Often referred to simply as a dry block, a dry block heater is a compact component designed for thermal processing of several samples simultaneously. They are typically designed with multiple apertures suitable for sample tubes and vials, or microplates with up to 96 microwells. A benchtop heating element encapsulated in an aluminium housing then generates the temperatures required to uniformly heat sample media to encourage increased rates of reaction.
Dry block heaters are routinely used in medical diagnostic testing for both human and animal biological samples. This blog post will explore the use of dry block heaters as incubators for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing.
Using Dry Block Heaters for ELISA Diagnostics
An ELISA, or EIA, test is a screening methodology for detecting small analytes such as diseased tissue or drug metabolites in an organic sample. This technique uses monoclonal antibodies derived from an antigen and a chromatic detection agent to measure the presence and concentration of a specific analyte within the sample. Dry block heaters are used to incubate the samples and encourage antibodies to bind to target antigens within the sample.
In a direct ELISA, the wells of a microplate are coated with a monoclonal antibody before the test sample is introduced. An enzyme-conjugated antibody is then added to the wells before the microplate is incubated using a dry block heater. Finally, a chemical substrate is added to elicit a chromatic response proportional to the concentration levels of antigen within the sample.
Precise heating of the sample is required to reduce the risk of false positive results. ELISA tests are commonly used for toxicology screening and medical diagnostics, so the utmost accuracy must be attained when preparing samples for chromatic analysis.
Digital Dry Block Heater from Glas-Col
Glas-Col designs, manufactures, and supplies cutting-edge heating instruments for some of the most demanding laboratory applications in terms of purity and sample sensitivity. Our conveniently low-footprint dry block heater for compact thermal processing of 96-well plates at temperatures of up to 125°C to an accuracy of within +/- 2°C. It is equipped with an intuitive user-interface that is easy to use, with an automatic PID controller in a single-loop, auto-tuning configuration.
If you would like any more information about our digital dry block heater, please do not hesitate to contact us.