FantasiaBio, based in the Jinhua region of China’s Zhejiang province, understands the power of imaging live cells, and has created a range of fluorescence-based tools to exploit the power of multiplexed live cell imaging for clinical research and development. In 2020, the company developed an innovative in vitro assay to quantify neutralizing antibodies against SARS- CoV-2, allowing researchers to evaluate an individual’s level of protection after administration of a COVID-19 vaccine. Qin Xiao-Feng, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at FantasiaBio, explained: “The kit uses a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) as a pseudotype vector with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) payload. If the COVID-19 vaccine stimulates effective production of neutralizing antibodies, the VSV pseudovirus is unable to infect human target cells, so the GFP gene is not expressed in these cells. The expression of GFP can normally be seen using a fluorescence microscope, and the number of green ‘dots’ is inversely proportional to the antibody activity. However, imaging in this way requires researchers to be sitting in front of a microscope for long periods of time to manually assess samples, which is time consuming, laborious and leads to inter-operator variability in results. We therefore needed a way to streamline and accelerate whole-well imaging for multiwell plates.”
Diagnosing hormone-based disorders using saliva samples dates back to the 1980s, but it is only the sensitivity improvements over the last decade that have led to saliva-based diagnostics becoming a viable alternative to blood testing. Biovis’ Diagnostik, a medical laboratory based in Limburg, Germany, has been at the forefront of saliva diagnostics since 2012, providing comprehensive testing to improve the analysis of hormone-based disorders.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, killing hundreds of thousands each year. However, the current routine screening method for checking prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels generates false positives in an alarming number of cases, leading to thousands of unnecessary biopsies each year. To combat this, Life Length has developed ProsTAV®, a state-of-the-art in vitro diagnostic test that uses telomere associated variables (TAVs) to identify patients with a higher risk of prostate cancer, aiding screening initiatives and reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies
Gaining an accurate diagnosis of HIV is essential to ensure that patients get the right treatment, and that the disease is contained as much as possible. In Kenya, where HIV is prevalent, the quality of testing across the country is being monitored through a program established in 2007 that sends out manually produced proficiency testing panels. The demand for this service has grown immensely with the development of point-of-care testing and, to address this, the National Public Health Laboratory has turned to automation to produce more samples in a shorter timeframe and with improved accuracy.
Hormones are specialist chemical messengers that provide a communication system between different parts of the body. They affect everything from growth and metabolism to appetite and mood, while also playing a vital role in puberty and fertility. When hormone imbalances occur, they can lead to a number of health issues, including infertility and menopausal problems in women. Medicare PLUS is using saliva testing to identify these hormone level imbalances for individuals across Slovenia and further afield.
Patients suffering from a number of different chronic diseases are turning to holistic healthcare provider RP Sanitas Humanus in the Netherlands for answers, frequently after conventional medicine has been unsuccessful. Food intolerances often lie at the root of the problem, and can be evaluated using automated analysis of IgG and IgG4 antibodies to isolate the true causes.
In vitro diagnostics (IVD) is central to the provision of healthcare globally, and is estimated to be worth in excess of $8.2 billion (€7.3 billion) a year in China alone.1 Despite this, the Chinese IVD landscape has historically been controlled by large international providers, with few domestic instrumentation and assay suppliers. Start-up company Shenzen AiTe is looking to change this, with the development of diagnostic platforms and assays offering rapid detection for a wide range of blood-based markers.
NGNY Devices is striving to fully automate laborious pre-analytical sample processing for clinical testing, helping to increase throughput and reduce human error. Its systems are already providing advanced sample sorting and aliquoting across Europe, offering a significant advantage over manual sample handling for busy clinical labs.
Continuous advances in medical understanding are leading to rapid growth in the demand for diagnostic testing, making automation essential for laboratories trying to address this increase in their workloads. Many providers are also centralizing and consolidating testing to reduce costs, relying on instruments with higher throughput capacities to meet the demands of large service laboratories. Spanish biotechnology company Vircell recently partnered with Tecan to create a high throughput automated system for its VirClia® assays, building on the success of the company’s existing VirClia instrument.
Clinical diagnostics company Ambry Genetics focuses on the identification of germline mutations, detecting large deletions and duplications primarily by next generation sequencing. Automation holds the key to efficient high throughput assays, ensuring optimum productivity.
Mass spectrometry is rapidly becoming the method of choice for quantitative analysis of micronutrients such as vitamins B1, B6, B12 and D, as well as for steroids, hormones and many other drugs. For clinical laboratories, the bottleneck of MS-based techniques is not the analysis, but the pre-processing of the samples to remove proteins and other biological molecules that could interfere with the results.
Testosterone levels are typically determined using automated immunoassay analyzers, but this has limitations. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS) offers a selective and accurate alternative, and the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine at the University of California San Diego is using a novel extraction technology to automate sample preparation for this technique.
Reputation and accreditation are essential for clinical reference laboratories, helping to win new business and ensure a steady flow of work from existing customer labs. With diagnostic testing demands increasing year-on-year, Carpermor continually invests in cutting-edge assays and state-of-the-art laboratory automation to maintain the quality and efficiency of its services.
PerkinElmer Healthcare Diagnostics (Shanghai) Co develops and manufactures instruments for the processing and analysis of clinical samples in hospital laboratories across China. A pioneer of time-resolved fluorescence techniques in this market, the company prides itself on creating cutting-edge automated solutions to address unmet needs in infectious disease diagnostics.
Chinese IVD company Dynamiker has developed a range of rapid diagnostic kits to help address the rising problem of invasive fungal diseases in hospitals. Offering results in under two hours, these colorimetric and ELISA assays are designed to address the problems associated with traditional diagnostic techniques – poor sensitivity and slow turnaround times – allowing earlier implementation of antifungal treatments for better patient outcomes.
