cobas® prime pre-analytical system

Accelerating speed and efficiency in the molecular lab

IVD For in vitro diagnostic use.
cobas prime pre-analytical system
Streamlining and simplifying your lab operation

In today’s fast-paced molecular laboratories, efficiency and flexibility are critical to avoid a bottleneck of samples requiring pre-analytics processing. Imagine a solution that automatically prepares the variety and volume of samples you receive. That’s the cobas® prime Pre-analytical System.

As the first and only fully automated system that consolidates, integrates and standardizes the pre-analytical process, it streamlines and simplifies your lab operation so technicians can focus on higher-level challenges and opportunities.

Introducing cobas prime Pre-analytical System
Would you like to know more about the cobas® prime Pre-analytical System?

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Manual pre-analytical steps are performed for you

The cobas® prime Pre-analytical System offers complete automation and continuous random loading to achieve an unprecedented level of efficiency in the molecular lab.

  • An automated workflow helps protect the lab from cross contamination, processing error and missteps that can occur during scanning, aliquoting, sample preparation and reagent preparation
  • The system continuously loads — without presorting —multiple molecular sample types for multiple tests into a universal tray and performs pre-analytical processing before transferring the samples to the analyzer for testing
cose-up of barcode, automation image


One universal sample input tray, with no sorting or batching

Multiple sample types and tests can be consolidated to streamline the pre-analytical process and reduce the amount of training required.

  • A single universal tray holds multiple sample types and is placed into a single system, eliminating the need for a variety of instruments to process a variety of sample types
  • The universal tray can be filled with samples in sample reception, then loaded directly into the cobas® prime Pre-analytical System without any additional manual handling
  • An optional Process Pluss Module provides broader functionality including reagent addition and re-capping tubes
close-up of lab technician’s face, consolidation image


Solve your testing challenges with a single solution

Utilize industry leading instruments to form a single solution that transforms your operation into a laboratory of the future.

Close up of sample track


Unrivaled workflow standardization

  • Improve ease of use and reduce staff training using a single instrument that can handle multiple sample types
  • Reliably deliver predictable and efficient turnaround time and throughput
Lab technician touching monitor, integration image
 “Work-away” time
 “Work-away” time


Elevate efficiency with full automation.

High throughput
High throughput


Process an unmatched number of samples from an 8-hour shift.*

Loading capacity
Loading capacity


High capacity for increased efficiency and work-away time.

Standardized workflow
Standardized workflow


Streamline processes to get more done with less.

* Tubes decapping only workflow. Data on file with Roche.






Ordering Information

Technical Documents

Technical Specifications


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Available throughput (8 hrs. | 24 hrs.)* Up to 1600 | Up to 4800
Specific throughput

Liquid Based Cytology - Throughput 96/h

  • ThinPrep® PreservCyt Solution
  • User Defined Workflow

Primary Tubes - Throughput 200/h

  • Decapping
  • Recapping for archiving
Work-away time* Up to 6.5 hours (continuous loading supported)
User interactions
  • Load/unload samples
  • Load consumables
  • Load reagents (optional Process Plus Module only)
  • Remove waste (solid and liquid)
  • Address samples with processing errors directly at the workbench or via error tray
  • Routine weekly maintenance (cleaning)
  • Change barcode label materials
cobas® prime Workflows

Perform fully automated user workflows. Configurable parameters:

  • Tube type ID
  • Sample Integrity Checks
  • Vortexing
  • Decapping
  • Barcode labeling
  • Aliquoting
  • Recapping
  • Recursive recapping workflow
  • Heat treatment** (configured to heat samples to a predefined temperature (35-120°C) and keep it constant for the required time)
  • Cooling**
  • Reagent addition**
Sample type compatibility
  • LBC (Liquid Based Cytology)
  • cobas® PCR Media Urine
  • cobas® PCR Media Uni and Dual Swab
  • Serum/plasma (decapping only)
* May vary based on workflow demands and tube type.
** Note that functionality for customers to create their own user-defined workflows, for a vial within specifications, will be available under the responsibility of the customer.

Barcode types supported

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Barcode types supported

1-23 characters

1-23 characters

1D barcodes*
  • Codabar
  • Code 128
  • Code 39
  • Code interleaved 2 of 5 (with checksum)
  • Code 93
  • Code EAN-8
  • Code EAN-13 (including JAN code)
2D barcodes*
  • QR Code
  • Data matrix
  • PDF417
* The cobas® prime Pre-analytical System supports ASCII codes 32-126 in the barcode


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Host connectivity (LIS, Middleware, etc.)

HL7 through TCP/IP, bidirectional communication

  • Query for sample orders (LAB-22)
  • Sample order status change (LAB-26: Sample status, Sample integrity status, primary and secondary sample location)

Note: Requires unique sample ID and test code

Automated sample transport Can be connected to an approved track system (example: cobas® connection module)
Roche remote support 

Remote service connection

  • Download of configuration updates
  • Upload anonymized statistics for preventive maintenance
  • Screen sharing for remote support

Compatible sample containers

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Compatible sample containers


Acceptable measurement (mm)

Tube height 65 -100
Tube outside diameter (includes barcode label) 12.5 -16 (+/- 0.8mm)
LBC height 52.4 - 75.4 (+/- 1.14 mm)
LBC diameter 12.5 -16 (+/- 0.8mm)

Onboard inventory

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Onboard inventory

Tube size Acceptable measurement (mm)
Samples (in universal trays) Liquid-based cytology container up to 380 or Primary/Secondary tubes up to 1240
Pipette tips (in trays) 384 tips per tray
Secondary tubes (in trays) 170 tubes per tray
Total tray storage (sample + consumable) Up to 22 trays
Total tray storage (sample + consumable) Up to 22 trays
Universal stoppers (flexible caps) Approx. 500 pieces
5-position-racks Up to 105 5-position racks

Reagent bottles*

  • cobas® sample preparation buffer (2 x 1 L bottle)
  • cobas® PCR media (2 x 1 L bottle)
  • Sample Preparation Extraction Reagent (SPER) (2 x 1 L bottle)
  • Customer defined reagent bottles (2 x 1 L bottle)
6 x 1 L bottles (3 pairs)
* Reagents are only used in User Defined workflows

Power supply

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Power supply

  Without Process Plus Module With Process Plus Module
Line voltage

1 phase 200-240 VAC +/- 10%
1 phase 100-125 VAC +/- 10% 16 A or higher socket

1 phase 200-240 VAC +/- 10% 16 A or higher socket
Line frequency 50/60Hz +/- 5% 50/60Hz +/- 5%
Maximum power 1600 VA 3200 VA
Insulation coordination Installation category II (IEC 61010-1)  

Environmental requirements (operating)

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Environmental requirements (operating)

Ambient room temperature 15º C or 59º F to 30º C or 86º F
Relative humidity 
15% to 85% (no condensation)
up to 2000m (6562 ft)
Noise emission 
below 65 dB (A) peak noise level 55 dB during operation
Pollution Range 
Degree 2
Heat Dissipation 
<11895 BTU/h

Dimensions and weight

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Dimensions and weight

  cobas® prime Pre-analytical System without Plus Module cobas® prime Pre-analytical System with Plus Module
Instrument dimensions 87 x 69 x 86 in with status light (W x D x H) Depth including workbench 71.25” 111x 69 x 86 in with status light (W x H x D) Depth including workbench 71.25”
Instrument weight 
2541 lbs. 3366 lbs.
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