The choice of equipment for biochemical blood analysis

Automatic biochemical analyzers are usually divided into devices of the “open” and “closed” type, depending on their features when working with reagents. In the operation of closed-type analyzers, it is possible to use a limited set of reagents provided by the manufacturer. At the same time, the values ​​of control and calibration materials in such systems were entered into the program initially, and information about the reagents used in this analysis is entered into the device by reading the bar code from their packaging.

Of course, such a system has a significant minus, due to the fact that the necessary reagents can be quite expensive, at the initially low price of the device itself, and it is impossible to replace them with less expensive analogues. However, closed-type analyzers also have positive aspects. For example, they usually have higher stability of calibration results.

Systems of the “open” type, as you might guess by their name, have the ability to use reagents from virtually any manufacturer whose products have an established reputation in the market. Such an opportunity for analyzers of the “open” type provides the availability of a set of filters for the most common methods.

However, not all open systems are exactly the same. Depending on the manufacturer’s company, reagent blocks, reaction blocks and results reading systems, blocks of analyzed samples and calibration materials, and much more may differ. Of course, each design has its own positive and negative properties inherent only to it, but the truly important parameters that can significantly affect the quality of the analysis are the following:

  • Batch access or test-by-test system. Such a system is most often found in analyzers with a flow cell and performs the analysis sequentially parameter by parameter. Such systems are most convenient in laboratories where research is carried out, because the risk of interaction of reagents from the kits for determining various analyzes is minimal, which means the analysis itself is more reliable and accurate. The minus is also obvious, this lack of the ability to quickly obtain an analysis of one patient, which means that for laboratories, especially small ones that perform analyzes for hospitals, biochemical analyzers with this access mode are less interesting.
  • Random Access or “patient-by-patient system.” As the name implies, here it is possible to select and quickly make a full analysis of all parameters for a specific sample (patient). Such a system is more progressive because, in addition to the patient-by-patient access function, it also has the ability to conduct a test-by-test system, and in addition, an express study of any parameter of the choice of a laboratory technician (the so-called Stat-study). The only feature that does not allow this system to finally conquer the market by displacing devices with a test-by-test mode is the need for a highly qualified clinician to correctly set the sequence of tests, as well as the need to thoroughly rinse between different types of analyzes . And although in the latest generation biochemical analyzers this problem is solved by introducing a list of tests that limits certain sequence of analyzes at the level of internal software. Such analyzers are not yet cheap.
  • There are a great many constructions of the reagent unit, however, two types can be considered the most common, “linear” and “carousel”. In the “linear” block of reagents, the cuvettes are placed in a strip with nests. The reagents are stored in it at room temperature, although, as noted above, progressive models of analyzers with an integrated cooling system began to appear on the market, the function is undoubtedly convenient, but it is not without some significant drawbacks. In particular, in this design, it is necessary to transfer reagents from industrial tanks to cuvettes, which may cause reagent contamination, in addition, it is impossible to completely clean the cuvette from the reagent and return it to the original storage tank.
  • The reagents are placed directly in industrial bottles in the “carousel” type unit, which not only reduces the preparation time of a separate test, but also minimizes the loss of reagents during their movement from tank to tank, and also eliminates the possibility of contamination of the reagent. In addition, the possibility of error is minimized in the described construction; the amount of reagent is dosed more accurately directly from the original tank. In the most advanced models, the reagents in the “carousel” are also cooled to a temperature of 10-15 degrees Celsius, which ensures high-quality performance of tests throughout the shelf life of the reagents.
  • The block of samples often has structural similarity with the reagent block of the analyzer. At the same time, not only primary tubes can be used in the “carousel”, but also additional calibrators and samples can be installed already during the operation of the apparatus. Along with this, the “carousel” does not bind calibrators to specific sockets. Samples are stored unheated at room temperature.
  • The reaction unit can be made in the form of a thermostatically controlled platform with reaction tubes or plates, as well as in the form of a flow cell. Among the reaction tablets and the cuvette, two main types are distinguished – reusable and disposable. Given the current level of development of laboratory analytics in our country and the number of tests carried out, the use of apparatus with disposable reaction tubes can be safely called economically unjustified. On the other hand, more economical reusable cuvettes have a significant drawback – the need for thorough washing and monitoring, the manufacturer’s established operating life, otherwise the quality of the test can seriously suffer. For this reason, in a number of the most modern models of biochemical analyzers, the reaction unit is made in the form of a reusable reaction rotor, which includes several cuvettes of strong, durable materials, which also do not require manual washing and long drying, the apparatus performs these operations by yourself.
  • Despite the fact that there are a number of rather significant parameters and structural features of the analyzers and their individual systems, such as the number of dispensers (it is desirable that the dosage of the reagents and samples be carried out by independent needles from each other), the design of the cooling system, etc. the main influence on the research results is exerted by the above parameters.

