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Psychologists at Anglia Ruskin University are using a Tecan liquid handling platform to automate ELISA-based analysis of cortisol and immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels, exploring the relationship between stress and immune response for both chronic and acute stress. Dr Matt Bristow, Senior Lecturer in Biological Psychology, explained: “We are modeling stress in a controlled environment, looking closely at the effects of different types of stress on the immune response. For example, one recent project looked at carers of people with dementia, and we discovered that the long-term chronic stress they experience tends to raise levels of IgA. At the other extreme, we followed a number of volunteers through their first tandem parachute jump, looking at progressive increases in salivary cortisol before the event, and the effect this has on the immune system’s reaction.”
“We use our Tecan platform to automate ELISAs, considerably increasing daily throughput from a maximum of 100 samples manually, to over 600 on the Tecan system. The system has a PosID™ scanner for barcode recognition, and is linked to our LIMS software for tracking, database integration and printing, offering full automation of the whole process. The system has delivered considerably more than our initial expectations; eliminating human errors, scheduling assays dynamically for increased throughput, and giving us much more reliable data in a far shorter time.”
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Tecan (www.tecan.com) is a leading global provider of laboratory instruments and solutions in biopharmaceuticals, forensics, and clinical diagnostics. The company specializes in the development, production and distribution of instruments and automated workflow solutions for laboratories in the life sciences sector. With its subsidiary REMP (www.remp.com), Tecan is the market leader in automated laboratory storage and logistics systems. Its clients include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, university research departments, forensic and diagnostic laboratories. As an original equipment manufacturer, Tecan is also a leader in developing and manufacturing OEM instruments and components that are then distributed by partner companies. Founded in Switzerland in 1980, the company has manufacturing, research and development sites in both Europe and North America and maintains a sales and service network in 52 countries. In 2009, Tecan generated sales of CHF 392 million (USD 361.2 million; EUR 259.6 million). Registered shares of Tecan Group are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (TK: TECN/Reuters: TECZn.S/ ISIN CH0012100191).
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