Virginia Tech

 

Xmatrx Infinity Enables Automated FISH for Physical Mapping of Chromosomes

About Dr. Sharakhov

Igor Sharakhov Ph.D., is an Associate Professor with the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech focusing on comparative genomics and molecular genetics of malaria mosquitoes. Dr. Sharakhov’s primary research interest is in understanding the role of chromosomal inversions and heterochromatin modifications in mosquito genomes and how they pertain to the mosquito’s capability to adapt to diverse environments and change their ability to transmit malaria parasites.

Why Xmatrx

In the fall of 2011 Dr. Sharakhov’s laboratory installed an Xmatrx Infinity system to physically map chromosomes of various invertebrate species using automated fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Since the project was large-scale, any manual staining was considered impractical and inefficient. “We had lots of physical markings of chromosomes to do,” said Dr. Sharakhov whose project is now published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE): George, P., Sharakhova, M. V., Sharakhov, I. V. High-throughput Physical Mapping of Chromosomes using Automated in situ Hybridization. J. Vis. Exp. (64), e4007, doi:10.3791/4007 (2012). 

The Xmatrx Delivers

The Xmatrx performed exactly as it was intended to when purchased. Dr. Sharakhov noted: “The system produced consistent results and is reliable, especially with large mapping projects.” By using Xmatrx in a high- throughput manner for FISH, Dr. Sharakhov and his lab was able to allocate time to other tasks around the lab instead of solely dedicating talent to manual staining.

On The Horizon

In the next coming months, Dr. Sharakhov is expecting a grant to fund another round of chromosomal physical mapping. This time, the experiment will involve three species of malaria ridden mosquito. Also, due to Xmatrx’s ease of use, high-throughput capabilities and proven success, Dr. Sharakhov noted that there were several colleagues who were inquiring with him about collaborations involving high-throughput screening of samples or other projects related to the physical mapping of chromosomes.

 

Almazov Federal Heart, Blood and Endocrinology Centre

Xmatrx Infinity Doubles Productivity, Enables Eco-Friendly Operations and Offers Flexibility in Research

St. Petersburg, Russia

 

A need for improvement

Background

The Almazov Federal Heart, Blood and Endocrinology Center (Almazov), founded in 1980, is a leading medical institution in Russia. It consists of six research institutions: Institute of Heart and Vessels, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Institute of Endocrinology, Institute of Hematology, Institute of Perinatology and Pediatric. These institutions unite a total of 47 research divisions, laboratories, sectors and groups employing 494 scientific staff, 2000 clinical staff, 59 MDs and 129 PhDs.

Challenge

Due to manual staining processes, the center was handling approximately 5000 slides per year.  However, the necessity of IHC staining for the diagnosis of various diseases increases every day.  Professor Lubov Mitrofanova from the Department of Pathomorphology at Almazov explained: “Although we were always happy with the level of IHC staining, the requested amount of IHC for diagnostics is increasing. Also, our technicians were exposed to harmful carcinogenic chemicals like Xylene creating an occupational hazard. Conducting IHC was becoming challenging every day". (Photo: Olga Beshchuk from Almazov)

 

Xmatrx Infinity delivers results

Solution

After a visit and consultation, BioGenex support staff quickly saw how an automated system with built-in standardized protocols and open software capable of automating any manual protocol would significantly reduce staining time while ensuring the quality. Prof. Mitrofanova stated: “The center was in search of an instrument which could perform excellent quality staining in less time. We wanted the results to be crisp, intense and reproducible, and at the same time the process should be eco-friendly to avoid occupational hazard and contamination to the environment.” In response, BioGenex installed the Xmatrx Infinity. Designed for the life sciences research and drug discovery and development, the system adapts and completely automates the manual steps. The addition of Xmatrx Infinity maintained the high quality of IHC staining and reduced total IHC staining time by more than 50%. In addition, the process became eco-friendly to the center’s histology technicians through the use of non-xylene-based products offered by BioGenex.

 

Almazov’s investment pays off

Benefits

Once the Xmatrx Infinity system was installed, processing time was greatly reduced and the center immediately experienced an increase in slide volume per year while maintaining a high quality of staining. “We realized it has much more potential than offered,” said Prof. Lubov Mitrofanova when speaking on the newly installed Xmatrx Infinity system. “We could now perform IHC as well as other applications like ISH with consistent and reproducible results. The technicians were also comfortable to handle the instrument due to its eco-friendly operation. Currently, we process about 10,000 slides a year, including IHC and other assays, which are double of our previous work load”.