General rule, the smaller the sample volume, the higher the efficiency of the biochemical analyzer as a whole is unlikely to cause contradictions in someone. But there is one more equally important nuance of the operation of the devices in question, which is also capable of exerting a serious influence on the consumption of reagents, and hence the economic efficiency of the analyzer.

That is why you should not rush with the choice of an automatic biochemical analyzer. After all, acquiring an apparatus with advanced mathematical and analytical capabilities can be lost in the functionality and usability of its main components and components, which ultimately can have a significant impact not only on the cost-effectiveness of research, but also on the quality of the analysis results and the number of critical errors.

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Biochemical analyzers allow you to determine

  • Enzymes: a-amylase, pancreatic amylase, alanine aminotransferase, g-glutamyltransferase, creatinine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, lipase, a-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase.
  • Substrates: Albumin, Glucose, Urea, Uric Acid, Total Protein, Total Protein in Urine, Direct Bilirubin, Total Bilirubin, Creatinine.
  • Lipids: Cholesterol, High Density Cholesterol, Low Density Cholesterol, Triglycerides.
  • Electrolytes: Iron, Calcium, Chlorides, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Sodium, Potassium.
  • High accuracy and reproducibility of research.
  • Exclusion of the probability of human error.
  • High speed of work.
  • Minimum labor costs for a specialist.
  • Economic profitability and quick payback due to the minimum consumption of reagents, test materials, electricity.

Semi-automatic biochemical analyzers – automatically perform the main functions (heating, analysis, data processing, printing), while they require the use of ready-made reaction mixtures. This type of instrument is suitable for small laboratories. At present, semi-automatic machines are almost completely replaced by fully automatic devices.

Automatic biochemical analyzers – unlike semi-automatic models, perform almost all operations automatically, significantly saving the specialist’s time, and providing more accurate and reproducible research results. Most modern models independently perform pipetting of the sample and reagents, mixing, heating, analysis, data processing, calculations, printing the results and flushing the system.

Also, modern biochemical analyzer machines have many additional functions that make their use more convenient and safe. So they may contain reagent storage systems that automatically support optimal storage conditions, alarm systems for various emergency situations, the ability to connect to a PC, etc.

Depending on the functionality, biochemical automatic analyzers have a higher price than semiautomatic devices and less functional models, but they pay off quickly enough. Such models are optimal for medium and large scale laboratories.

The separation into the “open” and “closed” type is carried out depending on their features when working with reagents.

Closed systems are initially configured to work exclusively with reagent kits provided by the manufacturer. Information about the reagent kit used is entered into the device by reading the bar code from the reagent package. On the one hand, this approach provides the greatest accuracy of research.

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Open-type systems allow you to work with any reagents of factory production, thanks to a special tuning system. At the same time, it is not always necessary for a specialist to manually configure the device; many analyzers have programs for working with the most popular reagent sets. You can enter information about the reagent kit into these devices using a barcode reader.

Gas chromatography is one of the most accessible and, in connection with this, methods of analysis of biomaterials that are often used in biochemical diagnostics. Modern gas chromatographs are distinguished by the exceptional sensitivity of the detectors, which makes it possible to determine trace amounts of substances in the test sample.

Shimadzu GC-2010 Plus Gas Chromatograph

To increase the accuracy and reproducibility of the analysis results, such plants are equipped with specialized software and technologies.

For example, the innovative gas chromatograph GC-2010 Plus manufactured by the Japanese company Shimadzu can be equipped with automatic gas flow separation systems for analysis by the flame-photometric or flame-ionization method, as well as a unique feedback system that provides a change in the direction of the carrier flow to remove remaining after detection target components of substances from a chromatographic column.

In addition, the chromatograph of this model can be expanded to a multidimensional GC system equipped with two columns with different selectivities. Such a complex allows simultaneous separation and quantitative analysis of complex multicomponent samples without shifting the retention times of the components, if necessary, repeatedly switching during the study.

Using innovative automated gas chromatography systems, the content and amount of lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoproteins), as well as protein and carbohydrate components are quickly and accurately determined.

