Manual Capture Work Station Demonstration Presented by Immucor

Written by: Aicha Mehnaci, Wake Tech MLT Student

The Capture Work Station Demo, presented by Ms. Courtney Burch, was a great opportunity to see and learn a more advanced way to run blood bank tests, other than manual tubes. Capture is a type of solid phase method where the little wells play the role of tubes and the grading is opposite of hemagglutination. The Capture procedure consists of six simple steps:

  1. ADD LISS: Add 2 drops of Capture LISS to the wells that have already been coated with the appropriate antigens.
  2. ADD PATIENT SAMPLE: Add 1 drop of donor/ patient plasma (in our demo we used positive and negative controls).
  3. INCUBATE: Incubate strips at 37°C for 25 minutes.
  4. WASH: Wash the strips in the automated washer.
  5. ADD INDICATOR CELLS: Add 1 drop of indicator cells to each of the wells.
  6. CENTRIFUGE AND READ RESULTS: Centrifuge test strips and read reactions.

The presentation had very helpful information for us, especially because many of my fellow students are going to clinical sites that use Capture as their main method to run tests in the blood bank department. My clinical site was one of them, and I was glad that on the first day I already had an idea about what the preceptor was explaining to me. Thank you Ms. Goodson and Ms. Burch for this opportunity!

 

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Testing at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health

Written by: Curtis Graham, Wake Tech MLT Student

Recently, the MLT Class of 2020 had the opportunity to participate in training sessions for molecular diagnostics at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health (NCSLPH).The specific testing that we got to perform is called Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, and it targets and amplifies specific segments of DNA. This testing method has various applications, such as identification of infectious agents like viruses and microorganisms.

We were given a tour of the labs and assisted in the process of testing. Each step of the testing required relocation to a different lab so that the process worked from “clean” to “dirty” to avoid cross-contamination. We assembled the reagents, enzymes, water and a special PCR matrix. These were added to microtubes followed by introduction of the patient sample. The microtube trays were then placed on the instrument which performed “real-time PCR”. The steps of real-time PCR include denaturation, annealing, extension and then final holding. The instrument mapped the amplified DNA and RNA segments once there was an exponential amount. The analysis produced graphs which mapped the process and identified the organism.

It was cool to finally witness this testing since we had been learning about it in class. Knowing how fast and useful its application is in diagnostic medicine made the experience an exciting moment. Molecular diagnostics is the future of laboratory science!