AIBL International, the latest addition to the Tecan Group, offers a range of microplate-based immunoassays to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a devastating condition that significantly impacts the lives of both sufferers and their families. Early diagnosis is essential for implementation of appropriate treatment and support mechanisms, enabling patients to live as independently as possible.
A Freedom EVO® workstation is proving key to the provision of high quality vitamin testing services at the Medical Laboratories of the Reinier de Graaf Hospital. This versatile solution has enabled full automation of the majority of sample preparation workflows for LC analysis of vitamins, generating major time and cost savings, and meeting the laboratory’s increasing throughput demands.
The Irkutsk Regional AIDS Center is taking advantage of the flexibility and ease of use of an Infinite® 200 PRO multimode reader to help monitor HIV patients. Combining luminescence- and absorbance-based assays with a range of other diagnostic tests, the Center is able to accurately assess the immune status of its patients.
The Department of Psychology at TU Dresden is taking advantage of the quality and reproducibility of various IBL International immunoassays – including the Cortisol Saliva Luminescence Immunoassay – to investigate the link between steroid hormones and stress.
With an ever-increasing workload, Germany’s Munich Leukemia Laboratory has automated its cytogenetics protocols on five Freedom EVO® workstations, enabling leaner, standardized, more efficient processing and minimizing the potential for human error.
The Molecular Biology Department at Colombia’s Laboratorio Clinico Medico Colcan is using a Freedom EVO® 150 liquid handling platform to automate its nucleic acid extraction and real-time PCR protocols, offering increased flexibility and helping to improve sample throughput.
Chinese company DaAn Gene has integrated the Cavro Air Displacement Pipettor (ADP) into its new generation of molecular diagnostic instruments, bringing the advantages of Tecan’s liquid pipetting expertise to blood banks and infectious disease laboratories in China.
A Freedom EVO®-based platform for automated antimicrobial susceptibility testing and MALDI-TOF sample preparation is proving beneficial to the Medical Laboratory Bremen, offering enhanced reproducibility compared to manual processes and greater accuracy of results.
AXO Science has established a Freedom EVO®-based high throughput blood genotyping system, helping to meet the needs of blood banks and transfusion centers around the world.
The pathology laboratory at Shanghai’s Changhai Hospital has successfully evaluated Tecan’s HS 400™ PRO hybridization station for the analysis of breast and lung cancers.
Astoria-Pacific International has chosen the Freedom EVOR liquid handling platform to automate its SPOTCHECKR Neonatal Screening assays for biotinidase and GALT (galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase).
ViroMed, a provider of laboratory testing services based in Minneapolis, USA, chose six Freedom EVOlyzers to support high throughput ELISA testing for a substantial HIV screening project.
Vestfold Hospital Trust in Norway has chosen the Freedom EVOlyzerR for automation of ELISA assays in its microbiology laboratory in Tonsberg.
The Insitut Galli-Valerio in Lausanne, Switzerland, has chosen a Freedom EVO® platform to fully automate all ELISAs for the Swiss authorities' ambitious program to eradicate bovine virus diarrhea virus (BVDV), which can cause mucosal disease in cattle.
Inverness Medical has been using Tecan liquid handling systems to automate ELISA testing in Spain for over 15 years. The Company supplies Tecan instruments free of charge to hospitals and laboratories using its diagnostic kits and reagents, an agreement which has been benefiting its customers since 1990.
In order to increase reliability, efficacy and throughput of its diagnostic services, the Landeslabor Berlin-Brandenburg (LLBB) in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, has chosen Tecan’s liquid handling workstations to automate the process flow of serological sample analysis.
Laboratory services company synlab offers analysis of human, animal and environmental samples and, at its Augsburg site in Germany, it has chosen two Freedom EVO® Clinical workstations in combination with the BEP® III system from Siemens to process an enormous throughput of EIAs to diagnose infectious diseases.
The diagnostics laboratory at the Catholic Medical Center (CMC) in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, has chosen the Genesis FE500™ platform to automate sample handling, successfully turning its ‘stat lab’ into a full service laboratory and processing three times the previous volume in the same laboratory space.
Scientists at the Staatliches Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (National Veterinary Laboratory) Arnsberg in Germany, responsible for veterinary diagnoses, have chosen Tecan’s Freedom EVO® workstation for the rapid detection of viruses which cause potentially devastating diseases.
The Freedom EVOlyzer, Tecan’s new generation of automated ELISA systems, has proved to be increasingly popular with laboratories throughout Spain since being introduced to the country in July 2006 by Inverness Medical Iberica (IMI), one of Tecan’s principle diagnostic distributors for the area.
The Blood Donor Center in Halle, Germany, is using the Freedom EVO® Clinical 150 with integrated Te-PoolSafe™ module for safe and reliable automated pooling of blood for subsequent PCR-based testing, ensuring that blood products are free of infection.
The Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA) in Uppsala, Sweden, depends on a Tecan Freedom EVOlyzer® for automating ELISAs during routine diagnostic screening of animal diseases such as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).
Tecan’s Freedom EVO® Clinical 75 performs fully automated RNA and DNA extraction from up to 24 samples in 3 hours, using magnetic microparticle processing. The Laboratory LABCONOWL in Bad Salzuflen, Germany evaluated the instrument’s performance in combination with the Abbott RealTime™ HIV-1 and HCV assays, and compared it to the previously validated Abbott m2000™ processing system.
The German Red Cross Institute in Frankfurt is responsible for screening thousands of donated blood samples every day for blood banks in Germany and further afield. Scientists at the Institute have developed high throughput PCR-based testing methods to screen for a number of viruses, and samples are pooled prior to screening using three Tecan liquid handling workstations.