The widespread use of this method in biochemical diagnostics also made it possible to radically change, accelerate and cheapen the process of determining the causative agents of infectious diseases, the identification of which is carried out by analyzing the spectrum of specific products of their thermal decomposition or components of cell membranes.

Multidimensional GC system
MDGC-2010

Centrifuges in biochemical diagnostics can be used both for preliminary sample preparation (preparative centrifugation), and directly for analysis (analytical centrifugation).

The medical centrifuge PrO-Hospital will perfectly cope with the tasks of a biochemical laboratory of any level

During centrifugation using various modes, various fractions are isolated from biological fluids, which contain cells or their organelles (nuclei, ribosomes, mitochondria, etc.), components of tissue fluid or macromolecules (DNA, proteins, etc.).

The PrO-Hospital medical centrifuge line includes universal models that support microtube and PCR strips at high speeds, as well as low-speed rotors that allow biological fluids to be fractionated in a gentle mode. Equipping such a device with a biochemical laboratory will allow you to confidently and quickly solve diagnostic problems of any complexity.

The next important step in the process of choosing a biochemical analyzer is to determine the estimated load on the device, that is, the number of analyzes in a given period of time that is planned to be carried out with its help. In addition, you need to determine what kind of tests and analyzes and in what volumes it is supposed to be carried out.

Tests / dayTest Frequency
1 weekly2-3 times a weekDaily
40817Manual (manual) determination / semiautomatic deviceManual (manual) determination / semiautomatic deviceManual (manual) determination / semiautomatic device
18537Manual (manual) determination / semiautomatic deviceManual (manual) determination / semiautomatic deviceSemi-automatic / automatic biochemical analyzer
50 – 100Semi-automatic / automatic biochemical analyzerAutomatic biochemistry analyzerAutomatic biochemistry analyzer
gt; 100Automatic biochemistry analyzerAutomatic biochemistry analyzerAutomatic biochemistry analyzer
The method of determinationReagent baseAnalyzer selection
End pointMonoreagentManual (manual) determination / semiautomatic device
Endpoint KineticsMonoreagent / BireagentSemi-automatic / automatic biochemical analyzer
Endpoint kinetics techniques requiring specific calibrationMonoreagent / Bireagent / Specific AnalytesAutomatic biochemistry analyzer

Any laboratory assistant who has at least once worked with the analyzer will no longer want to perform a manual blood test. The main advantages of such devices include:

Significant savings in time spent on analysis.

The exception of the human factor, laboratory assistant errors.

The ability to conduct a large volume of analyzes per day.

Environmental friendliness: reagents in the analyzer are disposed of in a special way, they do not harm the health of the laboratory assistant and the environment.

Biochemical blood analyzers are automatic and semi-automatic, their cost, functionality, maintenance and recommended areas of application depend on this.

What are the features of a semi-automatic biochemical blood analyzer? To work with this type of analyzer, the participation of a laboratory doctor is required, but it will be minimal. All the lab technician needs to do is mix the reagents and prepare the samples. The analysis results are calculated by the device independently, but the operator needs to pre-set him the algorithm of necessary actions.

What are the features of an automatic biochemical blood analyzer? These are the most progressive and user-friendly devices of this type. To work with them, the participation of the laboratory assistant is extremely insignificant: he only controls the programming process and selects the necessary profile, and the device does its own dosage and mixing of reagents and other procedures necessary for the analysis.

All calculations are carried out automatically. Such analyzers have high performance, minimal reagent consumption. Manage them simply with the help of modern software adapted for Windows or Mac OS. A great option for an automatic biochemical blood analyzer is the BioChem FC-360.

What is the fundamental difference between automatic and semi-automatic biochemical blood analyzers? The difference is quite significant:

semi-automatic machines are much cheaper;

automatic analyzers have higher productivity: they can process more analyzes in less time, which means they are better suited for large hospitals, research centers, laboratories with a large flow of patients;

to work with semiautomatic devices requires more human resource costs;

the principle of operation of these devices for the preparation of reagents and their disposal is different: a laboratory assistant is engaged in this with a semiautomatic device, the machine does it on its own;

larger automatic analyzers.

Conclusion

A biochemical blood analyzer is an absolutely indispensable device in any modern laboratory. Before choosing it, it is necessary to analyze the features, advantages and disadvantages of each type presented on the market, and evaluate its capabilities and needs.

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Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.

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