Fully Automated Viral RNA Extraction and Detection Workflow

SARS-CoV-2 Research and Detection

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences supports research workflows related to testing with automation, PCR setup and viral RNA extraction kits. We’ve helped establish test sites globally for a broad range of customer sizes and testing requirements. Beckman is continuously working to optimize manufacturing and supply chain processes, and is working to answer questions and meet the needs of customers in this challenging time.

Viral Extraction and Detection Workflow

Fully-Automated Viral RNA Extraction and Detection Workflow Steps

1. Sample Receipt and Accessioning: Samples, in the form of nasopharyngeal swabs or saliva, are received in barcoded tubes.

2. Tube to Plate Reformatting: Barcoded samples are scanned and aliquoted into a 96-well microtiter plate using Tube Scan ALP on the Biomek i5 liquid handler.

  • The Span-8 pod of Biomek i5 consists of eight individually controlled pipette mandrels and provides utility for a single well or tube access.
  • The Tube Scan ALP on the Biomek can hold up to 192 tubes. Barcode scanning and positive sample tracking are maintained throughout the process. 

3. RNA Extraction: The RNA is extracted from each sample using Beckman Coulter's RNAdvance Viral and RNAdvance Viral XP reagent kits and automated on Biomek i5 96-multichannel workstation.

  • The automated RNAdvance Viral extraction methods will process 192 samples in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Automated method offers ease of use and flexibility. The demonstrated method interface consists of three parts, Biomek Method Launcher (BML), Method Option Selector (MOS) and Guided Labware Setup (GLS), to provide an optimal user experience.
  • Automated RNAdvance Viral and Viral XP methods are ready to be uploaded on the instrument, and field applications scientists are available to expedite the implementation process on Biomek instruments.

4. qPCR Reaction Setup: This step can be carried out off-deck or in a qPCR machine integrated to the Biomek.

  • qPCR can be accomplished in either 96- or 384-well plate format. Biomek i5 96-multichannel system can easily reformat the plates for a 384-well qPCR plate setup.
  • Beckman Coulter's Echo acoustic liquid handler can process 384-well qPCR reaction set-ups in as little as 10 minutes.
  • Reagents can be transferred from any well to any well, allowing for fully automated, fast, qPCR reaction set-up. For high throughput workflows, integrated devices such as sealers, peelers, and qPCR instruments provide full walk-away capabilities.

5. qPCR Analysis and Data Collection: Beckman Coulter's Data Acquisition and Reporting Tool (DART) gathers runtime data and communicates with a Lab Information Management systems to streamline data management.

Integrated System: Biomek i-Series and Echo 525

The Echo 525 acoustic liquid handler can be integrated directly on a Biomek iSeries automated workstation to enable seamless sample processing. In this system or as a standalone acoustic liquid handler, the Echo 525 provides the following benefits:

  • Reagent cost-savings: Up to 80% savings on reagent cost by going from 25 µL to 5 µL on Echo 525
  • Faster time: Up to 90% faster reaction setup and turnaround time
  • Sustainability: The tip-less Echo can help with sustainability and reducing the amount of plastic waste

Automated Viral RNA Extraction Workflow Integrated Biomek and Echo Liquid Handlers

Workflow Product Information

Automated Liquid Handlers

Biomek i-Series
Tip-based Liquid Handling

 Biomek iSeries Automated Liquid Handlers


Echo 525
Acoustic Tip-less Liquid Handling

 Echo 525 Acoustic Liquid Handler

Viral RNA Extraction Kits

RNAdvance Viral Reagent Kit - 768 Preps
Part number: C63510

RNAdvance Viral reagent kit isolates RNA from Saliva and Swab Transport Media


RNAdvance Viral XP Reagent Kit - 1056 Preps
Part number: C59543

RNA Isolation from Viral Samples RNAdvance Viral XP Reagent Kit

For research use, not intended for diagnostic purposes.
Biomek automated workstations are not intended or validated for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions.
Echo liquid handlers are for research use only. Not intended or validated for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions.

Customer Testimonials

The Story Behind Warsaw Genomics’
Automated RNAdvance Viral
Extraction Workflow


 Warsaw Genomics Testimonial


Miami Cancer Institute
Conducted Virology Research
Using RNAdvance Viral 


Miami Cancer Institute Conducted Virology Research Using RNAdvance Viral 

Content and Resources

Automated Demonstrated Methods for Biomek i-Series Workstations (PDF) Learn more about automated NGS Library Construction and Nucleic Acid Sample Preparation methods for Biomek i-Series workstations
High-throughput qPCR and RT-qPCR Workflows Enabled by Beckman Coulter Echo Acoustic Liquid Handling and NEB® Luna® Reagents (PDF) Application Note: We show that NEB Luna qPCR reagents offer strong performance in high-throughput qPCR applications and are readily compatible with automated reaction setup, here using the Beckman Echo 525 acoustic liquid handler.
Viral RNA Extraction from Saliva and Swab Samples Data Sheet and Performance: SPRI technology enables purification of high-quality RNA with demonstrated compatibility with up to 200 μL of saliva or swab transport media. The protocol can be performed in a single tube or 96-well format with the flexibility to automate on a variety of liquid handling platforms.
Miami Cancer Institute Conducted Virology Research Using RNAdvance Viral In this customer spotlight Beckman Coulter Life Sciences had the honor of interviewing Weiming Shen, MS, ASCPCM, Manager of the Genomics Laboratory Service at Miami Cancer Institute, to discuss her team’s progress with virology research.

Learn More About
Automating Viral
RNA Extraction Kits



Helpful Links:

Extraction Kits:
RNAdvance Viral
RNAdvance Viral XP
Performance Data

Genomic Automated Workstations:
PCR Purification
RNA/DNA Extraction


Viral RNA Extraction
Performance Data:

  RNAdvance Viral and Viral XP Data Sheet Screenshot 

Download Data Sheet


White Paper:

White Paper: Characterization of RNAdvance Viral XP RNA Extraction Kit using AccuPlex™ SARS–CoV–2 Reference Material Kit

Download White Paper