Clinical laboratory regulations require temperature monitoring of facilities, reagent and specimen storage, as well as temperature-dependent equipment. Real-time specimen temperature detection has not yet been integrated into total laboratory automation (TLA) solutions. An infrared (IR) pyrometer was paired with a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) laser sensor and connected to an embedded networked personal computer (PC) to create a modular temperature detection unit for closed, moving clinical laboratory specimens. Accuracy of the detector was assessed by comparing temperature measurements to those obtained from thermocouples connected to battery-operated data loggers. The temperature detector was then installed on a pre-analytic laboratory automation system to assess specimen temperature before and after processing on an integrated thawing and mixing (T/M) robotic workcell. The IR temperature detector was able to accurately record temperature of closed, moving specimens on a pre-analytic automation system. The effectiveness of the T/M workcell was independently verified using the temperature detector. Specimen reroute on the pre-analytic automation track was identified as a potential risk for frozen specimens being inadvertently delivered to future, connected instrumentation. Automated IR temperature detection can be used to verify specimen temperature prior to instrument loading and/or sampling. Such systems could be used to prevent frozen specimens from being inadvertently loaded onto analytical instrumentation in TLA solutions.
- total laboratory automation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Medical Laboratory Technology