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Frequently asked questions

Q: How much does Speedy Breedy cost?
A: Speedy Breedy retails for £2500 which includes everything necessary to run Speedy Breedy as well as 8 vessels.

Q: How long is the warranty?
A: Speedy Breedy comes with a 1-year warranty.

Q: Where is Speedy Breedy manufactured?
A: Speedy Breedy is designed and manufactured in the UK, as are the vessels and the vast majority of parts for Speedy Breedy.

Q: How long does a test take?
A: Depending on the degree of contamination and the type of organism, to get a positive result can take as little as 6 hours for a very contaminated sample, or 12-18 hours to detect a single colony.

Q: Do capsules dissolve in other liquids?
A: Yes, the medium capsules will dissolve in other liquids, however viscous samples may have to be diluted to aid dissolution.

Q: Can Speedy Breedy test solids?
A: Solids can only be tested if they have been homogenised and/or liquefied. Care must be taken that samples don’t block the rotors and mix well with the medium.

Q: Can Speedy Breedy test paint, oil, seawater etc?
A: Speedy Breedy can test any liquid which mixes with the medium and releases the bacteria. Non-aqueous and very viscous samples may have to be pre-processed and may not be suitable.

Q: Can Speedy Breedy find X, Y, Z organisms?
A: Speedy Breedy detects the respiration of rapidly growing and multiplying organisms and can therefore detect a wide range of cultureable organisms. The key element is to select the correct conditions for the organism of interest including temperature, gaseous requirements and culture medium in order to facilitate rapid growth.

Q: Can it detect anaerobes?
A: Yes Speedy Breedy can be used to grow and detect anaerobes.

Q: Can it do yeasts and moulds?
A: Speedy Breedy has been used to test for yeast contamination in a number of applications. Moulds are more problematic as some moulds grow very slowly. Each organism should be assessed on its own characteristics.

Q: Can it do total colony counts?
A: There is often a good correlation between the number of organisms present in the sample (as assessed by plate counts) and the time to detection in Speedy Breedy particularly where there is a predominant species. Speedy Breedy can therefore be used to assess the level of contamination in many situations.

Q: How does it correlate with agar plates?
A: Several studies have demonstrated excellent correlation between colony counts in agar plate culture and the Time to Detection in Speedy Breedy. This correlation works at a wide range of sample contaminant levels because the relationship is linked to the generation time of the organism present.

Q: How does it deal with several bacteria?
A: Speedy Breedy will generally detect the most rapidly growing and respiring species since this will be the first to achieve the critical biomass and activity to produce a pressure change event. However in some situations, a contaminant organism at a very starting concentration relative to others around it will generate a signal first even though it is slightly slower growing.

Q: How do I know which bacteria it is finding in a mixed sample?
A: We recommend using selective media and growth conditions to detect organisms of choice in a mixed sample.

Q: Can it distinguish between E. coli and pseudomonas?
A: Using selective conditions of 44 Deg Celsius and MacConkey broth for growth and detection there is a very high probability of detecting only E. coli as very few Pseudomonads will reproduce under these conditions.

Q: Do large numbers of pseudomonas mask E. coli?
A: Studies have shown that selective conditions of 44 Deg Celsius and MacConkey broth for growth and detection will generate a strong positive signal for E. coli even when it is present in low numbers compared to large numbers of Pseudomonads present in the starting sample.

Q: Why is it better than ATP?
A: Speedy Breedy cultures and detects live contaminating organisms that have potential to be problematic. Conversely, ATP tests are generally used for cleanliness and hygiene testing, not as true microbial contamination tests as they do not indicate the presence of viable contaminating organisms. Although there is a crude correlation of ATP signal to contaminating organisms in some tests this is highly dependent upon the test sample and the level of background “noise” due to ATP from other sources. It is generally understood that true correlation with bacterial count is only achievable at very high concentrations of organisms.

Q: Why is it better than a dipslide?
A: Speedy Breedy can detect single colony forming units (potentially single organisms) and can do so in a wide range of matrices including opaque samples. Tests made with Dip Slides however having a known bacterial suspension of 104 per ml may produce only around 20 colonies on a Dip Slide. These are therefore relatively insensitive when compared with Speedy Breedy. Additionally, some opaque samples may make colony counting on dip slides problematic.

Q: How sensitive is Speedy Breedy?
A: Speedy Breedy has demonstrated detection of single colony forming units (potentially single organisms) in many applications and many contaminant organisms.

