Multiple analytes on one instrument
Multiple sample types
All-in-one test cartridge
Automatic self-check system
No additional calibration necessary
Throughput: 480 tests/hour 580 tests/hour with ISE
Test items on board: 36 items + ISE 3 items
Reaction volume: 120– 300 micro-liter
Patient samples on board: 72 patient samples, 30 STAT samples
Reaction volume: 140– 300 micro-liter
Test items on board: 24 items + ISE 3 items / 36 items + ISE 3 items
Patient samples on board: 30 patient samples
Throughput: 270 tests/hour 450 tests/hour with ISE
R1: 140 ～ 300μl (1μl step）
R2: 20 ～ 260μl (1μl step）
News and Announcements
An enzyme called ITK plays a critical role in the development of Type 1 regulatory (Tr1) cells during an immune response. Researchers could potentially block development of these cells to treat viral and bacterial infections. In experiments with mice, Avery August—professor of microbiology and immunology in Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine—and colleagues found that Tr1 cells increase when a mouse is infected with viruses or bacteria or when fighting tumors. By tempering the development of Tr1 cells, and carefully reducing their activity to suppress the immune response, patients may recover faster from certain diseases.
“This is a balance because these cells are there for a purpose, and we think their purpose is to make sure the immune system doesn’t destroy and cause pathology in an immune response,” August said. The danger with flu, for example, is that at a certain point other types of immune system T cells, whose purpose is to kill infected cells, start to destroy tissue. In such cases, an overactive immune response can lead to death. “We’d have to do experiments to find out whether we can tune the function of Tr1 cells,” August noted, “so we balance the beneficial aspects of the immune response with the damaging aspects of the immune response.”
The team bred genetically altered mice so they carried a gene that makes Tr1 cells glow green when they develop, which allows for easy tracking. They then bred another type of mouse that had fluorescent Tr1 cells and also allowed the researchers to specifically block the enzymatic activity of ITK. Using the same protocol, they created a third type of mouse that lacked ITK. In both the mice where ITK was inhibited and the mice that lacked ITK, Tr1 cells failed to develop. Using blood cells from anonymous human volunteers, they got the same results. In a second experiment, the researchers identified a second critical enzyme in the pathway that leads to the development of Tr1 cells. This other enzyme, called IRF4, is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of a number of genes and proved key for controlling whether Tr1 cells developed. The researchers also confirmed that the same pathway exists in people.Related Link: American Laboratory
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena physicists generated extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) in their own laboratory to perform the first XUV coherence tomography at laboratory scale. According to the scientists, large-scale particle accelerators are typically required to generate XUV radiation, making the method highly complex and costly, and available to only a few researchers.
While the researchers demonstrated this method at large research facilities, their new work shows that it is possible to apply it at a smaller scale. To do this, they focused an ultrashort, very intense infrared laser in a noble gas. “The electrons in the gas are accelerated by means of an ionisation process,” explained Silvio Fuchs of the Institute of Optics and Quantum Electronics. “They then emit the XUV radiation.” The method is very inefficient, as only a millionth part of the laser radiation is actually transformed from infrared into the extreme ultraviolet range, but this loss can be offset by the use of very powerful laser sources. “It”s a simple calculation: the more we put in, the more we get out,” added Fuchs.
The advantage of XUV coherence tomography is that, in addition to very high resolution, the radiation interacts strongly with the sample, because different substances react differently to light. Some absorb more light, and others less. This produces strong contrasts in the images, which provide the researchers with important information, that is, regarding the material composition of the object being examined. “For example, we have created three-dimensional images of silicon chips, in a nondestructive way, on which we can distinguish the substrate clearly from structures consisting of other materials,” Fuchs said. “If this procedure were applied in biology—for investigating cells, for example, which is one of our aims—it would not be necessary to color samples, as is normal practice in other high-resolution microscopy methods. Elements such as carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen would themselves provide the contrast.” Fuchs says that with new, more powerful lasers, it should be possible in the future to achieve a depth resolution of as little as three nanometers.Read More Here
Expansion microscopy (ExM), is a method for improving the resolution of light microscopy by physically expanding a specimen, but has not been applied to clinical tissue samples. In this ExM method a tissue sample is expanded to 100 times its original volume before imaging it. This expansion allows scientists to see features with a conventional light microscope that ordinarily could be seen only with an expensive, high-resolution electron microscope. It also reveals additional molecular information that the electron microscope cannot provide.
Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA, USA) and their colleagues developed a clinically optimized form of ExM that supports nanoscale imaging of human tissue specimens that have been fixed with formalin, embedded in paraffin, stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and/or fresh frozen. The method, which they call expansion pathology (ExPath), converts clinical samples into an ExM-compatible state, then applies an ExM protocol with protein anchoring and mechanical homogenization steps optimized for clinical samples.
The team tested this approach on tissue samples from patients with early-stage breast lesions. One way to predict whether these lesions will become malignant is to evaluate the appearance of the cells’ nuclei. Benign lesions with atypical nuclei have about a fivefold higher probability of progressing to cancer than those with typical nuclei. However, studies have revealed significant discrepancies between the assessments of nuclear atypia performed by different pathologists, which can potentially lead to an inaccurate diagnosis and unnecessary surgery. ExPath enables ~70-nm-resolution imaging of diverse biomolecules in intact tissues using conventional diffraction-limited microscopes and standard antibody and fluorescent DNA in situ hybridization reagents.
After expanding the tissue samples, the scientists analyzed them with a machine learning algorithm that can rate the nuclei based on dozens of features, including orientation, diameter, and how much they deviate from true circularity. This algorithm was able to distinguish between lesions that were likely to become invasive and those that were not, with an accuracy of 93% on expanded samples compared to only 71% on the pre-expanded tissue. They also analyzed kidney tissue samples from patients with nephrotic syndrome and when they showed the images of the expanded tissue samples to a group of scientists that included pathologists and non-pathologists, the group was able to identify the diseased tissue with 90% accuracy overall, compared to only 65% accuracy with unexpanded tissue samples.
Edward S. Boyden, PhD, a professor of Biological Engineering and co-senior author of the study, said, “Now you can diagnose nephrotic kidney disease without needing an electron microscope, a very expensive machine. You can do it with a few chemicals and a light microscope. If you can expand a tissue by one-hundredfold in volume, all other things being equal, you’re getting 100 times the information.” The study was published on July 17, 2017, in the journal Nature Biotechnology.Read More Here
Thyroid nodules are a common clinical concern and increasing use of diagnostic imaging likely explains a large part of the increased incidence of thyroid nodules and the subsequent diagnosis of thyroid cancer that has been observed during the last three decades. Prior to molecular assays, most patients with indeterminate cytology were referred for a diagnostic lobectomy or total thyroidectomy, based on other risk factors for cancer or the presence of contralateral nodularity, immediately or after another biopsy demonstrating persistently indeterminate cytology results. However, most of the nodules that fall into an indeterminate category are benign on resection.
Pathologists at the Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC, USA) performed a retrospective analysis of cytology and all in-house thyroid fine needle aspirations (FNAs) sent for molecular testing from September 2013 to March 2015. Each FNA was performed by palpation or with ultrasound guidance by board-certified radiologists, endocrinologists, surgeons, and cytopathologists. Immediate assessments for adequacy were performed with each biopsy.
The study cohort comprised 115 thyroid nodules from 110 patients, including 86 females (78%) and 24 males (22%). The ages of the patients ranged from 16 to 87 years, with a mean age of 56.5 years at the time of FNA. The scientists’ objective was to report their experience at a tertiary thyroid referral center with the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier in repeat fine-needle aspirations of thyroid nodules with a previous indeterminate cytological result. The surgical pathology results were correlated with the FNA and Afirma GEC findings by matching the biopsied nodule to the surgically resected nodule, which served as the gold standard.
The fine-needle aspiration diagnostic categories for the115 nodules were 100 (87%) Bethesda III, 10 (9%) Bethesda IV, 3 (2%) Bethesda II, 1 (1%) Bethesda V, and 1 (1%) Bethesda I. Afirma results for 52 (45%) of the nodules were benign, 57 (50%) were suspicious and 6 (5%) specimens yielded no result because of low messenger RNA content. Three of the benign nodules (6%) were treated surgically, and all were benign on final surgical pathology. Forty-six (81%) of the suspicious nodules were treated surgically; final surgical pathology revealed 30 (65%) were benign and 16 (35%) malignant, yielding a positive predictive value of 35%. The authors concluded that 50% of the indeterminate nodules were classified as suspicious by Afirma, with a 35% rate of malignancy in these nodules at surgical resection, in comparison with a historical rate of malignancy at their institution of 11% for Bethesda III nodules and 23% for Bethesda IV. Their experience at a tertiary referral center was that when reserved for use in repeat-indeterminate nodules, the test has similar performance to that published at initial biopsy, thus avoiding the need to collect large numbers of additional passes for Afirma GEC testing at first biopsy, while also keeping the benefit of potentially reducing the number of operations performed for benign nodules. The study was published in the July 2017 issue of the journal Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
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