Automation vs. ELISA
The technological developments and scientific innovations in the field of clinical chemistry from the early 1950’s to date have been vast, enhancing laboratory capabilities and providing the necessary support to clinicians and laboratories to improve patient diagnosis and treatment. (1) Laboratory automation today is a complex integration of robotics, computers, liquid handling and numerous other technologies with a fundamental purpose of saving time and improving performance through the elimination of human error.
Complementing this, in the early 1950’s ready-to-use assay reagent kits, with instructions for use introduced a very significant innovation to the field of automation eliminating the process of manually preparing reagent. (2)
Despite the many advancements in automation many clinical laboratories continue to use manual methods such as ELISA for some specialised tests. (3)
Inefficiencies with ELISA based methods
Manual ELISA based techniques are notoriously inefficient and are particularly draining on time and personnel due to the manual intervention required. The manual nature of the method also means there is greater potential for human error ultimately resulting in lack of sensitivity and potential for cross-reactivity. (4,5)
For many laboratories, the transition from traditional ELISA techniques to an automated method for the detection of the same analyte will significantly improve both costs and time.
Renowned for quality and reliability the RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers ensures confidence in patient testing.
Expanding Capabilities and Performance
With patient care holding a primary focus on clinical chemistry testing, the RX series range of semi-automated and automated analysers offer versatility to suit all laboratory requirements. Expanding your laboratory’s capabilities with our world leading extensive dedicated test menu offers cost savings through consolidation of both routine and specialised tests. By transitioning analytes historically only available as an ELISA based test, laboratories can expand their offering with ease to both patients and clinicians.
Our open system approach to clinical testing offers unique opportunities for consolidation, most of our unique and high-performance assays may be run on any clinical chemistry instrument without the need for specialised equipment.
Outperforming ELISA methodology, the RX series delivers a testing platform that requires limited or no manual preparation. With ELISA, the test is run on a 96 well plate using only a single assay with recommendations to duplicate or triplicate samples to evacuate the extent of errors, therefore increasing time and costs. The RX series of analysers each have different levels of throughput to adapt to the requirements of all laboratories. Utilising robust hardware and intuitive software the RX series guarantees accurate and precise patient testing.
- Olsen K. The first 110 years of laboratory automation: technologies, applications, and the creative scientist. J Lab Autom. 2012; 17:469-80.
- Rosenfeld L. A golden age of clinical chemistry: 1948-1960. Clin Chem. 2000; 46:1705.14.
- Kricja LJ, Savory J. International year of chemistry 2011. A guide to the history of clinical chemistry. Clin Chem. 2011; 57:1118-26.
- Wild D, Sheehan C, Binder S. Introduction to immunoassay product technology in clinical diagnostic testing. In: Wild D, editor. Immunoassay Handbook: Theory and Applications of Ligand Binding, ELISA and Related Techniques. 4th Oxford, UK: Elsevier; 2013.
- Hawker CDED. Laboratory automation: total and subtotal. Clin Lab Med. 2007; 27:749-70.
World-leading medical diagnostics manufacturer Randox Laboratories is this week showcasing advancements in biotechnology at the world’s largest diagnostics conference, being held in Chicago, Illinois.
The American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, known as the leading event for laboratory medicine worldwide, offers Randox the opportunity to showcase their capabilities to more than 20,000 healthcare professionals and decision makers from around the globe.
“Our pioneering diagnostic technologies are leading the way in innovation and have real potential to transform healthcare around the world,” said Randox Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald.
“At AACC we will be hosting demonstrations of a wide range of our intuitive multiplex analysers, including the revolutionary Randox Evidence Evolution, the world’s first fully automated random-access testing platform, capable of delivering 2640 results in one hour, with the first delivered in just 37 minutes.”
The unique and unrivalled capabilities of the Randox Evidence Evolution are made possible thanks to Randox’s patented Biochip Array Technology, which can currently run 49 different tests simultaneously – ensuring an accurate and reliable diagnosis as fast as possible.