Q: How specific is it?
A: Speedy Breedy relies on the culture of the contaminant organisms. The specificity is therefore determined by the growth conditions such as temperature, gaseous conditions and culture medium.

Q: Can it be used in a clinical setting?
A: Speedy Breedy can be used in clinical research but should not be used for diagnostic purposes as it does not have regulatory approvals for this application.

Q: Does Speedy Breedy work with environmental samples?
A: Yes, Speedy Breedy can be used to test environmental samples. If the samples are very cold and the bacteria are likely to be stressed we would recommend a warm-up step.

Q: Do samples always have to be diluted in water or can buffers or other liquids be used?
A: Other liquids can be used provided they are not too viscous to stop the rotors from turning or have too low a pH to stop bacteria from growing. Sample size has to be considered.

Q: How much are the vessels for Speedy Breedy?
A: All vessels are sold in packs of 8. A pack of medium filled vessels is £60 and a pack of empty vessels is £50.

Do I need a new vessel for every experiment?
Yes, due to the fact that used culture vessels are considered hazardous material and need to be treated as such.

How do I dispose of the culture vessels?
We recommend using an autoclave at 121°C at 15 psi for 15 minutes which kills the culture. Alternatively the local hospital or authority may provide a service. Following autoclaving a land fill or an incinerator may be used. Local regulations may apply.

Can I get pre-filled culture vessels?
Speedy Breedy vessels are available with MacConkey's or TSB Broth capsules which dissolve within 10 minutes of adding the sample into the culture vessel.

Q: How do I fill the vessels with my samples?
A: There are two main methods for filling the vessels: either using the 6mm port on top of the vessel by removing the lid and inserting the sample using syringes, pipettes or pouring it, or using the septum on top of the port to inject the vessel with a needle.

Q: What is aseptic technique?
A: Aseptic technique means the sterile handling of samples in order to avoid contamination.

Do I need training to handle samples aseptically?

Q: Is Speedy Breedy sterile?
A: Speedy Breedy in itself is not sterile, however the vessels which are the only part coming into direct contact with the samples are gamma irradiated and therefore completely sterile.

Q: How are swabs used with Speedy Breedy?
A: Swabs can either be cut up in small enough pieces as to not block the rotors or alternatively swabs can be washed down with physiological saline or other appropriate liquids and the wash down fluid then inoculated into Speedy Breedy.

Q: Is it portable?
A: Speedy Breedy is portable and can run in many different locations, however once a test is running it has to stay connected to mains power until the test is completed.

Q: What happens when the power is disconnected?
A: If the power is disconnected while a test is running and the Speedy Breedy is also connected to a laptop the rotors will stop, the heating/cooling will stop and the display will dim. If the Speedy Breedy is not connected to a laptop it will turn off.

Q: Can Speedy just run off a laptop?
A: The data on Speedy Breedy can be accessed and protocols can be transferred while Speedy Breedy is only connected via the USB cable, but tests can only be run when connected via the power cable.

Q: Is Speedy Breedy waterproof?
A: Speedy Breedy is splash proof and it can be wiped clean, but not waterproof and should not be submerged in water.

Q: Is Speedy Breedy regulated to be used in the USA?
A: Yes it passed the necessary tests to be used in the USA.

Q: Who are the patents held by?
A: The patents are held by Bactest.

Q: Is Speedy Breedy calibrated?
A: Speedy Breedy relies on comparative rather than absolute pressure readings, meaning calibration of sensors is not required.

Q: Why are there pressure / temperature differences between the left or right chamber?
A: Speedy Breedy chambers work independently of each other, and will potentially heat or cool at slightly difference speeds due to the environment or at slightly different levels or read pressure at slightly different levels. However, as protocols are used to control for temperature before commencing a test, speed of heating and cooling should not affect results; furthermore, Speedy Breedy relies on comparative rather than absolute pressure readings, meaning calibration of sensors across chambers is not required.

Q: How many experiments can I keep and can fit on an SD-card?
A: There is room for up to four years-worth of continuous experimental data on Speedy Breedy’s 16GB SD card.

Q: Can I run the software on a Mac?
A: Currently there is no Macintosh software available for Speedy Breedy

Q: How do I know if Speedy Breedy is working properly?
A: Speedy Breedy will display pressure readings, temperature readings and test alerts on-screen while it is operating; when plugged into a PC, the Speedy Breedy software will display “testing” next to the status of unit chambers. Temperature readings should correspond with the temperature instructed by the protocol, and the pressure in the chamber should correspond with temperature changes if no bacterial activity is present, or change according to bacterial activity.

