This facility handles, processes and analyses blood samples for biomarkers using various immunoassay techniques. This includes ELISA, high sensitivity single molecule bead based assay (Quanterix SIMOA HD-1) multiplex assays (Luminex Bio-plex 200 and MSD Quickplex SQ120) and RIA.

We undertake work from researchers within the University of Dundee (including CTIMPs), NHS Tayside and externally from other universities and industry.

Image of graphic showing types of tests performed by this group

The senior staff members (Dr Gwen Kennedy & Mrs Lesley McFarlane) each have over 25 years' experience in the handling, processing and analysing blood samples for biomarkers using various immunoassay techniques.

All staff members have current Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certificates and have attended both GLP and GCLP training courses. We can provide help and advice on the selection and performance of immunoassays. Sample requirements and handling for optimal results. We can help you with sample processing/ handling / reformatting and logistics.

We can offer a full service to measure samples for you or provide training on using the instruments thereafter only usage charges applied.

Equipment and facilities

Immunoassay platforms

quanterix simoa HD 1 Analyser

We are the only Scottish university to have the "world's most sensitive, fully automated immunoassay HD1 platform with multiplexing and custom assay capability" the Quanterix Simoa HD-1 Analyser.

Further available immunoassay platforms are:

  • Meso Scale Discovery- Quickplex SQ120
  • Bio-Rad Bio-plex 200
  • Thermo Varioskan Flash
  • TECAN Spark
  • Diasorin Liaison
  • FRAS 4 (Free Radical Analytical System)
  • Alere Triage System
  • Alere Cholestech LDX system
 

Flow Cytometers

The Immunoassay Biomarker Core Laboratory also houses the School of Medicine two flow cytometers:

  • Becton Dickinson LSR Fortessa
    • [Lasers- 488nm Blue, 405nm Violet, 640nm Red; 13 Parameters- 11 fluorescent channels plus FSC & SSC]
  • Attune Acoustic Focusing flow cytometer
    • [Lasers- 488nm Blue & 405nm Violet; 8 parameters – 6 fluorescent channels plus FSC & SSC; with Auto sampler 96 well format attached]

Liquid Handling & Sample Formatting

  • Flexus Robotic Platform- Separate robotic and pipetting arms, a 270° rotating microplate gripper and a pipetting arm with 8 individual washable tip probes (volume range 1μl - 1ml)
  • CyBi-Well Pipettor Device- Fixed head, disposable tip pipettor which can be configured with for 96 or 384 channels (volume ranges from 200nL to 1000µL); ideal for HTS or research environments. It is ideal for reformatting, replication and plate coating.
  • Fluid X XSP-200 Single Channel Sample Processor- The XSP-200 liquid handling and sample formatting workstation primarily set up to pipette from Eppendorf tubes into 96 micro plates or 1.2ml tubes (96 format). The range available for pipetting is 10ul to 1.0.ml.
  • Thermo Scientific Multidrop Combi Reagent Dispenser- The instrument is intended for automated dispensing of up to eight different reagents simultaneously. Provides precise dispensing over a 0.5 to 2500μL range, ensuring reproducible assay data.