Launching at this year’s AACC event are a number of exciting new tests on the Randox Biochip, the result of a £280 million investment in research and development. Including but not exclusive to a diagnostic test for the differentiation of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes, an algorithm capable of generating a patient’s Type 1 Diabetes Genetic Risk Score, and a test to diagnose Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in the participants of pharmaceutical drug trials, these new tests all share the common goal of much earlier and effective diagnosis, to greatly improve healthcare outcomes and reduce the burden on healthcare services.
Dr. FitzGerald continued;
“We remain committed to developing new health diagnostic technologies for a range of the world’s most pressing health issues in need of the most urgent address, and to expanding the business in our key markets, such as the US.
“Our very significant investment in research and development means that we have more new tests in development than any other healthcare company in the world and are able each year to bring a wealth of exciting new technologies to the American market.
“We look forward to showcasing our latest innovations at this year’s AACC conference, and how they can be utilised to save, improve and extend lives through the earliest possible diagnosis. Randox technology can truly revolutionise the future of healthcare.”
AACC runs from the 29th July – 2nd August at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. Randox can be found at booth #3624.
For further information visit aacc.randox.com
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
If you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly  which can lead to serious health complications.
The RX series range of analysers have one of the largest test menus available on the market which includes an extensive diabetes testing panel. Tests within the RX series diabetes panel allow for Diagnosis, Monitoring and Risk Assessment of Diabetes.
An adiponectin test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of adiponectin concentration in human serum or plasma.
Adiponectin is a protein hormone, produced and secreted by fat cells (adipocytes), which is normally found in reasonably high concentrations within the blood. Adiponectin regulates the metabolism of lipids and glucose and influences the body’s response to insulin and inflammation.
Adiponectin levels are inversely correlated with abdominal visceral fat (AVF) levels, which have proven to be a strong predictor of several pathologies including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cancers and cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is widely recognised that people who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing T2DM, however measure waist circumference and Body Mass Index (BMI) are not enough. As such adiponectin levels are a much more reliable indicator of at-risk patients.
A number of key publications have advocated the testing of adiponectin in clinical settings and concluded that higher adiponectin levels are associated with a lower risk of T2DM across diverse populations.
A fructosamine test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of glycated protein (fructosamine) concentration in human serum or plasma.
Fructosamine is a mid-term indicator of diabetic control as it can provide information on a person’s averge blood glucose levels over the preceding 14-21 days.
Due to the shorter time span of fructosamine, it is often used to evaluate the effectiveness of medication changes and to monitor the treatment of gestational diabetes.
A Haemoglobin A1c test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of Haemoglobin A1c concentration in whole blood.
In a diabetic patient, where blood glucose levels are abnormally elevated, the level of HbA1c also increases proportionally to the level of glucose in the blood and has been widely accepted as an indicator of the mean daily blood glucose concentration over the preceding 6-8 weeks. It is therefore, a long term indicator of diabetic control.
Read our poster on Randox’s development of a new latex enhanced immunoturbidimetric assay for the rapid direct measurement of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) applicable to RX series analysers by clicking here.
Diagnosing diabetes with the RX series
The RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers have many benefits when testing patients for diabetes. With analysers ranging from the RX misano semi-automated analyser to the RX modena which can perform up to 1200 tests per hour the RX series analysers offer a suitable platform for your laboratory, ensuring results are received in a time efficient manner. Windows based software and easily recognisable icons ensure that the RX series analysers are easy to use and allows for an enhanced laboratory productivity. Laboratory cost savings can also be achieved with a low water consumption available on each RX series analyser.
Other RX series analyser features include:
Diabetes Test Menu:
Consolidate your testing with a comprehensive diabetes testing panel available on the RX series analysers. A large number of tests can be carried out on one platform, including direct HbA1c testing, providing consolidation opportunities and real cost savings.
High quality results are achieved first time, every time. This saves operator time and avoids unnecessary additional costs of repeat testing and reduces the possibility of patient misdiagnosis.
Built in inventory management system automatically calculates remaining reagent volume and the number of tests available. Superior performance means minimal downtime and swift reporting of results.
