Laboratory Equipment

Laboratory equipment for clinical labs and pathology groups includes a wide range of devices and instruments, some of which are familiar to the general public and some of which are highly specialized to clinical lab work.

Laboratory equipment is generally used to either perform an experiment or to take measurements and gather data. Larger or more sophisticated equipment is generally called a scientific instrument.

Such equipment includes test tubes, Folin-Wu tubes for blood glucose determination, petri dishes, beakers, flasks, Pasteur pipettes, glass slides, syringes and needles, autoclave, disposable gloves, tourniquets, microscopes, Bunsen burners, ultracentrifuge, electrophoresis apparatus, chromatography system, hematology analyzer, chemistry analyzer, semiauto analyzer, reflotron, setup for radioimmunoassay, setup for enzyme linked immunosorbant assay, (ELISA, colorimeter, burette, induction coils, cathode ray oscilloscope, recording kymograph and surface plasmon resonance equipment and various reagents.)

Other laboratory equipment might include a skin analyzer, oxygen analyzer, flouresence microscope, spectrum analyzer, and a digital pathology scanner, among many others.

At the same time, technology is advancing to the point where the capabilities of an entire laboratory can now be contained in relatively small devices. One relatively new device the size of a cola can is paired with a smartphone and can diagnose diseases like a clinical laboratory.

Another such device, marketed largely to developing countries that lack a well-developed network of clinical laboratories, is a credit-card-size anthrax detector that also works like a portable medical laboratory in the field.

In addition, research organizations, including one in the United States, one in New Zealand, and two in the U.K., have unveiled several devices that will analyze DNA in the field. Again, this line of research is of particular interest in developing countries where resources such as electricity for refrigeration are scarce. Some of the DNA testing devices will produce results in minutes to hours, eliminating the need to return to a clinical laboratory to analyze samples.

Ranging in size from little more than a pack of gum to about the size of a large brick, these devices for DNA analysis have the potential to serve as mobile medical laboratories for pathologists in the field.

In Just 13 Days, Lab Buys, Validates & Uses Analyzer

CEO SUMMARY: In response to the nationwide outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, clinical labs are introducing new analyzers whenever possible to boost testing capacity. Pre-pandemic, buying and installing new instruments could take at least two months, and that timeline can go longer now. But beca…

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Why Local Labs Deserve More COVID-19 Supplies

CEO SUMMARY: As government officials and IVD firms divert the lion’s share of COVID-19 tests to a handful of billion-dollar labs, in thousands of hospitals across the nation COVID-19 patients languish days longer before discharge because their hospital lab must send COVID-19 tests t…

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Labs Still Confront New Supply Shortages Daily

CEO SUMMARY: For three lab directors in the Midwest, a seemingly endless cycle of COVID-19 lab-supply shortages crops up almost daily. These labs might not have enough test kits one day, and be short of reagents, transport vials, or specimen collection swabs the next. To address these…

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Lab Buys More Instruments as Way to Add Test Volume

CEO SUMMARY: Severe shortages of supplies for COVID-19 lab testing caused one lab director in the Midwest to buy additional instruments while also validating five different COVID-19 tests to run on analyzers the lab used before the pandemic hit. While this strategy allowed the lab to …

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Near Real-time Data Helps Lab Save $500K Annually

CEO SUMMARY: After hospital labs and pathology groups implement Lean and process improvement methods to harvest the easiest cost savings and boost quality, they often take the next step of introducing real-time analytics systems. Access to detailed data about workflows, productivity, and …

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Digital Pathology Systems Will Create Opportunities

CEO SUMMARY: Advanced Pathology Associates, a 15-member private pathology group practice, had the distinction of generating data for the clinical study that Philips submitted to the Food and Drug Administra…

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‘Game Changer’ Mass Spectrometry for Microbiology at UNC

CEO SUMMARY: Microbiologists at the University of North Carolina are using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to slash the time to answer and significantly cut lab costs. Their goals are to improve patient outcomes and reduce average length of stay. In a one-year study presented last month, UNC …

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New Mass Spectrometry Toxicology Test Delivers Clinical Benefits

CEO SUMMARY: Researchers at the University of Colorado in Aurora used mass spectrometry technology to create a paradigm-shifting toxicology test. It uses a urine specimen and can identify 112 compounds and more than 500 illicit and brand-name drugs in a single assay. For pain management t…

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Standard Bar Code Labels Can Reduce Lab Errors

CEO SUMMARY: Standardization of bar code labels is a concept whose time has come. After implementing CLSI standard AUTO12-A, first-mover clinical labs report fewer specimen identification errors, a reduction of costs associated with specimen handling errors, and a boost in lab productivit…

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Labs Have Opportunity to ID Sepsis Much Faster

CEO SUMMARY: In the Northeast, the microbiology department of a four-hospital health system adopted new technology for testing patients suspected of sepsis. Not only did this microbiology lab shorten the time-to-detection, it increased the diagnosis rate for sepsis from 9% to 15%—an imp…

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