What is an Autoanalyzer? What are the advantages and disadvantages of autoanalyzer? What are the applications of autoanalyzer? This are many a few questions that are asked by different people all over the world. This article will explain the advantages and disadvantages of autoanalyzer and other listed topics stated above.
Autoanalyzer analyze blood, urine and other bodily fluids for a variety of purposes. The samples are inserted into an automated laboratory device which performs a series of tests and delivers results electronically to the lab’s computer system. A new test can be performed by inserting a new test cassette into the Autoanalyzer, or by removing and replacing the sample with a new one.
What Is An Autoanalyzer?
The Autoanalyzer is an automated analyzer usually used in medical laboratories. These analyzers are used in the treatment and diagnosis of various diseases. They are also known as chemistry analyzers or clinical analyzers. They usually analyze body fluids as part of a medical diagnostic test.
There are various types of Autoanalyzer available in hospitals, clinics and blood banks, where they are an integral part of the laboratory equipment. The functions of these analyzers vary from analyzing a single substance to conducting a variety of tests like checking blood sugar levels, measure kidney function, and perform various other functions.
The most common types are the hematology analyzer, urinalysis analyzer, coagulation test analyzers, and blood glucose analyzer for insulin.
The autoanalyzer makes use of a flow technique called continuous flow analysis (CFA), or more correctly Segmented Flow Analysis (SFA) that was developed in 1957 by Leonard Skeggs, PhD and commercialized by Jack Whitehead’s Technicon Corporation.
The system separates blood components into compartments based on a set of very precisely controlled physical parameters, primarily including viscosity and density. The containers holding the blood segments are continuously circulated through the machine at constant speed and pressure.
There is no mixing, no dilution, no container spinning, and there is zero risk of hemolysis or clotting. An autoanalyzer allows automated analysis of complex mixtures and analysis of small sample volumes. For example, many analytes can be analyzed in a few microlitres of blood.
The first applications were for clinical analysis, but methods for industrial and environmental analysis soon followed.
There are a wide variety of analytical methods that can be performed depending on the demands of the different uses. For example, there are tests used to detect drugs and illicit substances while others are used to monitor the nutritional status of pregnant women and children.
An example is performing a test which checks insulin levels in the blood stream of diabetics thereby checking if they are receiving their insulin dose correctly or not.
Additionally, there are routine tests that can be performed on samples from people’s homes such as checking for blood sugar levels or measuring kidney function by measuring creatinine. These types of tests enable many diseases and diseases progression to be detected before it is too late, after all knowledge is power.
Now we have been given a full knowledge on what an autoanalyzer is, let’s have a look into the advantages and disadvantages of autoanalyzer.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Autoanalyzer
Under the advantages and disadvantages of autoanalyzer, we will be looking firstly at the advantages of autoanalyzer.
Advantages of Autoanalyzer
- One of its most important advantages is that it largely automates laboratory procedures, thereby reducing the dependence on human technicians and management, cutting down errors and improving quality (i.e Accuracy in measuring various substances in blood is more accurate than humans because they’re no error margin).
- Autoanalyzer guarantees safety by preventing contamination, cross-contamination and specimen mislabeling.
- It helps in accurate diagnosis of diseases especially diseases that easily go undetected by humans.
- Some machines enable the results to be sent electronically through a computer network straight to the medical practitioner’s desktop, supporting efficient communication and improving patient care.
- The efficiency of Autoanalyzer is high because it is used to test samples that are in small volume, this means that one sample can be used to test many substances and there is no need for large volumes of blood or urine to be collected each time a test is carried out. ( i.e It is a simple and easy way of testing and it can test water, body fluids and foods).
- Another advantage of the Autoanalyzer is that it can speed up the analysis process considerably because it is completely automated and there is no need for manual processing by skilled technicians.
Reading on, now we have gotten the advantages of Autoanalyzer, let’s go into the disadvantages of Autoanalyzer.
