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

Juliane Suchsland 1 , Theresa Winter 1 , Anne Greiser 1 , Thomas Streichert 2 , Benjamin Otto 3 , Julia Mayerle 4 , Sören Runge 4 , Anders Kallner 5 , Matthias Nauck 1 , 6  and Astrid Petersmann 7
  • 1 Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
  • 2 Institute of Clinical Chemistry, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 3 Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
  • 4 Department of Medicine A, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
  • 5 Department of Clinical Chemistry, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 6 DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site Greifswald, University Medicine, Greifswald, Germany
  • 7 Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Strasse, 17475 Greifswald, Germany
Juliane Suchsland, Theresa Winter, Anne Greiser, Thomas Streichert, Benjamin Otto, Julia Mayerle, Sören Runge, Anders Kallner, Matthias Nauck and Astrid Petersmann



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.

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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine ( CCLM) publishes articles on novel teaching and training methods applicable to laboratory medicine. CCLM welcomes contributions on the progress in fundamental and applied research and cutting-edge clinical laboratory medicine. It is one of the leading journals in the field, with an impact factor of over three. CCLM is the official journal of nine national clinical societies and associated with EFLM.