US-based sample collection kits developer Rhinostics has partnered with LVL technologies, a Germany-based supplier of laboratory consumables, to provide decapping solutions for automated collection device workflows.

Under the expanded partnership, Rhinostics will resell LVL’s decapper instrument and LVL will distribute Rhinostics’ automated collection devices in Germany and Austria.

Rhinostics’ sample collection device will be combined with LVL’s decapper technology, to help laboratories benefit from automated swab and small-volume blood collection workflow.

The partnership will enable the laboratories to increase their throughput and consistency, while decreasing unwanted steps, along with reagent and labour costs, said the company.

Rhinostics president and CEO Cheri Walker said: “Today, researchers, clinicians, and patients alike expect more when it comes to sample collection and diagnostic workflows from respiratory pathogens, sexually transmitted infections, genetic testing to cancer biomarkers and much more.

“We’re excited to expand our partnership with LVL, our supplier of high-quality collection tubes to Rhinostics during the pandemic and beyond. The companies have enjoyed a close relationship, and we can now offer a full solution for our customers by launching a customized version of LVL’s robust decapper instrument to the market.”

The partnership aims to launch RHINObot, a customised version of LVL’s decapper instrument that enables both the RHINOstic and VERIstic automated collection devices.

RHINOstic is a patent-pending automated sample collection device that integrates a unique polypropylene-based swab with an automatable cap.

The nasal, buccal, or vaginal samples collected in both clinical setting or self-collected using an at-home test kit, are securely screwed into a small, barcoded transport tube.

The transport tube can be shipped without the use of viral transport or other media, which reduces the costs, along with the risk of leakage, accidental biohazard exposure, and potential PCR interference.

Once the samples reach the laboratory, RHINObot enables automated decapping and capping of up to 96 samples in less than one minute, providing a hands-free solution.

The hands-free workflow is said to eliminate user variability and reduce labour time by more than 80% to significantly decrease per-test costs.

LVL chief executive officer Martin von Lueder said: “We are extremely pleased to expand our partnership with Rhinostics. We have watched Rhinostics bring industry-changing, purpose-built sample collection devices that are automation-enabled to the market.

“The LVL decapper instrument is the perfect complement to their consumables, allowing improvements to inefficient swab and blood collection workflows. Additionally, we look forward to offering the Rhinostics products to our customers.”