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) is a week dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation for the clinical laboratory profession. During this week, we are taking the opportunity to celebrate the hard work of our Research and Development team. Allow us to provide you an insight into the life changing work of our scientists in the laboratories.
At Randox, our scientists work tirelessly to develop revolutionary diagnostic tests that are used in hospital and research laboratories across the globe.
We spoke to one of our biochemistry R&D Scientists to gain an insight into what working in a clinical chemistry laboratory entails. Emmett Donnelly, Clinical Chemistry R&D Scientist, is involved in the development of new reagents and the improvement of existing reagents. Emmett commented, “[My] role also involves the transfer and testing of existing chemistries onto new analyser platforms. Troubleshooting and resolving customer queries also forms part of a clinical analyst’s role”. Emmett’s work is vital to ensure that patient tests are performing correctly, and to develop ground-breaking new technologies leading to better patient outcomes. To find out more about the work Emmett does, watch this video below.
Our scientists are committed to research and development and thrive knowing that their novel research is putting them at the forefront of clinical diagnostics.
In fact, prior to beginning work at Randox, Scott Paulin, Clinical Chemistry R&D team, took part in a three month expedition to Antarctica to intensely study human response-based research in athletes. A number of papers have been published in peer reviewed journals as a result of Scott’s research, as the findings have provided a useful insight into the physiological stress and responses associated with an Antarctic ultra-endurance race and nutritional counterstrategies to help maintain immune responses, function body weight and reduce stress markers. Read the full article here.
At Randox, our scientists are of the highest calibre, with vast experience and expertise which ensures we are producing the highest quality range of clinical diagnostic tests.
Excitingly as a result, American astronauts have enlisted our help to test their antioxidant levels before they go to space! This is essential as it ensures astronauts can survive long periods of time away from earth. To find out more about how important our Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) test is for astronauts, read our blog post here.
The invaluable work our scientists undertake in the laboratory is vital to ensure healthcare is advanced globally. Thanks to those in our Research and Development team, we are proud to be able to offer the widest range of clinical chemistry reagents and unique tests for medical diagnosis. Due to our scientist’s dedication to research, a continual focus is placed on developing tests that assess the risk of diseases, rather than diagnosing the illness after it has occurred. As a result, Randox are helping to change healthcare, as patients are provided the ability to take preventative action early. In the words of our R&D scientist Emmett Donnelly, “for me, my work supports the old saying prevention is better than cure”.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about our fantastic team of R&D Scientists! If you would like to find out more about the work of Randox Reagents, please get in contact by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to view our homepage.
In celebration of British Science Week 2017, we will be giving you an introduction to diagnostics, and exploring how Randox Scientists are helping to change healthcare.
You may or may not already know that Randox are one of the leading diagnostics companies globally. But what exactly does clinical diagnostics involve? It is one of the fundamental steps of finding out what is wrong with a person when they are ill. Read on to find out a bit more about diagnostics, and how the Randox Reagents R&D Scientists are helping to change healthcare globally!
What is a diagnostic test?
A diagnostic test is any kind of analysis performed on a patient sample (a sample is typically blood, urine or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)), to aid in the diagnosis or detection of disease. The information found from a test can be used to:
- Diagnose disease
- Assess the extent of damage
- Monitor the effectiveness of treatment
- Confirm a person to be free from disease
Examples of substances that may be tested for the blood include proteins, nutrients, waste products, antibodies, hormones, salts, trace elements or vitamins. These are sometimes referred to as ‘analytes’, ‘markers’ or ‘biomarkers’.
This is where reagents come in…
A reagent is a substance which is mixed with the patient sample to create a chemical reaction to detect the biomarker. These reactions are analysed by machines known as analysers.
Using data gathered from both clinical symptoms and laboratory tests, the doctor will follow a sometimes painstaking process of analysis and elimination to perform a successful diagnosis!
This year, we’re inviting you to visit Randox as we attend JIB, Paris 2016!
