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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 30, 2016

Extending laboratory automation to the wards: effect of an innovative pneumatic tube system on diagnostic samples and transport time

  • Juliane Suchsland , Theresa Winter , Anne Greiser , Thomas Streichert , Benjamin Otto , Julia Mayerle , Sören Runge , Anders Kallner , Matthias Nauck and Astrid Petersmann EMAIL logo



The innovative pneumatic tube system (iPTS) transports one sample at a time without the use of cartridges and allows rapid sending of samples directly into the bulk loader of a laboratory automation system (LAS). We investigated effects of the iPTS on samples and turn-around time (TAT).


During transport, a mini data logger recorded the accelerations in three dimensions and reported them in arbitrary area under the curve (AUC) units. In addition representative quantities of clinical chemistry, hematology and coagulation were measured and compared in 20 blood sample pairs transported by iPTS and courier.


Samples transported by iPTS were brought to the laboratory (300 m) within 30 s without adverse effects on the samples. The information retrieved from the data logger showed a median AUC of 7 and 310 arbitrary units for courier and iPTS transport, respectively. This is considerably below the reported limit for noticeable hemolysis of 500 arbitrary units.


iPTS reduces TAT by reducing the hands-on time and a fast transport. No differences in the measurement results were found for any of the investigated 36 analytes between courier and iPTS transport. Based on these findings the iPTS was cleared for clinical use in our hospital.

Corresponding author: Dr. med. Dipl. Biol. Astrid Petersmann, Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Str., 17475 Greifswald, Germany, Phone: +49-3834-86-5670
aPresent address: Eppendorf AG, Hamburg, Germany.
  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2016-5-1
Accepted: 2016-5-30
Published Online: 2016-6-30
Published in Print: 2017-2-1

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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