An allergic reaction is an overreaction of the immune system to a certain, often harmless substance. It then forms antibodies, so-called immunoglobulins. This body reaction provides the basis for the functioning of the ImmunoCAP™.
The tool measures the specific immunoglobulin E (IgE). In this way it is possible to determine sensitization at an early stage, often before patients develop clinical symptoms. “With ImmunoCAP™ it is possible to test sensitization to significantly more than 500 different allergens,” says Magnus Askvid, Manager Production Engineering at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
The test principle
For the IgE-test, the physician first takes blood from the patient. The obtained serum or plasma is added to the ImmunoCAP™ Allergen in a laboratory system and the number of the respective antibodies is determined. Sensitization to an allergen is confirmed or ruled out as follows.
Harro Höfliger has been supporting Thermo Fisher for more than thirty years with the product assembly of the ImmunoCAP™ test dispenser. At the end of 2017, the fifth machine was delivered to Uppsala.
The individual parts of the ImmunoCAP™ test dispenser are fed as bulk material to two coupled machines. Then the insertion of the sponges takes place which are punched in parallel from nonwoven material soaked in liquid. A camera controls the presence and position of the punched parts. Subsequently, the pass-caps are moistened with buffer liquid. This is again followed by an optical dosage control. Any fail-parts will be rejected. At another intermittent machine a camera checks the plastic tubes for damage before they are filled with caps. A slight vibration of the tube after insertion ensures that the caps slide into each other easily. Furthermore, a mechanical fill level control checks the tubes for correct filling. In the last assembly step, the caps, which are fed via a vibratory feeder, are fitted.