She also commented on the simple-to-use feature of the Xmatrx systems: “The students and technicians now simply load the slides, reagents and set desired protocol, and the instrument automatically processes all the defined tasks per the protocol. This has made their research more productive and efficient”. Xmatrx Infinity is designed to be an open software system ideal for life sciences research applications (IHC, ISH, SS, multiplexing and beyond) on a single instrument. The system provides a high degree of flexibility in conducting multiple applications in parallel. “We are utilizing the instrument to its maximum potential by performing multiple assays like ISH and co-detection of multiple antigens on a single tissue, thereby saving precious patient tissue sample for further research,” said a leading pathologist at Almazov.

 

Final Remarks

The addition of the Xmatrx Infinity system has proven advantageous to Almazov by significantly reducing turnaround time and simultaneously preserving quality and consistency. “Xmatrx Infinity is an excellent instrument and can perform multiple assays, is eco-friendly and it has standardized our results. Now, we can get exactly the same results with all our slides,” Prof. Mitrofanova concluded.

 

About Xmatrx Infinity

Xmatrx Infinity is a fully automated molecular pathology workstation designed to accelerate life sciences research and drug discovery and development. The system consist of open software and platform technology that automates any slide-based staining assays (IHC, ISH, CISH, FISH, IF, SS, in situ PCR, miRNA). This truly All-in-One fully automated system (from microtome to microscope) maximizes testing capacity, minimizes hands-on time, and ensures consistent and quality results every time. The system is operated with specially formulated and optimized reagents including primary antibodies, nucleic acid probes, special stains, detection kits and consumables. Xmatrx delivers optimum performance and is cost effective for total automation. This underlies our commitment to providing flexible workflow solutions for molecular pathology laboratories of today, tomorrow and beyond.

 

Jordan University Hospital

Xmatrx Diagnostics: Improving Productivity, Efficiency and Quality

Jordan University Hospital (JUH), formed in 1975 by the merger of Amman Hospital and Jordan University, is the most prestigious medical institute in Jordan. With approximately 500,000 patients cared for each year, JUH provides the best medical facilities and highest turnover of patients from Jordan and its surrounding countries. The hospital also has a strong track record in comprehensive integrated research and a training program with over 2000 articles published in various prestigious journals worldwide.

JUH was struggling with multiple problems. The hospital faced issues of heavy slide load, low productivity, lack of automation and deficiency in servicing and maintenance of its installed instruments. Dr. Hassan Annab, a consultant pathologist at JUH, explained: “We faced a lot of trouble with our previous instruments. Poor servicing and maintenance provided by previous vendors created low productivity issues. Our IHC slide load has increased to over 100 slides per day and is growing at 30% per year. In this situation, we required a high productivity solution in the form of a fully automated system with efficient servicing and application support.” 

Understanding that the hospital was in need of a fully automated staining system, JUH installed an Xmatrx Diagnostics system based on its reliability, complete automation and standardized protocols.

Benefits to the Customer

High Productivity

Xmatrx is a high-throughput system with the capability to process 60 slides in an 8 hour shift. The instrument is fully automated, and it is the only automated system currently available to perform all steps from baking to final glass cover slipping. Since the Xmatrx was installed the involvement of the hospital’s technical staff has become minimal in slide processing. “We do not have productivity issues anymore and our lab can now handle more work load within the same work hours and with fewer workforces. Our slide turnaround time for 40 slides was reduced from 9 hours to 6 hours.

Tremendous Staining Quality Improvement

Beside improved productivity, Xmatrx brought high-quality staining results to JUH. As a group of pathologists pointed out: “The quality of staining has improved tremendously after the installation of Xmatrx. We do not have to order for repeat slide staining anymore. This has improved our productivity and efficiency by a great extent”.

Excellent Service and Application Support

BioGenex has a strong technical team with professionals who are excellent in problem solving and trouble shooting. A satisfied Dr. Annab added: “From the time we have installed Xmatrx, all of our problems have been left behind. BioGenex’s service and application teams respond promptly to our queries and requirements. Instrument breakdowns are minimal and service teams resolve it within 24-48 hours. We now work with a free mind without interruptions.”

Final Remarks

Xmatrx Diagnostics is the ultimate autostainer. It is truly an all-in-one all-at-once system that increases productivity, efficiency and profitability. The JUH management endorsed enthusiastically: “Xmatrx provided us a desired platform with high-throughput to increase our productivity. Everyone, including pathologists, management and lab technicians, is completely satisfied and happy with the instrument performance. It has proven the worth of our investment.”

