The Story Behind Vitl Products

We thought it was about time we gave you some deeper insight into the product range and the history of Vitl Life Science Solutions.

You may have noticed the phrase 'Vitl is part of the Integrated Technologies Ltd (ITL) group' throughout our site.

As a bit of background, ITL is a global product development and manufacturing company that has worked on many instrument design and manufacturing projects over almost 40 years in business, targeting in vitro diagnostics (IVD), medical devices and laboratory equipment.

The dedicated Vitl development team, made up of ex-ITL engineers brings this experience to bear in the development of all Vitl products.

Here are some of our main milestones:


A New Industry Standard in Microplate Heat Sealing

Vitl VTS and hand

Heat sealing seals onto microplates has a variety of applications in life sciences including storage, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR (qPCR) and sample incubation. In all of these applications we focus on ease of use, reproducible sealing integrity, user safety and increasingly stringent regulatory standards.

These considerations guided the Vitl team to incorporate a number of innovative features into their first product – the variable temperature heat sealer (VTS).

VTS Key Features

  • Variable sealing temperature and a countdown timer; so that microplates made from different materials can be repeatedly and reliably sealed using a variety of heat seals including variants that are chemically resistant, thermally stable, clear, opaque, or of various thicknesses that can be pealed and / or pierced
  • A pressure sensor; so that the optimal pressure can be applied to the seal during heating, again for repeatability
  • A handle design and ergonomic lever action intended to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • A flexible power supply allowing one product variant to be used worldwide

Growing the Range by Shrinking the InstrumentVitl MicroTS and hand

 

Following input from laboratory equipment users, the Vitl heat sealer range has been further expanded with the development of a sealer (the MicroTS) which retains the simplicity of the early standard models, but with much better ergonomics and a smaller footprint.

This sealer operates at the industry standard fixed-temperature of 170oC but, unlike other competing products, does not need to be used twice to give a reliable seal, thus halving the run time. Often these sealers are used in fume hoods and the low-profile design allows easy use in this taxing environment.

The novel enhancements incorporated into both the VTS and MicroTS are now accepted as the industry standard in manual heat sealing.


A Simple Solution to a Common ErrorMicroplate Heat Seals This Way Up

 

A very common human error in microplate heat sealing is to apply the seal to the plate in the incorrect orientation so that the material seals to the heat sealer and not the plate.

Vitl’s range of heat seals graphically indicate the type of seal being used and the correct orientation for usage therefore elegantly reducing the possibility of error.


The First Ever Programmable Combined Mixer and Vortex Pad

Co-Mix Small

Our continued strategy of looking at the best in class and then making it even better was applied to Vitl’s latest product on the market. This is also in a microplate handling application, but this time related to sample mixing.

Uniquely, the Co-Mix incorporates simultaneous plate and tube vortex mixing with a vortex pad, whereas its competitors offer only non-programmable mutually exclusive capabilities.

Sample integrity is a key requirement in any lab and this has been achieved by using an automated, microplate holding mechanism which gently and automatically locks the plate in position before vortexing. Until this mechanism was developed, the “state of the art” was the humble spring clip which requires careful use to prevent sample splashing.

To give the user the greatest control over their often precious samples, a range of factory-set mixing programmes are pre-loaded into the Co-Mix’s memory. If these aren’t enough then the user has the ability to easily program 100 user-specific programs via an intuitive touch-screen. This means that technicians can now routinely incorporate acceleration and deceleration profiles into their protocols.

A range of carriers allows the mixing of a variety of microplates and tubes making the Co-Mix a very versatile platform.


Developing a Complete Heating and Mixing Range with Common Adapters

Vitl Intelligent Heated Modules

Ongoing market research led the Vitl development team to consider a microplate mixer that also had programmable heating capabilities. The Ther-Mix heated laboratory mixer is still under development, but already incorporates several carefully engineered enhancements and novel features that will, yet again, drive both industry standards and future expectations higher.

The Ther-Mix utilises Vitl's range of Intelligent heated modules which remember previously stored settings and allow the user to easily and quickly perform repeated heating and mixing. These adapters are used with the Flexi-Therm dry block heater, also due for release soon.

Find out more here: Vitl Flexi-Therm and Ther-Mix Update


The Vitl team welcomes feedback from experts in the field about how their current equipment could be better designed for enhanced functionality and usability and with this knowledge will continue to be at the cutting edge of laboratory equipment design.

Find out more about the Vitl product range on our product pages

 

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