In these challenging economic times, many laboratories and hospitals are being affected by budgetary constraints; thus, in addition to quality and speed, customers demand increased consolidation in an attempt to reduce costs. Clinical chemistry testing is one of the most important areas in clinical laboratory analysis and has advanced dramatically in recent years. Improved diagnostic testing solutions that meet the needs of clinical laboratories are a critical component in clinical chemistry testing. This article describes the Randox RX Series (Randox Laboratories, Kearneysville, WV), a full range of clinical chemistry analyzers and dedicated reagents that are well-suited for any working laboratory environment, including the clinical, research, education, veterinary, toxicology, and pharmaceutical laboratory. The analyzers feature the largest menu of dedicated clinical chemistry tests, including general chemistries, specific proteins, drugs of abuse, therapeutic drugs, antioxidants, and many niche tests. The RX Series can offer maximum consolidation and reduce costs in many of these fields.
Chemistry analyzer for low-volume laboratories
Figure 1 - RX monza semiautomated clinical chemistry analyzer with coagulation testing functionality.
The smallest of the RX Series, RX monza (pending FDA approval) is a compact, semiautomated chemistry analyzer that can process both clinical chemistry and coagulation tests (Figure 1). As one of the few semiautomated analyzers with this ability, it is well-suited for low-volume clinical labs, specialized clinics, educational establishments, research and veterinary labs, and food and wine testing facilities, and is equipped with an integrated alphanumeric keyboard, large backlit LCD screen, and thermal printer.
Broad functionality and an intuitive, easy-to-use interface enable the RX monza to offer advantages expected of a larger, fully automated system. With 192 test channels in total, including 114 open channels and 78 dedicated parameters for use with Randox fully validated dedicated reagents, the analyzer offers opportunities for both routine and novel testing, allowing testing to be maintained in-house.
Using high-grade optical filters, RX monza can generate eight wavelengths ranging from 340 to 700 nm, and the 18-bit photometer improves detection, therefore increasing accuracy of results. Tests can be run using the flow cell or cuvettes, and a variety of assay types—including endpoint, 2-point, kinetic, and absorbance—ensure that a multitude of chemistries can be performed on one system. These features give laboratories the benefit of complete patient profiling for well-informed, accurate diagnoses. Confirmatory testing is not required, since high-quality results are achieved the first time, every time, avoiding any unnecessary additional testing and associated costs.
RX monza offers QC capabilities not available on most semiautomated systems, with automatic storage of up to 1000 patient results and full traceability of data with storage capacity of one year’s results. Through automatic generation of Levey- Jennings charts, users can view QC data easily on screen with the option to print, if desired. Intelligent software facilitates step-by-step instructions, easy-to-follow reports, and on-board checks to minimize the potential for operator error, ensuring consistent user performance and minimal operator training.
The most recent additions to the system’s test menu include the coagulation assays prothrombin time, thrombin time, antithrombin, and activated partial thrombin time. Coupled with photometric sodium, potassium, and chloride tests, RX monza can eliminate the need for additional analyzers. New assays are continually being developed and validated for the analyzer to further expand its testing capabilities.
Figure 2 - RX daytona fully automated benchtop chemistry analyzer.
RX daytona (Figure 2) is a compact, fully automated benchtop clinical chemistry analyzer with a throughput of 180 photometric and 270 ISE tests per hour via the optional ISE unit. The analyzer provides high performance along with the RX Series clinical chemistry test menu. With more than 130 chemistries available, RX daytona offers laboratory consolidation of routine and specialized testing onto one easy-to-use platform. A comprehensive range of specific protein tests are available; thus the need for a separate nephelometry system can be eliminated. These reagents offer excellent correlation through the highly sensitive immunoturbidimetric methods.
Users benefit from advanced on-board stability with 40 cooled reagent positions, enabling overnight storage aboard the analyzer and reducing reagent waste. Dual reagent and sample micropipets not only minimize carryover, but enable low reaction volumes, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Using dual three-speed rotating stirrers, assays are optimized to provide highly accurate and reliable results. A user-friendly inventory management system automatically calculates remaining reagent volume and the number of tests available. Sophisticated QC capabilities enable automatic plotting of Levey-Jennings charts, running mean values, and QC statistics, and user-defined multipoint rules easily identify trends or biases.
Fully automated analyzer for medium- to high-throughput laboratories
Figure 3 - RX imola compact, random access chemistry analyzer for medium- to high-volume testing.
RX imola (Figure 3) is capable of handling the workload of a medium- to high-throughput laboratory with a combined throughput of 560 tests per hour, with an integrated ISE unit for testing sodium, potassium, and chloride. A fully automated random access system, RX imola provides rapid, comprehensive testing on a compact, benchtop analyzer. Stat samples can be added at any time via a loading hatch, allowing immediate analysis and boosting productivity. Twelve wavelengths are generated via diffraction grating ranging from 340 to 800 nm. Dual-reagent micropipets reduce carryover and ensure that throughput is not affected from the use of two shot assays, while reduced reaction volumes enable increased tests per kit, thus saving costs. The sample micropipet has the ability to aspirate between 2 and 35 µL in 0.1-µL increments. All micropipets have crash, bubble, and liquid level detection, and the sample micropipet also has four levels of clot detection.
RX imola has 92 sample positions, 20 of which are cooled and for use with control and calibrators, permitting QC material to remain onboard the analyzer without compromising stability, saving time and improving laboratory efficiency. The analyzer’s five-speed mixing arms eliminate foaming and ensure adequate mixing of latex-enhanced immunoturbidimetric reagents. The serum indices function checks the integrity of patient samples, flagging samples that are deemed icteric, haemolytic, or lipaemic; therefore highly accurate and reliable results are reported every time.
RX Series analyzers allow laboratories to meet the demands of clinical chemistry testing and achieve quality, speed, consolidation, and cost benefits. The versatile analyzers and ongoing development of the dedicated RX test menu provide laboratories with an effective array of diagnostic solutions.
Graeme McNeill is RX Series Global Manager, Randox Laboratories, 515 Industrial Blvd., Bardane Industrial Park, Kearneysville, WV 25430, U.S.A.; tel.: 304-728-2890; fax: 304-728-1890, e-mail: Graeme.McNeill@randox.com.