Talk to an expert from one of our many Randox Laboratories teams, as they visit the heart of France for JIB, such as Randox Quality Control, The RX series range of Clinical Chemistry Analysers, Randox Reagents, and specialists of Randox’s famous Biochip Array Technology. All of these teams will be available between the 22nd and 24th of June 2016 in the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles (Paris, France) at stand C022.
Don’t miss the team! Join the conversation on the future of diagnostics and medical technology, visit Randox!
We’re sure you’ve heard of “Speed Dating”, but what about “Speed Networking”? Randox’s R&D Scientist, Dr. Dwaine Vance tried it out to spread the word about Randox Careers in STEM!
Dr Dwaine Vance visited Omagh High School to represent Randox Careers. He sat down with us, and we discussed the importance of the event. Dr. Vance told us:
On Wednesday the 15th June I represented Randox Careers at a ‘speed networking’ event at Omagh High School. This involved groups of students moving from one employer stand to the next for a 5 minute ‘mini network’. There was two sessions during the morning involving GCSE level pupils. The aim of the ‘speed networking’ event was to provide pupils with opportunities to meet local Northern Irish companies within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors, of which Randox Laboratories play a pivotal role.
We, at Randox, want to inspire students to think about their own career plans and to allow them to gather information about the local job market. By doing this, we’re also giving them the opportunity to be aware of the jobs that are available and the importance of STEM related subjects, as well as letting them see how employers value their other curriculum subjects and their personal skills and attributes. My objective as a employee of Randox was to showcase a range of careers for all abilities within the company with a focus on STEM careers e.g. science and engineering.
The importance of spreading awareness of the opportunities in science and engineering from a young age is imperative, as many students are unaware of the vast range of differentiation in different careerpaths, stemming from one subject or degree class. Dr. Dwaine Vance went on to discuss the events of the networking conference:
As part of each ‘mini network’ I provided students with a brief overview of Randox. Students were given the opportunity to watch videos depicting our expertise and to ask questions about how their interests could be incorporated within Randox. The training department at Randox provided me with pop-up stands, recruitment pathway brochures, merchandise e.g. pens, stopwatches, mug coasters and even Biochip Array Technology key rings!
Overall the students gained a good knowledge of Randox, they were particularly keen to learn about the local and global opportunities available at Randox. In addition, students were keen to know more about the veterinary aspect of Randox. It was comforting to discover that the majority of pupils had previous knowledge of the Randox brand from the press (as we have recently experienced a great boost in brand visibility through Grand national sponsorship), Randox health (television adverts) and Confidante (local radio stations).
The pupils at Omagh High School were keen to ask me about my role within the company and what my day to day roles and responsibilities are. I was happy to provide students with my research and development activities and they were interested to hear that I was involved in the development of a genetic test that aims to predict your future risk of heart disease by investigating your own DNA.
At Randox I am part of a small team of experienced research scientists that are developing a genetic risk prediction test for heart disease and myocardial infarction. This test aims to simultaneously genotype 20 genetics variants that have been previously associated with increased risk of heart disease. This Randox molecular test is in collaboration with leading University academics and will help reduce the burden of heart disease throughout the world by providing an accurate risk assessment of disease so personalised treatment can be provided to those who require it most. To quote Randox Health, “Prevention is better than cure”.
From everyone at the Randox Careers team and from Dr. Dwaine Vance, we’d like to thank Omagh High School for inviting us to attend this incredibly beneficial Speed Networking event, where we feel we have truly impacted the young minds of tomorrow. We look forward to the future of diagnostics, with you!
Hearing loss is often associated with old age, tinnitus or balance disorders. However, studies show that anyone can be affected by hearing loss, at any age if exposed to a chemical present in many common household products.
Chances are, you take your senses for granted. Associated generally with deterioration in old age, we never assume we will go deaf or blind in our younger years. Nevertheless, approximately 3 million children in the USA suffer from hearing loss and this number is on the rise. (CHC, 2016)
In 2006, a study was released detailing the mysterious premature hearing loss of a collection of employees in a manufacturing site in Taiwan, specialising in adhesive materials. Chang, Chen, Lien, and Sung narrowed the phenomenon that was the loss of the worker’s auditory sense down to the responsibility of one chemical: Toluene.
