The AllergyScreen® / AlleisaScreen® testing systems
Allergy diagnostics and the identification of a sensitization against allergens is an interdisciplinary challenge that incorporates knowledge gained through medical science, biochemistry and biology.
Long years of experience and work done with single test systems in allergological labs have shown that only a few key allergens are responsible for the patient‘s disorders. And so, a question emerged: Why not collect all these key allergens and combine them in one single reaction trough?
Development of the test
Mediwiss Analytic has vast experience in the extraction of allergens from raw material and extensive know-how of western blot protein analysis. This led to the idea of binding high quality, self-extracted, lyophilised allergens to a nitrocellulose membrane with the help of a contact plot printer.
The required antibody and substrate for the visualization of the specific IgE/allergen reaction were available and well known. It was only necessary to develop a plastic reaction trough in which the membrane strips could be glued. This resulted in a ready-to-use test for the determination of specific IgE in human serum.
The original contact plot printer used pencils filled with a special protein solution. New sophisticated equipment was developed featuring up to (at that time) 21 micro dispensing pumps which can be individually programmed according to variable and individual parameters with minimal divergence. Todays systems even have 10 additional pumps and can realize our AlleisaScreen® with up to 60 allergens at a time.
Supportive hardware and software systems were also developed, beginning with a camera that took a photo of the membranes and allowed a quantitative analysis of the results and later for a scanner that scans the membranes and gives high resolution pictures and more precise results.
With the initial AllergyScreen® system and the corresponding hardware, up to 20 allergens could be measured per membrane. The demand for more allergen lines on a single membrane surface led to AlleisaScreen®, a bigger biochip with a maximum capability of up to 60 allergens on one test strip that is glued in a ready-to-use reaction trough. This allows the testing of all key allergens in one determination. The fact that these new biochips required a higher camera resolution resulted in the development of a new analysis system, the Improvio Scanner Family.
What started as a simple qualitative visual test strip has been developed into a highly innovative, quantitative nitrocellulose chip system for the determination of specific IgE, IgG4 and IgG in human serum with customized, high resolution scanner systems.