[Histonet] Ventana Benchmark XT

From:Malam Jacqueline

We have used a Benchmark XT for two and a half years now and it's been
- complete standardisation 
- a noticeable saving in time as the antigen retrieval is automatic
- 3 primary antisera incubation temperatures (it is interesting to discover
that some like it at room temp and some like it hot!)
- the variable antigen retrievals, primary incubation times and temperatures
give plenty of choices for optimisation
- making antisera up in "bulk" in prep kit dispensers saves you having to
make them up each time with some waste and, with some antisera working at
higher dilutions, this can lead to savings
- prompt servicing, excellent help over the phone if you have to do some
minor repairs or problem solving - even if you are not mechanically minded -
and their English puts me to shame!
- prompt dispatch of consumable orders
- good training course in Strasbourg
- routine maintenance can be a bit involved; e.g. you have to dismantle some
of it to do a vortex mix check each month and it needs a decontamination
every 3 months
- water quality must be good - you don't want water tanks that aren't
cleaned out annually and you  need a decent de-ioniser or you can get
micro-organisms getting through into the XT and furring up its arteries. You
then have to sterilise all containers (bulk and those on the XT) with
hypochlorite bleach before making or refilling with fresh buffer 
- it doesn't like some antisera clones like the oestrogen receptor clone
1D5; then again, some clones that didn't work too well manually or on other
systems work well on the XT - just be aware when you are optimising if it
doesn't work very well - try another clone
- it may have a rather quiet alarm. Nothing could be done about it so, as
our XT is in another room, we use a baby monitor
Hope this helps

Jacqui Malam
Lancaster Infirmary

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