Chemical-induced hearing loss, also known as “ototoxicity”, can affect anyone of any age and today, there are over 200 known ototoxic medications on the market known to cause damage to the inner ear containing chemicals largely known to induce ototoxicity such as Syrene and Xylene.
However, sold in many high-street shops, you’ll find the biggest player in the cause of ototoxicity: Toluene. Toluene is a major component of paints, varnishes, petroleum, printing inks, degreasers, adhesives, cigarette smoke, glues, thinners, and plastics. Exposure to Toluene, such as inhalation, ingestion or skin contact, is known to cause not only hearing loss, but commonly can be a factor in causing Tinnitus, Dermatitis, and vision impairment. In general, the component can wreak havoc for the central nervous system and prolonged exposure to high concentrations of the colourless liquid may result in loss of consciousness, and may even be fatal.
Wanisiusiow, whose findings were conducted using the RX series’ RX daytona and a Randox creatinine kit stated, “Toluene is undoubtedly one of the most widely used organic solvents in industry.” But how does Toluene do it? Wanisusiow goes on to state, “As far as we know, there are two major mechanisms which might explain toluene-induced hearing loss. Firstly, a poisoning of Deiters and Hensen’s cells, which are both important to maintain the K+ homeostasis in the vicinity of outer hair cells. Secondly, an oxidative cell injury, such as lipid peroxidation.”
An interesting point uncovered in this study is that suffering the severe side-effect of Toluene seems to be species-specific. The original experiment, carried out on rats, displayed expected symptoms of ototoxicity. However, guinea pigs reacted differently. The study speculates: The half-life of toluene is longer in the rat than in the guinea pig. This might be one way to explain the difference in cochlear sensitivity to toluene between rats and guinea pigs but likely not the only one.
So, what is it in the genetic makeup of guinea pigs, that rats do not possess, that could fight the negative effects of Toluene? Could learning what causes guinea pigs immunity be beneficial to our research into hearing loss?
What does the future of Medical Technology and Healthcare look like? How big of an impact does technology have on health?
Let’s start with a few fun facts: more people on this planet own a smart phone than a toothbrush, Google handles an estimated 1 billion search queries every day, every minute 20.8 million+ WhatsApp messages are sent, and you can probably check if all of those facts are correct in about 0.70 seconds.
If one thing is clear, it’s this: technology has made the world a different place. We live in a digital world where we rely on technology to make friends, to keep friends, to track progress, to prompt us, to wake us up, to motivate us and, most importantly, to keep us healthy.
When considering the future of technology, we may picture crisp-white rooms, voice-activated coffee machines and holograms… at one time it was a common idea that the future would hold flying cars! There is, however, one thing we can all agree on. In the “future”, however advanced technology may be and however far we may have come: whatever technology is created will be created to aid human life, as tech-innovation has always been. Inventors have striven to simplify and solve life’s little problems for centuries. Holistically speaking, most products and services with vigorous research and development programs are devoted to searching for new ways to fulfill human lives. We, at the RX series team, are based within a marriage of sectors that are more human-focused and yet forward facing in terms of development of new and exciting ideas than any others; health, medicine and technology.