Disadvantages Of Autoanalyzer
- The autoanalyzer is quite costly and labor intensive when compared with other instruments. This is because it is made from precision components and involves many steps in the process ( i.e the running costs of Autoanalyzer tend to be more expensive than other pieces of equipment because they are continuously used in a day).
- The autoanalyzer may require highly trained personnel to operate and maintain them properly so that they can do the job efficiently.
- The autoanalyzer may be error-prone and may misdiagnose the diseases if not properly used.
- They require frequent calibration to ensure that they deliver precise and accurate results, therefore it is necessary to have periodic calibration checks by experienced laboratories technicians.
- Tests are often just a snapshot of what’s currently happening in your body or in the environment surrounding you, but can’t predict future issues with accuracy because it does not have all possible information about you or your surroundings.
- Sometimes the results from auto-analyzers are not easy to understand without the help of a skilled technician who knows exactly what he’s reading (i.e The knowledge of experienced technician will help you to understand the result obtained from Auto analyzer).
Now we have been given a well detailed understanding on the advantages and disadvantages of Autoanalyzer, moving on to the next topic, let’s take a look into the applications of Autoanalyzer.
Application Of Autoanalyzer
SFA is used in a wide variety of applications including clinical, environmental and industrial settings.
The basic principles of SFA have not changed in 50 years, but the number and sophistication of chemical methods for analysis has grown exponentially. Automation of the procedures and measuring instruments provide speed, accuracy, quality and safety. SFA is a reliable, safe, quick method of analyzing small quantities of body fluids.
SFA equipment is currently being used in clinical environments as well as in the food industry for quality control and has demonstrated to be highly reliable in the detection and determination of numerous analytes.
In the Clinical Analysis, Autoanalyzer were used mainly for routine repetitive medical laboratory analyses, but they had been replaced during the last years more and more by discrete working systems which allow lower reagent consumption.
These instruments typically determine levels of albumin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate transaminase (AST), blood urea nitrogen, bilirubin, calcium, cholesterol, creatinine, glucose, inorganic phosphorus, proteins, and uric acid in blood serum or other bodily samples.
There are many variations of SFA and methods for analyzing various substances. These are often specific to a particular application or substance.
During the Industrial Analysis, the first industrial applications – mainly for water, soil extracts and fertilizer – used the same hardware and techniques as clinical methods, but from the mid-1970s special techniques and modules were developed so that by 1990 it was possible to perform solvent extraction, distillation, on-line filtration and UV digestion in the continuously flowing stream.
Other common applications are for soil, plant, tobacco, food, fertilizer and wine analysis.
Automated SFA is also widely used in the pharmaceutical industry as a routine method of quality control and in manufacturing processes to provide assurance that raw materials, processing intermediates and finished products meet specifications.
Autoanalyzer can be designed to test almost any analyte found in human or animal samples and they may be configured specifically according to the type of sample being tested .
For example, SFA is used to determine the presence of bacteria in a sample. Common bacteria that are often analyzed by SFA include: Salmonella, Listeria and Escherichia coli.
These bacteria can be detected with fluorescence detection or by using a bioluminescence technique.
The bioluminescence technique uses the luciferin substrate and the luciferase enzyme which produces light in response to the addition of ATP and adenosine 5′-triphosphate to produce ATP and a light-emitting reaction. In this case, it can be used to visualize E. coli.
We have realized that SFA is an automated method for the analysis of small samples of blood, urine and even water. It is said to be faster, more accurate and safer than manual methods of testing.
The main advantage of auto analyzer is that it can provide results within a very short time. This is why it has been widely used in clinical analysis such as determining glucose levels for diabetics, but also for analytical testing in pharmaceutical industries, environmental analysis etc.
The disadvantages of auto analyzer is that they are costly, require highly trained personnel to operate and maintain them properly and may be error-prone if not properly used. This makes it necessary to have periodic calibration checks by experienced laboratories technicians.
Therefore, if you are someone who is looking for an automated method of testing, and the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for you personally, then the Auto-analyzer may be a great option.