Other dedicated immunoassay equipment

  • 4titude 4s3 variable temperature thermal sealer
  • Biological Safety Cabinet (Class II)
  • Various Plate washers for 96 well, deep well plates
  • Bio-plex Wash Station-incorporates a magnetic plate carrier for reliable, hands-free wash steps on magnetic bead-based assays (xMAP assays)
  • Grant- Bio Thermo shaker PHMP - 4 plate shaker & incubator (temp range 25°C to 60°C)
  • 6 plate vibrating platform shaker (Heidolph Titramax 1000)
  • Incubator (Stuart S160) easy access working chamber (RT to 60°C)
  • 2D barcode scanners (handheld, single tube or 96 plate formats)
  • Various Adjustable Tip Spacing Multichannel Pipettes
  • Various Calibrated Single pipettes (0.5µl to 10.0ml) [Eppendorf, positive displacement, Nichipet fatigue free]
  • Various Calibrated Multi-channel 8 & 12 pipettes (0.5µl to 200µl)
  • Thermo Fisher Mini Tube Rotator (0.8ml to 50ml tubes)
  • Invitrogen Dyna Mag-2 (for efficient magnetic separation of all types of Dynabeads® (range 1–4.5 µm in diameter) in small (<2 mL) sample volumes; Optimal working volume 10-2000µl; Holds up to 16 standard 1.5–2 mL microcentrifuge tubes
  • R&D Systems MagCellect Magnet (can accommodate six 12 x 75 mm (5 mL) or two 17 x 100 mm (15 mL) round bottom tubes)
  • Ultra cold -80°C freezers- linked to wireless alarm, monitoring and data logging system
  • -40°C freezers- linked to wireless alarm, monitoring and data logging system
  • 4-8°C c cold storage- alarm system
  • Cold rack for sample handling ensuring samples remain frozen
  • Various centrifuges (RT & cold) [plates, micro tubes to 50ml tubes)
  • Water baths
  • Sonicator
  • Denley spiramix

Popular biomarkers

This list does not include the hundreds of biomarker combinations that are available to multiplex (or as singleplex assays).The list is always changing as more biomarkers are being added. Please contact us and see if we can measure your biomarkers of interest or if you'd like assistance in choosing which biomarkers may be more beneficial to your research.

 List of most popular Biomarkers

Total GLP-1

HS Troponin I

Cystatin-C

MPO

IL-1β

Active GLP-1

HS Tau

5HIAA

oxLDL

IL-1-α

Glucagon

HS Aβ 42

LCP1

Galectin-3

Renin

Insulin

HS Aβ 40

IGFBP-3

Pro NT-BNP

IL-6

Leptin

HS NF-light

TGF-β

Aldosterone

IL-8

Adiponectin

HS GFAP

MIP-α

Renin

IL-10

25 OH D

HS UCH-L1

MMP-1

BDNF

TRACP-5b

1,25(OH) D

HS CRP

MMP-2

GDF-15

Feutin-A

Resistin

RANTES

MMP-3

ST-2

Galectin-3

Osteocalcin

TNF-α

MMP-9

 Cortisol

Kallistatin

Β- Hydroxybutyrate

MCP-1

TIMP-1

TBARS

FGF-23

HS- high sensitivity 

Costs vary depending on the biomarker and the number of samples to be measured. Routinely we measure all biomarkers in duplicate and QCs are included within the assays, costs are therefore based on usually on sets of 38 duplicate measurements.

Sample processing and sample handling

We have extensive knowledge on the importance of handling blood samples from the choice of blood collection tubes to accurate specimen aliquoting to ensure an acceptable level of quality in these samples and to enhance the reproducibility and comparability of test results derived from these specimens.

We understand that proper sample collection and handling (Pre-analytical Phase) is an integral part of obtaining a valid and timely laboratory test result.

Sample storage

We have experience in the optimal storage of samples (4°C, -20°C, and 80°C short-term storage available). The -80°C freezers are connected to a text alert alarm system, which is monitored continuously and daily temperature logs for refrigerators and -20°C freezers. Sample management and tracking is available using 2D data-matrix (single or 96 well format) or barcode scanner and tracking details and sample ID saved onto excel spread sheet format.

Sample logistics

Our experience in transfer of biological samples from one location to another is another provision the immunoassay laboratory can provide. For example frozen samples can be sent or received (nationally or internationally) by us on your behalf or we can organise the fresh clinical samples to be posted in specialised pre- paid postal boxes to us for sample processing and assaying.

Address

Mail Box 1, School of Medicine
Ninewells Hospital
Dundee
DD1 9SY
View facility on Campus Map

Enquiries

Dr Gwen Kennedy
 +44 (0)1382 383048
 g.y.kennedy@dundee.ac.uk

Lesley McFarlane
 +44 (0)1382 383114
 l.c.mcfarlane@dundee.ac.uk