Interview Ulrich SackMy name is Professor Dr Ulrich Sack, head of the flow cytometry laboratory at the Institute for Clinical Immunology, University of Leipzig in Germany.
Our institute had the pleasure to be one of the three European clinical evaluation laboratories for Beckman Coulter’s new 13-color DxFLEX IVD flow cytometer. The goal of the evaluation was to generate high parametric clinical data across all three clinical laboratories to confirm the high degree of standardization achieved with the DxFLEX.
Our 8-color instrument was in daily use in the lab so to transition to DxFLEX there had to be minimal disruption to our daily routine. The transition was very convenient and fast as no changes to our established panels were required. Being able to use the same antibodies, the same fluorochromes and the same markers enabled us to transition these panels seamlessly in just a few days.
After a short training by Beckman Coulter’s Application team my PhD students, with no experience in flow cytometry, could successfully operate the DxFLEX and within a couple of days were running their own experiments.
The system is easy to learn, easy to operate and we appreciate its flexibility and workflow efficiency when running both low and high complexity samples in our daily routine.
Interview Annabelle Ernst
As part of my doctoral thesis with Prof. Sack, I compared a new flow cytometer with the existing device. Since I had little experience with flow cytometry based on my studies, the task of contrasting the FACSCanto II from BD and the new DxFLEX from Beckman Coulter in a doctoral thesis seemed to me to be a very big challenge. The devices seem complicated, the software was unknown, and there was the immense complexity of the field of immunology. The fear of doing something wrong or even brake it was omnipresent at the beginning, but “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”, so I accepted the challenge.
When the new DxFLEX was delivered, the Beckman Coulter application team helped me set up the device and explained how the device and software worked to the laboratory team and me how the device and software work.
With their support, I learned all necessary steps, from the start-up program to daily clean, measuring QC samples, creating panels and measure them.
It took a day before I dared to put my first own sample into the device with a lot of caution and palpitations to measure it successfully. And then days turned into weeks and caution turned into routine - In the end, I had completely overcome my initial inhibitions and enjoyed working with the DxFLEX.
The CytExpert software that belongs to the DxFLEX is also clear and easy to use when it comes to measuring the samples.
At the beginning I concentrated on our diagnostic panels, which only have 8 colors. Later I worked with DURAClone tubes and measured panels with up to 13 colors.
In summary, I can say that I enjoy working with the DxFLEX and that familiarization is also possible for a flow cyometry beginner. It is easy to use and based on the measurement data I have collected, it becomes clear that the DxFLEX is very well suited for clinical routine.