An ELISA analyzer is a specialized spectrophotometer, designed to read the results of this technique which is used to determine the presence of antibodies or specific antigens present in a sample. The technique is based on the detection of an antigen immobilized on a solid phase, by means of antibodies that, directly or indirectly, produce a reaction whose product can be read by the spectrophotometer. It is also known as the ELISA Reader.
What is the principle of your operation?
As already mentioned, the ELISA analyzer is a specialized spectrophotometer. Unlike conventional spectrophotometers that allow readings in a wide range of wavelengths, it has diffraction filters or grids that limit the range of wavelengths to those used in the ELISA technique, which is usually performed with wavelengths between 400 and 750 nm – meters -. Some analyzers operate in the ultraviolet range and can perform analyzes between 340 and 700 nm.
What are the equipment required to perform ELISA tests?
To develop the ELISA technique it is required to have at least the following equipment:
- An ELISA analyzer.
- An ELISA washer.
- A liquid dispensing system. (Multichannel pipettes can be used).
- A specialized incubator for the plates.
How is your Calibration?
The calibration of an ELISA analyzer is a specialized process that must be performed by a properly trained technician or engineer, following the instructions provided by each manufacturer. To perform the calibration it is necessary to have a set of gray filters, which are mounted on a plate of the same geometry as those used to perform the analyzes. Manufacturers supply such filters and can be used to perform calibrations at any wavelength of those used by the equipment.
What service does this equipment require?
For the ELISA analyzer to operate correctly, it is necessary to verify the following points:
- A clean, dust-free environment.
- A stable work table. It is advisable that it be away from equipment that generates vibrations -centrifuges, agitators-, that is of an adequate size that allows locating, next to the ELISA analyzer, the complementary equipment required to perform the mentioned technique: washers, incubator, dispenser and computer with peripherals.
- A source of electricity supply in accordance with the standards and standards implemented in the country. In the American countries voltages of 110 V and frequencies of 60 Hz are generally used.
What should be the maintenance routine?
Basic maintenance (Frequency: Daily)
- Check that the optical sensors of each channel are clean. If dirt is detected, clean with a brush the surface of the windows of the light emitters and the sensors.
- Confirm that the lighting system is clean.
- Verify that the calibration of the analyzer is adequate. When daily operations begin, allow the analyzer to warm up for 30 minutes. Next, perform a blank reading and then read a module filled with substrate. The readings must be identical. If they are not, invert the module and repeat the reading, in order to determine if the deviation originates in the module or in the reader.
- Examine the automatic advance of the plate. It must be smooth and constant.
Preventive maintenance (Frequency: Quarterly)
- Check the stability of the lamp. Use the calibration filter, making readings with intervals of 30 minutes or the same plate. Compare the readings. There should not be differences.
- Clean the optical systems of the detectors and the lighting systems.
- Clean the plate’s advance mechanism. Check the alignment of each well with the emitting systems and light detectors.