About Xmatrx Diagnostics

Xmatrx Diagnostics is an integrated system consisting of platform technology that fully automates any slide based assay staining, e.g. IHC, ISH, SS, miRNA and FISH. This truly all-in-one fully automated system (from microtome to microscope) maximizes testing capacity, minimizes hands-on time, and ensures consistent and quality results every time. The system is equipped with specially formulated and optimized reagents, including primary antibodies, nucleic acid probes, special stains, detection kits and consumables, and it delivers optimum performance and is cost effective for total automation. This underlies our commitment to providing flexible workflow solutions for molecular pathology laboratories of today, tomorrow and beyond.

 

Fox Chase Cancer Center

i6000 Infinity:Automated Staining of High-Volume Breast Cancer Tissue

The Breast Cancer Research Laboratory

The Breast Cancer Research Laboratory (BCRL) at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA, directed by Jose Russo, MD, has the mission of understanding the cellular and molecular basis of breast cancer as well as developing translational tools relevant for the treatment and prevention of the disease.

Being a cancer research laboratory, the BCRL is accustomed to immunohistochemistry (IHC) and multiplex IHC to analyze, confirm and learn about the myriad of interactions within a cancer cell. The laboratory has traditionally conducted specialized histological stains manually. However, due to high volume workload, the lab began facing problems and challenges in maintaining stain consistency, workflow and throughput.

 
To to free highly-skilled research associates and technicians for more demanding tasks, the BCRL pursued alternative avenues of histology and decided that automation was its best option. The laboratory team opted to invest in the BioGenex automated i6000 Infinity stainer, a user-friendly system with easy-to-use open software, to handle the dynamic needs and heavy staining volume of the BCRL.
 

The i6000 Pays Off
With a Ph.D. in immunology, Yanrong Su is a research associate scientist at the BCRL with over 15 years of cancer research experience. She has extensive knowledge and practice in immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization of various tissue and cell types. A customer of BioGenex for over three years, Dr. Su has been using the i6000 primarily for IHC and has stained thousands of slides consistently with reliable results. “It is a great instrument not only because it saves time but it also gives reliable and consistent staining results,” said Dr. Su when asked to comment on her experience with the i6000. With the automation offered by the i6000 Infinity stainer, the BCRL was able to allocate resources away from manual staining and increase throughput dramatically. Now she and the rest of her research team are able to focus more on other critical tasks for their projects and less time on staining slides. 

A Simple Swap

"It is a great instrument not only because it saves time, but it also gives reliable and consistent staining results." - Dr. Yanrong Su

When making the transition to an automated staining system, BCRL learned that they did not have to give up many of the reagents the lab has grown to rely on, especially that of BioGenex’s Super Sensitive Polymer-HRP Detection System. “It is really sensitive and the background is very clean,” said Dr. Su. She and the rest of her team at BCRL were delighted to learn that many of the reagents they had used and become accustomed to were easily swapped into the i6000 stainer.

A Take on Customer Service 

"It is a reliable company with excellent people supplying a great instrument." – Dr. Yanrong Su

The service does not end with the sales of the i6000 Infinity stainer or any other of BioGenex’s products and reagents. “The customer service of BioGenex is very good. Whenever I have questions, I can always reach their customer support department by phone and have the problem solved. The field representative is also very responsible for all of my requests, such as the reagents that I need, and helpful in setting up a new program when I want to try a new method [on the i6000],” said Dr. Su.

BioGenex takes customer service seriously and is proud of providing high-quality products and superior after-sales support and customer service. If there is ever an issue with any of the products we supply, BioGenex is committed to remedying the problem in the most prompt, efficient and friendly way possible.

Happy to Help

Today, when using the i6000, Dr. Su and the rest of her team in the BCRL at Fox Chase Center are able to perform high-quality, high-throughput staining on 60 slides in 8 hours! Here at BioGenex, we are happy to hear that customers such as Dr. Su have been benefitting from our products and look forward to serving them in the years to come.

 

Dr Lal Pathlabs

Xmatrx Diagnostics Delivers Complete Walk-Away Automation to Major Molecular Pathology Lab in India

Background

Dr. Lal Pathlabs is the leading laboratory pathology chain in India. Established in 1949, Dr. Lal Pathlabs has a proven track record with over six decades of experience and is accredited by globally acclaimed certifications such as CAP, NABL and ISO 9001:2008. With over 150 labs across the country catered by more than 3000 employees, it serves over 10 million customers every year.

