Custom design in action. Puritan and Quidel Corporation Partner to Create Custom Diagnostic Testing Swab. Quidel Corporation, a company that develops, manufactures, and markets rapid diagnostic tests, came to Puritan after they had designed a specialized cassette to hold swabs for testing for strep infections. The unique shape and size of these cassettes meant Quidel could not use the traditional swabs available on the market. Puritan’s engineering staff designed a swab to the exacting requirements dictated by the cassette’s size. The resulting laboratory swab has a unique head that fits into the cassette, while the shape and material of the swab enable a very accurate sample capture to assist in test-reading reliability.
In addition to the custom design, Puritan modified production processes to manufacture and QC the Quidel swab. Special scanning and electronic reading devices were installed on the production line to ensure that each swab met the strict size, configuration, and adhesive bonding requirements. As a result of this partnership, Quidel now has the custom swabs they need. In addition, other Puritan customers also benefit. Today all Puritan production lines are being fitted with these same detection devices — one more step in the stringent quality control that helps make Puritan the brand of choice in single-use products.
The Puritan product line is constantly changing and growing. Over the past few years, we’ve developed many exciting new products in response to the needs of our customers. Here are just a few examples:
When the Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Laboratory Bureau (WCLB) contacted Puritan to inform us that they were having difficulty extracting DNA collected from crime scenes using two batches of our cotton tipped applicators, we quickly went to work to identify and remedy the issue. After extensive testing, with consideration of WCLB’s unique process in which samples are heated to 158˚F, we determined that the cold adhesive used in our manufacturing process could not stand up to the heat produced during their testing procedure and was reconstituting into their DNA solution, thereby preventing accurate sampling.
While this problem was noted in only two batches of product, we've revised the manufacturing process for all of our DNA-free forensic swabs to utilize our proprietary hot adhesive only. This case study speaks to Puritan's willingness and ability to adapt our products to the continually evolving specifications of our diverse customer base. As we strive for excellence in manufacturing, research, and development, responding to the unique needs of our clients is what sets Puritan apart. To read the full write-up on this customer case study, check out our blog post, here.
During the research and development phase that led to the creation of our patented PurFlock Ultra® and HydraFlock® swabs, we created a series of DNA-free nylon based flocked swabs. All of our products undergo rigorous quality testing, performed in partnership with Puritan, by the laboratory at the University of Maine. Routine testing of one batch of these nylon flocked swabs in April 2012 uncovered a surprising issue: potential RNase contamination.
We conducted a series of experiments, ultimately leading us to the conclusion that the nylon used in our flocking process was binding to the RNA that was introduced during testing, preventing it from properly eluting into the solution. This discovery allowed us to rule out RNase contamination of the swabs, and gave us the opportunity to identify how RNA will react with the various materials we use to produce our products.
We are now able to produce customized solutions based on the specific applications and testing procedures of our customers. Internal controls like the testing described above allow us ensure the quality and performance of each and every one of our products.
View our video here to see the superior absorption and release performance of Puritan HydraFlock®. You can also view it on YouTube.