Q: How does SB keep constant temperature?
A: Speedy Breedy uses Peltier heater/coolers, along with heatsinks, to control temperature.

Q: If Speedy Breedy is used in a very cold environment like 1 degree can it heat effectively to 44 degrees?
A: Theoretically yes - this has not been tested however.

Q: The current setup has 2 growth chambers, could more be added?
A: No, however multiple Speedy Breedy units may be used to increase the number of available chambers.

Q: Can two different experiments be run at the same time?
A: Yes, two experiments can be run at the same time using different protocols and temperatures, provided the rotor speed is the same, as a single motor is driving the rotors in both chambers.

Q: Can I use two different mixing speeds?
A: No, the mixing speeds have to be the

Q: How long does it take to train someone to use Speedy Breedy?
A: It takes roughly 1hr to show someone how to use Speedy Breedy and the software, a little longer to explain the background of Speedy Breedy if required.

Q: When do we use TSB and when MacConkey’s?
A: TSB is a general medium which will allow many different bacteria to grow and is therefore best used as a general contamination or sterility test.

MacConkey’s broth is a selective medium which selects for bacteria tolerant to bile salts and those able to ferment lactose produce a colour change from purple to yellow. It is used to determine if there are any Coliform bacteria present in a sample and at 44°C it is used to presumptively identify E. coli.

Q: What is SB measuring?
A: SB measures the differences in pressure that occur in the vessel during an experiment. Bacteria use and/or produce gasses through metabolic and respiratory processes, which in turn causes a change in pressure in the culture vessel that SB detects. At a critical bacterial mass, the gas consumption or generation translates in a pressure change is large enough for Speedy Breedy to detect a significant event.

Q: How does Speedy Breedy know what to do?
A: Speedy Breedy comes coupled with its own software from which the device’s operations are controlled and managed. Speedy Breedy Software allows users to run, analyse and manage Speedy Breedy tests as well as to define test Protocols for use on Speedy Breedy units, all from a PC.

Tests are controlled through Speedy Breedy Protocols, which instruct the Speedy Breedy in how a test should proceed. Once Protocols are uploaded onto SB tests can be run either from a PC on from the SB unit itself.

Q: What is a protocol?
A: protocol is a procedural method for the design and implementation of experiments. In Speedy Breedy software, protocols are the tool for designing and setting up test and instructs Speedy Breedy how to proceed. The user can define the characteristics of a test and the steps or phases of each experiment, setting the variables that will cause a step change.

Q: How do I set a test up?
A: test first has to be defined by a Protocol on a PC on the Speedy Breedy software and loaded onto the Speedy Breedy device. Once a Protocol has been set up the test can be started either from a PC or the device itself.

Q: Can I download/export results from Speedy Breedy?
A: Yes, results can easily be downloaded via the software and can easily be exported into Excel as a .CSV file, but there is also the option to download the tests

Q: How can I analyse and compare several experiments?
A: In the software several experiments can be compared simply by dragging and dropping one experiment into the other.

Q: I’m unable to install software on the company’s PC, what do I do?
A: In this case we can supply you with a laptop, this can be included in your quote.

Q: Can a few Speedy Breedys be controlled by one computer?
A: Yes, multiple Speedy Breedys can be controlled by a single computer, only limited by the availability of USB-ports.

Q: Does Speedy Breedy need DWI approval?
A: Speedy Breedy does not need DWI approval as it is not to be used to replace DWI tests but add to them. According to the DWI Speedy Breedy can be used for risk and equipment management and also as a quick look-see.

Q: How do I get software and firmware updates?
A: Software updates are distributed via email or download, Firmware updates will be distributed via SD-cards.

Can organisms be identified from the curve shape?

Q: What is differential pressure?
A: Differential pressure refers to the change in pressure. When differential pressure is 0 there is no positive or negative change.

Q: What RPM should I use? How does it influence the experiment?
A: The rotors do influence the experiment, but the speed at which they are running does not. Therefore it is up to you which speedy you would like to use, but it has to be the same one for both chambers. Standard rotor speed is 60RPM.

Q: How do I set up event detection (the red line to mark an event has or is occurring)?
A: The red event detection line will appear during an event if something is entered into the “Event detection value” and “Event detection window” fields in the event step (typically step 2) of a protocol.

