Clinical chemistry analyzers use measurement technologies including photometric and colorimetric testing, ion-selective potentiometry, and latex agglutination to analyze samples such as blood serum, plasma, and urine. Chemistry analyzers are used in all types of laboratories, from small point-of-care clinics to high-throughput clinical labs, to test for analytes such as proteins, enzymes, and electrolytes. Applications include monitoring diseases such as diabetes, testing for metabolic functions or cardiac markers, and drugs-of-abuse testing. Benchtop analyzers are the most common type, but compact bedside models, usually with fewer test options, and high-throughput floor-based units are also available.
Considerations for purchasing a clinical chemistry analyzer
When choosing a clinical analyzer, research the instrument’s throughput capability (which can reach up to 10,000 combined ISE and colorimetric tests per hour), testing speed, and test menu to be sure it’s a good fit for your laboratory. Will a STAT mode or random-access capability be required? Is batch, random, or continuous analysis preferred? Consider if additional testing will be offered by the lab in the future to ensure the system offers the required capabilities. Remember that a higher-end instrument that uses less expensive reagents may prove to be more cost-effective over its lifetime. Additional factors include sample handling, the unit’s footprint, and its ability to work with microvolumes, a valuable parameter in neonatal units. Laboratories handling thousands of tests per hour will require bar-code handling and data management software.
Future of clinical chemistry analyzer
Advances in clinical chemistry analyzers will be concurrent with the development of new assays, further improving patient care. Manufacturers are customizing analyzers for use in smaller laboratories, use in very high volume situations such as in a large hospital, or in the field. As software capabilities continue to develop, clinical chemistry analyzers will be able to offer increased testing speed and degree of automation.
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