[Histonet] Leica Bond

From:"Laura Roan"

Hi Angela,

My colleague, Courtney, and I have had a Bond Max on demo for a couple of months now and generally, we like it.  We have also had demos from Dako and Lab Vision, but we are leaning more towards the Bond.  This demo process has revealed that all the instruments have their strong points and weak points, and getting one instrument will have good and bad tradeoffs over another one, so you just have to pick what will most closely suit your lab needs with the fewest negative traits.  We are in a research lab, so we have a wider range of needs from it than most clinical labs do, and the Bond has met most of these needs.  We have tested thick tissues (30-60um) on it, and the staining is pretty good.  The bigger challenge with the thick tissue, to our surprise, has been getting the tissue to adhere to the slide, not to get them to stain.  Probably 75% of them have stayed, but we are still working with some other protocols for adherence, and I think we can get this number to increase.  

We have been really impressed with the service and support from Leica as well.  They brought in two specialists on two different occasions to help us get things set up, one of them had a background mostly in research, which was a tremendous help.  At one point, we were concerned about some differences in staining intensities between racks and within a day or so, a service rep was here to test the instrument.  

The bond seems to be well-made, and it has been fairly easy to use.  The software could use some improving, especially for the research end, but it isn't bad enough that it would sway our opinions.  We liked the software on the LabVision a little better, but this is mostly because it is a little more customizable, since we have many different protocols.  I really like the feature of the Bond that all three of the racks work independently of one another, so you can start a run on one rack (as long as the times are the same in the protocols within a rack), and then later add another rack.  This is not an option on the Dako or the LabVision.  They have a "Stat Slide" feature which allows you to add slides during a run, but it will stop the first run, stain the new slides, and then finish the first run after.  The Bond is also a little more automatic in that it does antigen retrieval on the instrument, not separately in a different apparatus.  The bond can also heat the slides, which is not an option on the other two.  

Now for the things we don't like about it.  First of all, it is NOT a completely open system, even if you buy the "research instrument with dongle."  For the clinical instrument, you must buy their detection kits, even if you don't use them.  For the research instrument, you are not locked into buying the detection kit, BUT you have to buy the research kit, which is simply a barcode to put on one of the reagent racks.  AND, the research kit will expire after you use 40 mL out of any vile registered to the kit, in which case you have to buy another one.  On top of that, in order to get the research option, you have to purchase the dongle (which only unlocks a few software features to allow the use of the research kit) and it costs 20 or 30 thousand dollars in addition to the cost of the instrument.  The whole addition of the dongle/research kit also complicates the software a little bit as well.  However, we have been bargaining with them since we are buying lots of other equipment as well, and I think we are going to reach a better agreement.  

There are some things that are not as customizable on the Bond as on the LabVision, such as the antigen retrieval.  On the LabVision, you can retrieve as long as and as hot as and with whatever you want, whereas on the Bond, it is preset for both time and temperature and you have to use the Bond ER solutions.  (Not always desirable for some of the tissues we will be using).  Since we can't even trick the software into changing this, we would basically have to antigen retrieve elsewhere (ie pressure cooker offline) to customize our retrieval.  Also, you are unable to incubate antibodies on tissues for more than 60 min at a time on the Bond, but you can trick it and add more of the same step, which will reapply the antibody for each step.  We do like the mechanism of how the reagents are applied because it is very gentle, and seems to work for thick sections.  Each slide is placed under a reusable, washable cover tile and the reagents are dispensed onto the end of the cover tile and then the reagent gently runs down the sections with the aid of a little vacuum port at the end of the slide.  The covertile also prevents drying as well.  The other two simply squirt the reagent onto the bare slide from a distance, which I don't like as much. 

Now that I've written a short book, I'll stop here.  I think that is the majority of what we think about the stainers.  I hope this helps and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me.  


Laura E. Roan

Cell Biology and Bioimaging Core

Pennington Biomedical Research Center

6400 Perkins Road

Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Email:  RoanLE@pbrc.edu

Phone:  (225) 763-2653


From: histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu on behalf of angela smith
Sent: Thu 8/28/2008 6:13 PM
To: Histonet@lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Leica Bond

Is anyone using the Leica Bond Max IHC stainer?  I will be evaluating it for several weeks and would like some feed back on those that are using it or have purchased it.

Thank you,

Histonet mailing list

Histonet mailing list

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>