Software expands capabilities of flow cytometer in routine labs
Beckman Coulter has significantly expanded the workflow capabilities of its AQUIOS CL Flow Cytometer with the addition of the AQUIOS Designer Software, developed specifically to handle user-defined tests in the routine lab. The AQUIOS Designer Software allows for the creation of customer-defined applications to be run on an instrument that combines sample preparation and flow cytometry analysis in one platform (AQUIOS Load & Go technology). Until recently, this feature combination was only available for pre-defined applications like CD4 analysis and basic immunophenotyping. With traditional flow cytometry, sample preparation and analysis required a two-step approach carried out on different instruments. Even with semi-automated processes this would slow down the lab’s overall productivity and cause bottlenecks. It also limited the role of flow cytometry technology in today’s lab, which requires 24/7, streamlined workflow and a consistent turnaround time (TAT). Many laboratories now create their own reagent cocktails for routine applications to accommodate the specific marker combinations required by their individual focus. The addition of AQUIOS Designer Software fundamentally changes the way flow cytometry technology performs within the routine lab. It reduces the routine, repetitive task of having to manually mix reagent combinations. Far greater workloads can be handled quickly and efficiently, without bottlenecks. The optional AQUIOS Designer Software provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface with powerful features to set up user-defined protocols, acquisition templates, panels, compensation settings, and the parameters needed for statistical and quality control compliance. All features can easily be accessed via pull-down menus or slider bars. On the small footprint, high precision AQUIOS CL Flow Cytometer, sample loading is as easy as on a hematology analyser, with integrated automated sample preparation. It delivers first results within 20 minutes for routine applications such as immunophenotyping, with subsequent sample results at a rate of approx. 25 samples per hour for up to a full 96-well plate for each test of Tetra Combo. The company provides the reagents for user-defined assays either through the Contract Manufacturing (GMP) or Custom Design Services of user-defined reagents. Either option provides barcoded and cap-pierceable vials that can be run on the AQUIOS CL instrument with automated tracking of all QC functionalities, including reagent type, container ID, and lot number.