To delve into the mucky waters of this question is a slippery slope
indeed. It honestly depends upon how much control you want to have (or to
give up!) over the staining process and the chemicals you use. I must say
that the Ventana is a FANTASTICALLY engineered bit of equipment. I would use
a Ventana in a second if it had the versatility I want in an autostainer.
The ability to heat the slides individually and to stir the reagents is
spectacular! Sadly unless you want to cough up a fortune for the high end
machine, you are left having to use the secondary antibodies and ancillaries
they provide. I believe, (and I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong) the
BondX is the same in this respect.
Hearing this, one may think that I would reccommend the DAKO and if you
read the archives you'd be right. Lately I have been less sure of that! They
have been working on the Eridan for a long time and I'm beginning to think
it is a lost cause! (Think Vista from Microsoft) The development is long
postponed and some say the company is going in the direction of the above
equipment and attempting to lock users into a secondary detection system.
The Original DAKO is still great and I still reccommend it, but I also
reccommend the Thermo(FisherShandonRichard-AllenLabVision...) It is as, if
not more versatile than the DAKO since it is based upon the same design.
My opinion is the open systems are better, but if closed works for you
then my reasons for reccommending them are moot. As with all decisions in a
laboratory, it depends entirely on the needs of the laboratory.
Good luck with this decision,
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