Innovative technologies

The Immunoblot PreQ System

The innovation behind the Immunoblot PreQ System (PreQ: preequipped) is that the incubation channels are pre-equipped with blot strips, which saves a manual processing step. The channels can be freely combined with each other and are simply clicked together (at least 4 channels are required per run). Incubation and evaluation are performed using the EUROBlotOne device. Requirements for the instrument are a dryer unit and a camera, and for evaluation, EUROLineScan software (from version 3.4.23). A positioning aid, which is mounted once on the rocking table of the instrument, fixes the interconnected channels at the correct position. The standard incubation trays can also be used after the adaptation of the EUROBlotOne. However, they cannot be combined with Immunoblot PreQ in one run. Important: In order to set the correct drying time,“Use Immunoblot PreQ” must be selected in the EUROLine Scan software. In this way, the drying time is automatically adjusted to Immunoblot PreQ (approx. 40 min).

Advantages of the PreQ system:

  • Low manual workload due to pre-equipment of incubation channels
  • Reliable fixation of the blot strips at the bottom of the channels
  • User-friendly click system allows flexible combination of blot trays
  • Fully automated incubation and evaluation

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Designer antigens – customised for laboratory diagnostics

Naturally occurring antigens that are not perfectly suited for the use in diagnostic test systems, can be modified by means of genetic methods to obtain maximum effectiveness: The result is so-called designer antigens. The designer antigens are developed and produced in EUROIMMUN research laboratories. Compared to naturally occurring antigens, they offer many advantages:

  • They are highly specific: Regions that may lead to undesired cross reactions are specifically switched off
  • They are extremely sensitive: Antigen epitopes are multiplied, so that there are more binding sites for the antibodies
  • They are customised explicitly for their application: Antibody binding sites of different antigens are combined into one fusion protein

Designer antigens are currently used in test systems for the diagnosis of the following diseases:

DiseaseTest systemOrder number
Bullous pemphigoidAnti-BP180-NC16A-4X ELISAEA 1502-9601-2 G
Primary biliary cirrhosisAnti-M2-3E-ELISAEA 1622-9601 G
Wegener’s granulomatosisAnti-PR3-hn-hr-ELISAEA 1201-9601-2 G
Coeliac diseaseAnti-Gliadin (GAF-3X)-ELISAEV 3011-9601 G

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Recombinant Cell IFT (RC-IFT) – the quickest way to bring new research parameters into the diagnostic laboratory

The production of antigens in sufficient amounts and of the desired quality is often the critical step in the development of a new test system. In particular, the purification is often difficult and causes delays in the development process. This may be due to different reasons:

  • The antigen is located in the cell membrane: To eliminate the molecule from the membrane, aggressive methods are often required which may destroy the antigen.
  • The antigen must be in its native, three-dimensional form. If the antibodies to be detected bind to conformational epitopes of the antigen, it needs to be purified in its native state, a procedure which is very complicated and complex.

In these cases, a genetic method for the production of antigens is by far quicker. In the RC-IFT method, the antigen-coding DNA sequence is inserted into a DNA molecule (plasmid) which is afterwards introduced into suitable host cells. The cells express the antigen molecule and can thus be immediately used as a substrate in the immunofluorescence test. Using this method, test systems with new antigens can be produced in a short time.

The following EUROIMMUN test systems are based on the RC-IFT method:

Recombinant Cell IFT for the detection of antibodies against:
Skin antigens: desmoglein 1 and 3, BP230, collagen VII, envoplakin*
Nephropathy-associated antigens: phospholipase A2 receptors (PLA2R)
Neuronal antigens: glutamate receptors of type NMDA, type AMPA*, VGKC, GABAB receptor, aquaporin-4, glycine receptor **, DPPX, DNER
Further antigens: pancreas antigens rPAg1 (CUZD1) and rPAg2 (GP2), glutamate decarboxylase (GAD65), Crimean-Congo fever virus

*currently not sold as IVD in the EU   **under development

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EUROPattern: Software for image capturing and interpretation of IIFT patterns in autoimmune diagnostics

The indirect immunofluorescence (IIFT) is still one of the standard techniques in autoimmune diagnostics. The evaluation of immunofluorescence images under the microscope, however, is time-consuming and requires specially trained personnel. With EUROPattern, EUROIMMUN offers a sophisticated pattern recognition software which provides valuable support in the evaluation of test results.

The system automatically captures and archives the immunofluorescence images. For cell nuclear antibodies, there is also the option of automated evaluation. The images are pre-classified according to their patterns and categorised as positive, negative or borderline. The classification is based on a reference database with over 115,000 images that have been classified by experts.

Currently the software is able to assess IIFT patterns of incubated Hep2/HEp-2010 cells and is hence particularly suited for the detection of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) and anti-dsDNA antibodies by means of Crithidia luciliae (CLIFT).

In combination with the EUROPattern Microscope, the software offers different features to simplify the laboratory daily routine:

  • Automatic microscopy and state-of-the-art image interpretation at the computer screen
  • Pattern recognition ANA and ANCA, also mixed patterns including titers
  • Fast automatic processing of up to 500 (or 1000) fields successively – up to 200 fields in only one hour
  • Automatic identification of slides via matrix codes
  • Pencilless evaluation on screen and consolidation of each patient’s results
  • Ocular-free microscopy at the screen
  • Archiving of images and diagnostic results
  • Full integration into the laboratory software via EUROLabOffice

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