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Characterizing T-cell Immune Responses Against SARS-CoV-2 with Ella

Posted October 21, 2021

"Ella is a simple and fast immunoassay platform that would be ideal for implementation in higher biosafety facilities, like BSL-3, to study the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection."

- Anthony Tanoto Tan, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore


Immune cell therapy has revolutionized the way we think about treating cancer, but could this type of immunotherapy be beneficial in an infectious disease setting? The emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) and its associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has certainly presented researchers with an opportunity to evaluate its therapeutic utility.


Anthony Tanoto Tan, Ph.D., a Senior Research Fellow at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, is interested in the application of cell therapy against SARS-COV-2, with research goals focused on characterizing the T-cell immune response in both infected and unexposed individuals. To do this, they routinely use Simple Plex assays on Ella. “We use 1-plex 72-well, 4-plex 32-well and 8-plex 32-well cartridges on the Ella™ platform to measure what cytokines are present in plasma or supernatant samples collected after peptide stimulation to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells,” Dr. Tan explains. With the flexibility in analyte plex and sample throughput Simple Plex™ assays offer and Ella’s speed and automation, researchers can easily create large datasets with little manual intervention in no time.


When asked why he chose Simple Plex assays on Ella for his COVID-19 research, Dr. Tan proclaimed, “The system is easy to use, and the short time it takes to get results makes it ideal for use during the COVID-19 lockdown imposed in Singapore.” Indeed, as an automated closed system, Ella only needs one operator and minimal training to achieve highly reproducible results in just 90 minutes.


Dr. Tan goes on to compare and contrast the advantages of Ella over traditional ELISA and other multiplex platforms commonly used in this setting, “Typical ELISA approaches are laborious and inconsistent, while multiplex platforms are too expensive and shared access to these systems is not always possible. The pandemic lockdown further exemplified this shortcoming since collaborative access to such services became limited.” Taken together, implementing Ella for Dr. Tan’s research enabled increased automation, which reduced timelines and cost while permitting better facility use.


Explore all innovative tools for coronavirus research from Bio-Techne here.


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