecht Institute is a research institute focusing on developmental and stem cell biology. It encompasses 24 research groups that perform fundamental and multidisciplinary research, both in healthy systems and disease models. The Hubrecht Institute is a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)., located on the Utrecht Science Park ‘De Uithof’. Since 2008, the institute has been affiliated with the University Medical Center Utrecht, advancing the translation of research into clinical practice. The Hubrecht Institute has a partnership with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). 

The Hubrecht Institute is located in Utrecht (Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT Utrecht).

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