Challenge

With an ever increasing slide load, the semi-automated instruments employed by the lab were simply not enough. In response, management allocated resources and manpower from other parts of the lab to the increasing IHC load. This, however, resulted in a resource crunch that negatively impacted the laboratory as a whole. The lab manager and lead technicians found themselves in a bind: “We desperately needed an instrument which could perform all steps through automation as well as ensure smooth operations of other lab activities with minimal resource allocation,” said Lead Technician Mr. Suresh of Dr. Lal Pathlabs in New Delhi, India.

Solution

After a thorough analysis of the laboratory workflow, BioGenex suggested installation of the Xmatrx Diagnostics System to remedy their problem of improper manpower allocation and low-efficiency laboratory processes. Xmatrx is an efficient and user-friendly instrument, no intermediate human intervention or quality checks are required during the run. At the end of the run, slides are ready to be viewed directly under the microscope. Xmatrx provides high quality, accurate and reproducible results through its globally acclaimed technologies. Mr. B.R. Chaudhary, Head Technician in the Department of Histopathology at Dr. Lal Pathlabs added: “It is easy to operate Xmatrx® Diagnostics: we simply load the slides and reagents, set the protocols and let the instrument perform the rest of the process.” 

With the addition of Xmatrx diagnostics, the histopathologists also saw the benefits of switching over to the Xmatrx automated system. “Since the time we have automated ourselves with Xmatrx Diagnostics, initiating the run has become a very simple process. After completion of the run, stained slides are collected and handed to me for direct viewing,” said Dr. Hema Malini Iyer, the Head of Histopathology Department who has over 20 years of experience. 

Benefits to the Customer

Complete Automation

Xmatrx provides flexibility and convenience of delayed run option. “We simply load the instrument, initiate the staining process and collect stained slides the next morning – it is so convenient for us. The instrument performs all steps automatically overnight without any human intervention,” said the lab staff.

Efficient Resource Allocation

Xmatrx Diagnostics promises simple and easy to use automation from microtome to microscope. The system automates more staining steps than any other system available today while being flexible enough to cater to emerging technologies such as in situ PCR. In addition, Xmatrx Diagnostics comes equipped with standardized processes, adaptable workflow and LIS-enabled digital tracking and management. Mr. Suresh explained: “Xmatrx Diagnostics walkaway automation technology has given us utmost freedom. We simply start the run and go off to finish other important tasks at hand. Resources are now utilized for many other vital lab activities making our entire operations more efficient than before.” Mr. Chaudhary agreed that the lab was free to devote more of their time to other lab duties, a freedom that semi-automated systems did not allow. He added: “We could now utilize our manpower for other vital tasks at hand.”

Conclusion

From the perspective of the management, the Xmatrx “is a boon – no more worries or staining problems. We are extremely happy with the instrument performance and feedback. Considering this, we have ordered a second unit within six months.”

About Xmatrx Diagnostics

"It is easy to operate Xmatrx Diagnostics: we simply load the slides and reagents, set the protocols and let the instrument perform the rest of the process." Xmatrx Diagnostics is an integrated system consisting of platform technology that automates any slide-based staining assay (IHC, ISH, SS, miRNA and FISH). This truly All-in-One fully automated system (from microtome to microscope) maximizes testing capacity, minimizes hands-on time, and ensures consistent and quality results every time. The system is operated with specially formulated and optimized reagents including primary antibodies, nucleic acid probes, special stains, detection kits and consumables. Xmatrx delivers optimum performance and is cost effective for total automation. This underlies our commitment to providing flexible workflow solutions for molecular pathology laboratories of today, tomorrow and beyond.

 

University of Colorado

BioGenex provides top-quality and reliable antibodies to Histology/IHC Lab at University of Colorado in Denver

 

Background

David Davis is the manager of the histology/immunohistochemistry (IHC) laboratory located at the Department of Pathology, University of Colorado in Denver. The facility is state-of-the-art and stains approximately 50,000 slides per year for services in frozen tissues, immunofluorescence, in situ hybridization and IHC staining (over 150 routine and specialty stains).

Products Used

David’s laboratory has a wide menu of tests available and offers services to clients of all sizes. BioGenex is proud to be a part of such a large and prominent academic hospital. “I use a number of BioGenex antibodies that are always of top quality and among the best on the market. BioGenex has always been very helpful in getting me antibodies that are reliable and less expensive than what I am currently using for the same assay,” said David Davis when asked about BioGenex’s antibodies and services. “The antibodies from BioGenex exhibit clean and intense staining with high specificity.”

 

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