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Synthace Develops an Innovative New Approach To Automating an ELISA

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Synthace Ltd, the company behind Antha, the cloud-based software platform for automating and improving the success rate of biological processes, has launched a new software capability for streamlining a fundamental workhorse of biochemistry: the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Antha now allows researchers to flexibly design and execute automated ELISA protocols and automatically gather, structure, and analyse the data in an accessible, in-depth format, saving researchers valuable time from design to data acquisition.

A Powerful Detection Tool

ELISA protocols are ubiquitous in life science research but feature prominently in drug discovery, pathology (plant and animal), medical diagnostics, and quality control. Essentially, ELISAs use specific antibodies, like those generated by our immune system, to detect antigens and give off a detectable signal using an enzyme such as horseradish peroxidase. Without these assays, scientists would not be able to rapidly identify viral proteins, like in the HIV test, or detect potential allergens or toxins in food. An ELISA test for coronavirus was one of the first antibody detection methods available at the outset of the pandemic.

Shifting Bottlenecks and Reducing Burdens

ELISA protocols have repetitive liquid handling steps that lend themselves easily to automation. These complex protocols are often performed on multiple pieces of equipment that are not always physically connected. This creates several barriers: the scientist must know how to program all of the machines involved as well as acquire and process the data from them individually. Ultimately, automating ELISA assays reduces the time spent on liquid handling, but creates two new bottlenecks in programming and data handling.

To reduce the programming and data handling burdens for researchers, Sythace’s Antha acts as a single point of contact to perform the assay and acquire results. Antha is device-agnostic, with an intuitive user interface that allows scientists to design a flexible, end-to-end protocol and test it step-by-step in silico before sending it to the machines involved.

Changing How We Gather Data

In addition to showing the user a preview of the experiment, Antha automatically gathers tracks and structures data generated during the assays, even from non-integrated devices. At the conclusion of the protocol, Antha will generate a complete data analysis and visualisation of these data automatically, saving time and resources spent gathering data and formatting it manually.

Clients trialing the new ELISA feature in Antha reported:

  • 70% reduction in method programming time
  • 81% reduction in assay design and analysis time

ELISAs are a critical assay across many fields within life science. As highly sensitive assays, they require precision and reproducibility that automation can provide. Flexible end-to-end approaches for ELISAs help scale key assays across many sectors, including biopharmaceutical development.