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The material’s heat stability properties satisfy thermal cycling requirements and its rigidity enables robotic handling for high-volume applications.

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Image: AlphaGem Bio Inc.

Medical labware company AlphaGem Bio Inc. has launched a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) plate made of Topas cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from Polyplastics USA. The material was selected for the genomic testing plate because of its rigidity and heat stability compared with other plastics such as polypropylene (PP) and polycarbonate, said Polyplastics in a press release.

The injection molded PCR plates are particularly suited for larger laboratories that use robotic handling for high-volume applications, according to Dale Taunk, President of AlphaGem Bio. “The use of cyclic olefin copolymer enables us to expand our product offering with a higher performing option that meets automation needs,” said Taunk.

AlphaGem Bio’s new 96-well SBS standard microplate is made of Topas medical-grade resin. The material’s heat stability meets the requirements for thermal cycling up to 100°C. In addition, COC is more rigid than PP, which allows for use in robotic handling applications. The material’s optical properties — rated 92% clarity — facilitate reliable laser testing and real-time visual observation.

The high-flow characteristics of Topas COC enable extensive detail to be designed into PCR plates and other diagnostic and microfluidic disposable components. Well counts can be maximized, flow channels incorporated, and analyses optimized, noted the release. Because of its ultra-high purity, Topas COC has fewer leachables and extractables than competing materials, and the inert nature of the medical-grade plastic prevents interference with reactions and analyses. Other features include UV transparency and low birefringence.

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