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Simplicity Discrete Analyzer

What is a Discrete Analyzer and how does it work?

What is a Discrete Analyzer and how does it work?

A discrete analyzer can best be described as a robotic automated chemistry analyzer that performs tests on samples in discrete reaction cuvettes (wells). The discrete analyzer mimics the operation of dispensing and mixing reagents and samples that would normally be performed by a technician performing a manual test on the bench.

Most methods that are performed manually on the bench or on segmented flow analyzers (SFA) and flow injection analyzers (FIA) can be adapted to run on a discrete analyzer with a few limited exceptions. Detection limits and reproducibility of discrete analyzers are usually comparable to manual spectrophotometers, segmented flow, and flow injection analyzers.

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Several discrete analyzers are available today in the marketplace and generally fall into two basic categories, direct read and flow cell based systems. Both categories have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to performing wet chemistry.

Direct read systems make the final colorimetric reading through the same reaction cuvette (well) that the sample and reagents were mixed in which improves overall throughput. Some direct read systems wash and re-use the same reaction cuvette (well) over and over, whereas, others use the reaction cuvette (well) once and dispose of it.

Flow cell based systems mix the sample in a reaction cuvette (well) and then draw the final reacted product into a flow cell for measurement. Flow cell based systems tend to be slightly slower than direct read systems, but have significant advantages over direct read systems in regards to reproducibility and sensitivity. Higher quality flow cell based systems use quartz flow cells and have the ability to accommodate larger length flow cells for greater sensitivity.

Special note: When selecting a discrete analyzer for your lab, simple is usually better. Avoid instruments with complicated washing systems, big bulky external tanks, and lines. Avoid purchasing an analyzer with electrical components placed near fluidic paths or placed in locations where potential spills can take place. Look for analyzers that are easy to maintain and user serviceable with minimal parts.