RE: Automated stainer

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From:"Smith, Billie" <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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The Shandon Cadenza was the first automated stainer that we purchased.  We
have since had the Ventana ES and now have the Biogenex Optimax.  We have
also demo'd the Dako Instrument and the Ventana Nexes, so I have a fairly
good handle on each instrument.  The Cadenza was a good instrument in a
limited capacity.  It is not especially user friendly in that every run must
be programmed.  The other techs in the lab had a great deal of trouble
getting consistent results because of this.  The othe issue is that you can
only run 20 slides per run, and a run took about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.   That
time might have improved since the quality of reagents for immuno's has
improved significantly over the years.  Also, keep in mind that you have to
purchase the coverplates which are rather pricey.  It is a more antiquated
system than the others available on the market today.

The Ventana ES is very user friendly and very fast  (the typical run takes
about 1 1/2 hours), but limited because it is such a closed system.  It is
also EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE in comparison to other instruments.  We do alot of
research, so both of these points are very important to us.  We tried the
Nexes, but none of the techs in the lab liked this system, plus this system
cuts down the number of slides per run from 40 to 20.   In addition, more
and more antibodies marketed today are heat sensitive, so we were having to
stain these manually.

We decided to go with the Biogenex Optimax because it can be used as a
barcoded system, as well as an open system.  Even the open system allows
preprogrammed protocols.  I have found that for the clinical IHC  the
barcode system works better, because of consistency of results from tech to
tech, and the savings on time for programming runs.   The Biogenex Optimax
allows more flexibility with the barcode system, which the Dako instrument
does not offer.  Biogenex was also willing to work with us on price of the
instrument, as well as the price of reagents, which Dako was not willing to
do.  The down side is that a 40 slide run can take up to 3 to 3 1/2 hours
 (the Dako would take about the same), depending on the protocol.  That is
OK for research purposes, but our pathologists and clinicians have become
accustomed to the fast turn -around time that we could get from the Ventana
instrument for the clinical IHC.  Sooo, we have resorted to performing alot
of the blocking steps and counterstaining off of the instrument to save time
(this is alot faster than doing everything on the instrument).
 Unfortunately, this is not a walk away instrument for us.

I don't know if you were able to attend the NSH meeting in Salt Lake City,
but a new stainer by a company named CytoLogix is soon to be released on the
market that shows more promise than any of the others.  It is barcode
driven, can perform special stains and IHC on one instrument on the same
run.  This instrument appear to be very user friendly ( a walk-away system)
and the stains off of the instrument shown at the meeting were of excellent
quality.  It seems to offer the ease of use of the Ventana system but has
the added bonus of saving time at the end of the run by not having to wash
off the liquid coverslip before coverslipping.  As I understand it, the kits
will be packaged with everything necessary, so you won't be nickel and dimed
to death for ancillary supplies, as with Ventana.  Another nice feature is
that each slide can be heated individually, so that antibodies and stains
having different heat requirements can be run on the same run.  For more
specific information you should call CytoLogix directly.  The number in
their brochure is (888) 4CLOGIX.

In summation, you should weigh what is most important to your institution,
turn-around time, flexibility, ease of use, or cost per slide.  Then find
the best match with the instruments available on the market.  I wouldn't
make any decision without weighing my options against everything that is on
the market.

If you have any questions, please contact me directly.

Billie Smith
Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital
Houston, Texas
(713) 770-1887
From: Valerie DeGroff
Subject: Automated stainer
Date: Wednesday, October 07, 1998 10:11AM

Hello Netters,
Once again I  am requesting feedback about an automatic immunostainer,
specifically, the Shandon Cadenza Automated Stainer.  Our excellent
sales rep gave us some interesting info on this product and I would like
to know if any of you owns or have demo'd  this model?  The price is so
much lower than the others, that I feel compelled to find out about it's
routine performance.
Please email me directly if you would like.
I am really enjoying all of the good humored folks who write in with
such great info!  Thanks for your insight.
Valerie DeGroff
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH

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