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    cobas® 4800 System

     Works the way you do

Keep pace with the changing needs of your molecular lab

Laboratories today need the flexibility to manage daily workflow and varying throughput demands. They also need to be able to adapt quickly when those needs change. Since 1983, Roche has researched and introduced platforms with one goal in mind: helping labs overcome obstacles to the practical use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. 

Roche introduced PCR and continues to advance real-time PCR through hardware and software innovations that pave the way for new standards of performance and reliability. In the cobas® 4800 System, Roche offers an innovative and comprehensive solution with the high sensitivity and high specificity that only real-time PCR can deliver, along with fast turnaround times. It is a powerful combination that supports the microbiology lab in delivering what is paramount: accurate, efficient results that help stop the threat of infection. 


cobas® 4800 System: Where performance and reliability meet 


System Overview

cobas® 4800 System features and benefits

The modular cobas® 4800 System delivers flexibility with walk-away sample preparation, plus one of the fastest and most advanced real-time PCR amplification and detection available today.


Save time

  • Automated PCR setup frees lab personnel for other tasks
  • Accepts multiple primary vial formats, including liquid-based cytology (LBC)
  • Supports 8, 24, 48, 72, or 94 batch sizes for efficient reagent usage
  • Processes mixed batch assays in the same run 


Reduce error 

  • Automatic barcode reader and ready-to-use reagents eliminate manual sample processing
  • Total aspirate and dispense monitoring (TADM) verifies sample transfer in real time
  • CO-RE tip technology helps ensure secure tip attachment, precise tip positioning and reduced aerosol production


Deliver high specificity 

  • Optimized filter design minimizes spectral cross talk
  • Highly efficient signal excitation and data capture reduce signal artifacts and ensure data integrity


Ensure reliable results  

  • Unique Therma-Base™ technology optimizes heat transfer for maximum uniformity and well-to-well reproducibility
  • Automatically checks and validates PCR curve consistency
  • Proprietary kinetic algorithm removes ambiguity

Sample Processing

Automated sample preparation and processing does more, so you can get more done

No complex reagent preparation procedures
Load-and-go reagents save time and labor, and help to ensure consistency. 

Automated nucleic acid extraction
Nucleic acid extraction from multiple types of specimens is fully automated, including swab and urine samples in cobas® PCR media and multiple types of liquid cytology media. 

Intelligent pipetting
The cobas® 4800 System incorporates unique pipette tip locking and monitoring technology, including CO-RE, TADM and anti-droplet control (ADC) for reliable sample transfer.

TADM monitors the pressure within each pipette tip during each pipetting cycle to verify transfer and flag problems in real time. Any pressure response that falls outside of the expected range is reported in real time and recorded in a traceable digital log. Watch the video on the  TADM system.  

CO-RE tip technology

CO-RE attachment technology actively locks the pipette tips in place with an expanding O-ring. When the tip is released, the O-ring gently decompresses, avoiding projection of aerosols that could create cross-contamination. Watch the video on CO-RE tip technology.  

Anti-droplet control (ADC) 
The cobas® 4800 System automatically compensates for volatile reagent vapor in the pipette tip by continually monitoring the pressure and adding vacuum to the tip when needed.

Results Analysis

Advanced real-time PCR technology for high-quality results

Results integrity
During PCR amplification, proprietary AmpErase enzyme destroys virtually all previously generated amplicon to reduce the risk of carryover contamination. An internal control is used through the entire process, from sample preparation to amplification and detection, minimizing the risk of false negatives.


Robust amplification and detection

The cobas® z 480 Analyzer provides unmatched temperature homogeneity and advanced optics for rapid amplification and high quality results.


Rapid, uniform thermal cycling

The cobas® z 480 Analyzer carries over all of the technological advances of the LightCycler® 480. The unique Therma-Base™ layer between the heat block and the cooling element provides optimal heat transfer and distribution to all samples for faster, more reproducible results.


High-performance optics

Optics in the cobas® z 480 Analyzer are engineered to ensure specific signal excitation and emission, and uniform data collection across the entire PCR plate. 

Results with no grey zone

Each test run on the cobas® 4800 System is automatically analyzed by a proprietary kinetic algorithm that eliminates the need to examine PCR curves. Every curve is evaluated automatically and must meet multiple acceptance criteria to be called valid. Results are presented as positive, negative or invalid, providing clear and precise answers and reducing the need for retesting or interpretation.

Reduce workload, simplify workflow


Automated Workflow

Automated workflow, easy to learn

Automation reduces hands-on time and makes the cobas® 4800 System easy to operate. The intuitive graphical interface provides all the necessary instructions. Users are guided through each step, from sample loading to starting a new run. 

cobas 4800 system worfklow

The cobas® 4800 System automates your workflow where you need it most. No reagent prep, no manual sample barcode scanning, and no manual data entry required.

Hands-On Time

Load your sample vials and walk away

The cobas® 4800 System automatically performs the assay preparation procedure and transfers your samples to 96-well plates, ready for PCR amplification and detection. Labs can process up to 384 samples per day on a single system. 

The system requires:  

  • Less than 20 minutes of setup time for 94 specimens
  • Only 4 minutes of daily maintenance 
  • No post-run decontamination 
  • Load-and-go reagents, saving time and labor, and helping to ensure consistency


cobas 4800 system hands-on time comparison

The cobas® 4800 System requires the least amount of hands-on time compared to other competitors.

Mixed Batch Testing

Run mixed batch assays

The cobas® 4800 System gives you the flexibility to test MRSA/SA, Cdiff, and HSV 1 and 2 test samples in the same run, prepared from different types of primary vials. You can also run different-sized sample batches.

Test Menu

An expanding test menu on a single platform

Every Roche assay is backed by extensive experience and expertise in test design and optimization, a commitment to robust performance standards and an unparalleled dedication to thorough data analysis and validation. The cobas® 4800 System offers one of the most comprehensive menus on a single platform for healthcare-acquired infections and sexually transmitted infections along with the ability to perform in vitro diagnostics (IVD) and laboratory-developed tests (LDTs) on the same system. 


See Assay Menu

Proven service and support from a trusted leader

Support is just a phone call away

Roche introduced PCR and is still perfecting it every day. No company has more experience in molecular diagnostics, or in supporting you. One call gives you direct access to a world-class support organization. Our technical hotlines connect you immediately to local support teams backed by global experts. Our Global Customer Support Organization of more than 2,000 technical and field experts serves Roche customers in more than 70 countries.  


Contact me about Roche products 

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Learn more about Roche’s history as a PCR technology leader. 

  • Acronyms:


1.  Patel et al. 2011 European guidelines for the management of genital herpes. Int J STD and AIDS 22: 1-10 3.