“We take our commitment to research and development very seriously” comments Peter FitzGerald, founder of Randox and the RX series on the company’s R&D department, “Randox is at the forefront of life-changing research and development in the diagnostics industry.” Jason Silva, an American public speaker pondered, “In symbiosis with our technology, our powers are expanding exponentially and so, too, our possibilities” and just as Silva stated, advanced technology can greaten human abilities and opportunities vastly when dedication to healthcare is combined with advanced knowledge in technology and innovation. Diagnostics and medical technology are at the forefront of life changing innovation. RX series scientist, David Brown, pondered advances in Medical Technology, “There is constant progress being made in the range of diagnostic tests across every aspect of healthcare. Medical technology needs to meet the demand of these tests along with the expectation of patients for fast results. “
Today, only the smartest minds are dedicated to tackling the many issues within the industry. Many sectors play a part in innovation in healthcare; reagents production broadening test menus and researching new assays for a wide variety of human conditions, quality control bringing confidence in laboratory results for organisations and patients, health services giving complete diagnostic reports for preventative health, medical devices pushing the boundaries for automation, software design, reliability and precision, bio-sciences, toxicology, food testing, and so forth. Randox have played a large role in innovating all of these sectors. We do this, because we are confident that complete consolidation is the future of healthcare. The RX series team run on the belief that our machines function as the high-tech heartbeat of the laboratory and and our quality control and reagents function as the lifeblood, working in harmony to deliver effective results, and advancing in synch with each other.
When the RX series sees the future, we see test menus expanded to cover all ranges of analytes for earlier diagnosis, we see high class automation and longer walkaway times to make laboratories more efficient in time and money, and finally, we see those who rely on our medical technology for accurate results living happy, healthy lives, having trust in doctors and medical professionals worldwide.
Year upon year, WHO (World Health Organisation) have set a date to raise awareness of various health issues from Food Safety, to Hypertension to Vector-Borne diseases. This year, WHO are setting their goals in raising awareness on Diabetes; those with family and friends affected and those diagnosed. The RX series take a closer look at a type of Diabetes we don’t often talk about to raise awareness for the #BeatDiabetes campaign by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Diabetes is a life-long condition, featuring in the top 10 causes of death globally, responsible for approximately 1,497,371 deaths worldwide and 6,088 in the UK alone yearly. As a major non-communicable disease, diabetes claims on average around 8% of total health budgets in developed countries.
As many know, diabetes can come in 2 common forms: Types I Diabetes; where the pancreas does not produce insulin and Type II Diabetes; where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin/the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Not very often, however, do we hear the term Gestational Diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects pregnant women, usually in their third trimester. The good news is, the condition usually disappears soon after the baby is born, but what are the risks, how serious is it really and what are the chances you may find yourself dealing with the condition?
Pregnancy puts extra demands on the body, as it demands higher level of nutrition, and energy. Gestational Diabetes (GDM) occurs when the body can’t produce enough extra insulin to meet these demands.
The condition is surprisingly common, with 15% of all pregnancies resulting in the mother suffering from GDM. Whilst it only occurs in pregnancy; it is estimated that over 50% of women who have had gestational diabetes will go on to develop type II diabetes within 5-10 years of delivery which is a startling statistic.
A study carried out at JSS Medical College aimed to investigate the biochemical parameters that could be used to diagnose GDM. Levels of serum creatinine, uric acid and the albumin were studied in GDM patients and unaffected pregnant women to consider any correlation between these biochemical markers and certain clinical parameters. The RX daytona, a clinical chemistry analyser from Randox’s RX series range was used to analyse the samples. The conclusion was that biochemical parameters such as serum creatinine, uric acid and albumin, can help in predicting the early onset and progression of GDM.
The study also stated that early diagnosis was paramount as it could help in the proper treatment of gestational diabetes and its associated complications for mother and baby, thus helping to improve the quality of life of the GDM patients and their offspring.
There are measures women can take before and during pregnancy to prevent the likelihood of Gestational Diabetes occurring. One study shows that increasing fibre intake to 10g per day reduces the risk by 26%. Also, women who exercise before pregnancy have a lower risk of gestational diabetes, the more intense the exercise, the lower the risk. However, this doesn’t have to mean extremely strenuous exercise, anything as simple as walking at a brisk pace, rather than at a leisurely pace will reduce your risks.
This year on World Health Day, we urge you to share your stories and give support for those affected by diabetes and use the hashtag #BeatDiabetes to get involved with the conversation.
Randox offers high quality tests for the diagnosis of diabetes and the monitoring of its complications.
To find out more about the RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers and how we tackle Diabetes with accurate and early diagnosis, take a look at our brochures below.
Questions? Speak to the RX team: theRXseries@Randox.com