Q: What is the temperature range of SB?
A: The temperature can be controlled between 5 degrees below ambient temperature and 45 degrees.

Q: Can SB cool in a really hot environment?
A: Speedy Breedy can cool to 5°C below ambient temperature. If the environment is very hot Speedy Breedy may have to be moved to a cooler one to meet the temperature targets.

Q: How do I populate the culture chamber with a needle?
A: Via the Inoculation port Septum, this involves:

Removing the tamper evident seal on the lid by lifting the tab.

Injecting sample vertically into the vessels through the septum with a syringe and needle using the centre portion of the septum

The septum will self-seal when a 0.8 mm (21G) needle or smaller is used. For samples of 5 ml or less, pressure equilibration is not needed, but for larger samples it is recommended to equilibrate pressures.

To do this attach a sterile syringe filter to a needle and pass it through the septum – air will move via the filter to balance the pressure. The recommended filters are 0.2 um pore size or less.

Q: Which media do culture vessels come with?
A: At this point in time Culture vessels come with MacConkey's or TSB Broth. The provision of further selective media is in progress.

Q: How well correlated is the time to detection with the severity of contamination / concentration of cells?
A: There is a fairly linear relationship between the level of contamination and the time to detection. However it does depend on the individual test environment and organisms involved.

Q: How does it compare to traditional Lab techniques?
A: Speedy Breedy is not designed to compete directly with laboratory techniques but provides a new tool that can be used by unskilled operatives to begin a test at any time of day or night, or where there is no local laboratory so the time to send, test and obtain results is too long. This may be under the control of the Microbiology laboratory but allows tests to begin out of normal working hours of the lab.

Q: What accreditation/standards it adheres to?
A: Speedy Breedy is being sold initially as a research tool and does not therefore have accreditations for particular industries at this point in time although we will be pursuing these in coming months.

Instruments are sold with a CE marking. We are working toward more complex accreditations including 13485

Q: Is there potential for cross contamination between samples giving rise to false readings?
A: Each test is inoculated into a separate sealed culture vessel. Once the vessels have been inoculated and put into Speedy Breedy there is no possibility of cross contamination

Q: What about cleaning the instrument?
A: Speedy Breedy is designed to be splash resistant meaning that it can be wiped clean but not immersed. The unit can be wiped down with a dry or moist cloth only. If contamination with microbes is suspected, surfaces may be wiped clean with Mediwipes or similar cloths impregnated with antimicrobial additives. Surfaces must not be cleaned with corrosive or caustic chemical agents.

Q: Will the equipment detect very low levels of these bacteria down to 1 colony in 100ml of sample?
A: The working volume is 50 ml although this can be stretched to approximately 65 ml in some circumstances. Speedy Breedy detects single organisms (equiv. 1 colony) in 50 ml and has been demonstrated to do so with E. coli and other coliforms both in general (TSB) and specific (McConkeys) broths.

Q: Is detection specific or non-specific and will the operator be informed/if so how will this be shown?
A: Detection is specific IF a selective media is used.

The result is a yes or no answer which is presented to the operator very simply in the following ways:

Firstly, there is an indicator LED light with shows completion of the test according to the time which is pre-set in the protocol.

A positive result is indicated as a different colour of LED light.

A positive result is indicated by a message line (16 characters) on the display – this message can be customised within the protocol.

Q: What media have the vessels been trialled with?
A: Speedy Breedy has been trialled with a number of media and the range is expanding. The media most relevant to the applications you have described are:

TSB broth for general contamination testing

McConkey’s broth for Colifoms using a temperature of 36 Deg C

McConkey’s broth for E. coli using a temperature of 44 Deg C

Thyoglycolate broth for anaerobes such as Clostridia.

We are constantly evaluating other media for detection of Enterococci which are important indicators of faecal contamination in situations where chlorination has been used.

Q: I’ve seen that trials have provided average detection times but what would be the minimum time at which you could confirm no bacteria present?
A: Using a selective medium in our experience it’s about 18 hours. Every industry will be different depending on the type of bacteria they anticipate might be present.

Q: If the volume of culture vessel is 50ml what volume of water could be used to inoculate this?
A: The total volume of culture vessels is around 80ml. Currently the maximum inoculation volume is 50 ml with dry medium. Smaller volumes can be used depending upon the technique and application.

We are keen to work with end users to investigate sample preparation steps that allow for larger volumes to be used as inoculum that are suitable for particular applications. Filtration steps for example may be appropriate.