History and Product Range of Vitl Life Science Solutions

Introduction

Vitl is a brand within the Integrated Technologies Ltd (ITL) group, which is a global product development and manufacturing company. The group has more than four decades of experience in instrument design and manufacturing projects, targeting medical devices, in vitro diagnostics (IVD), and laboratory equipment. The dedicated development team consists of ex-ITL engineers who have developed all Vitl products using this experience. This article discusses the team’s main milestones.

New Industry Standard for Microplate Heat Sealing

A range of life science applications, including sample incubation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), storage and quantitative PCR (qPCR) involve heat sealing seals onto microplates. User-friendliness, user safety, reproducible sealing integrity and increasingly rigorous regulatory standards are the areas of focus for Vitl in all of these applications.

With these points in mind, the Vitl team incorporated a number of novel features into its first product – the variable temperature heat sealer (VTS) (Figure 1):

  • A countdown timer and variable sealing temperature allow it to seal microplates made of different materials repeatedly and reliably using a range of heat seals including variants that are opaque, clear, thermally stable, chemically resistant or of different thicknesses that can be pierced and/or pealed
  • A handle design and ergonomic lever action minimize the risk of repetitive strain injury
  • A pressure sensor allowing optimal application of pressure to the seal during heating, again for repeatability
  • A flexible power supply enable one product variant to be used globally

Figure 1. Vitl VTS

Shrinking the Instrument to Grow the Range

Vitl has further expanded its heat sealer range by following input from users of laboratory instruments. The MicroTS (Figure 2) still has the simplicity of standard, early models, but has a smaller footprint. The operating temperature of this sealer is the same industry standard fixed-temperature of 170°C, but, it provides a reliable seal without needing to be run twice, unlike competing products.

This halves the running time. These sealers are often used in fume hoods and ease of operation in this taxing environment is allowed by the low-profile design. The innovative improvements integrated into both the VTS and MicroTS have now become the industry standards in manual heat sealing.

Figure 2. Vitl MicroTS

Figure 2. Vitl MicroTS

Common Error has a Simple Solution

In manual microplate heat sealing, a very common mistake is applying the seal to the plate in the wrong orientation, meaning the material seals to the heat sealer rather than to the plate. The wide variety of heat seals offered by Vitl graphically indicate the type of seal being used and the appropriate orientation for use, thus greatly lowering the likelihood of error (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Microplate heat seals this way up

Figure 3. Microplate heat seals this way up

Programmable Combined Mixer and Vortex Pad Available for the First Time

Vitl has developed its latest product by applying its continued strategy of seeking the best in class and then producing even better products. This is the case again in the microplate handling application, although it is related to sample mixing this time. The unique Co-Mix (Figure 4) incorporates simultaneous plate and tube vortex mixing with a vortex pad, whereas competing products provide only non-programmable mutually exclusive capabilities.

Figure 4. Co-Mix Small

Figure 4. Co-Mix Small

All laboratories require sample integrity, which has been achieved by using an automated, microplate holding mechanism that gently and automatically locks the plate in position prior to vortexing. Until the development of this mechanism, the simple spring clip was used for this purpose, which needs to be used carefully if sample splashing is to be avoided.

The Co-Mix is pre-loaded with a number of factory-set mixing programs to help users achieve maximum control over what are often precious samples. An additional feature is the ability to program 100 user-specific programs easily, using an intuitive touch-screen. As a result, users can now add acceleration and deceleration profiles to their protocols. The Co-Mix is a versatile platform, owing to a range of carriers enabling the mixing of a variety of microplates and tubes.

A Complete Heating and Mixing Range with Common Adapters

Continued market research efforts led Vitl to consider building a microplate mixer that also has programmable heating capabilities. The Ther-Mix heated laboratory mixer is equipped with novel features and carefully engineered improvements that will again make future expectations and industry standards higher.

Vitl's range of intelligent Heated Modules (Figure 5) provides the Ther-Mix with the ability to store earlier settings and enable users to easily and rapidly conduct repeated heating and mixing. The Flexi-Therm dry block heater is also used with these adapters.

Figure 5. Vitl intelligent Heated Modules

Figure 5. Vitl intelligent Heated Modules

About Vitl Life Science Solutions

Vitl designs, manufactures and sells high quality laboratory instruments to compete with market leaders at an affordable price with unrivalled functionality, usability and style.

The growing Vitl laboratory products range includes the world’s best-selling microplate heat sealer- the VTS and its compact counterpart the MicroTS. Vitl also sell a range of foil and film heat seals as well as microtube pickers and programmable mixers and vortexers.

Vitl products was established in 2006 by the medical, diagnostic and analytical device design and manufacturing company Integrated Technologies Ltd.

As a member of the ITL group, Vitl benefits from the experience and expertise of a parent company that works with globally successful medical devices and laboratory instrumentation.

Vitl products are sold through a global network of distributors and OEM (private label) partners, managed by their main sales offices in the UK, USA and China.


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Last updated: Jul 14, 2018 at 6:53 PM

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