Maintaining an efficient workflow at the NHLS media preparation lab in Greenpoint, Cape Town, is crucial due to the substantial volume of culture media and plates handled daily. The lab caters to eight provinces and the micro labs in the area, such as Pathcare, Ampath, and Tygerberg Hospital with an average production of 4000 plates per day.

To address this demanding workload, the lab recently integrated a second MediaJet Petri dish filler from Integra Biosciences, facilitated and serviced by Labotec. This addition complements the trusty 15-year-old MediaJet, which remains fully operational, having produced an impressive 10 million media plates. With the capacity to double plate production to 500 per run and dispensing 20 ml of media per plate, the new equipment significantly expedites the process. Staff members, who previously poured media into plates manually, attest to the automated unit’s efficiency, describing it as “at least 20 times faster.”

Darren Okkers and Lusindiso Zaula (pictured above) use the Integra Biosciences MEDIAJET Petri dish filler which expedites the automated preparation of Petri dishes for local and provincial labs such as Pathcare, Ampath, and Tygerberg Hospital.

The MEDIAJET systems boast an inherent “Agar Spread Function,” ensuring uniform distribution of the 20 ml media with a consistently even surface. To maintain sterility during dispensing, the MediaJet is equipped with a UV lamp spanning the rotor’s length, emitting powerful 2.1W UV-C radiation to eliminate bacterial activity.

The standardized media production process commences with weighing the agar base powder to 220g, adding 10 liters of water, heating to 121°C, and cooling for sterilization. Once connected to the MediaJet, the system can process 500 plates at a time. The unit expertly handles Petri dishes, guided throughout the filling process, with adaptable optical dish sensors accommodating various dish brands. Operating the MediaJet is user-friendly, utilizing pre-defined programs and a simple start button for initiation, facilitated by an intuitive interface.

The MEDIAJET Petri dish filler exemplifies automated preparation, delivering consistent, contamination-free media in Petri dishes and test tubes. At day’s end, the NHLS clients receive plates ready for streaking with urine, stool, saliva, blood, or other microbial specimens. Overnight incubation facilitates bacterial growth for subsequent identification and thereafter, a recovery solution can be identified for the patients.