TruCulture tube systems answers the need for the standardization of immunophenotyping procedures. TruCulture is a point-of-care, syringe-based, whole blood assay that can be used to reproducibly assess induced immune responses eliminating pre-analytical errors. In comparison with traditional methods to study the immune response to stimuli, like in vitro cultures of PBMCs, the TruCulture system better reflects the complexity of the immune response in vivo as it maintains a more complete in vivo-like culture environments containing multiple cell types.
Pre-analytical bias of traditional immunophenotyping methods
The complexity of the immune response is the result of the interplay between different immune cell types and the integration of different signalling pathways engaged in response to different stimuli. Responses to different stimuli can vary greatly between individuals and the identification of common patterns represent a great challenge. A caveat to the identification of patterns is that biological variation may often be masked by technical variation due to manipulation methods. The traditional in vitro method used to study the immune response to stimuli is peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) cultures. Using PBMC for in vitro stimulation has several limitations: 1) multiple handling procedure steps introduces pre-analytical bias with results that are operator-dependent; 2) Ficoll-Hypaque gradient separation results in the variable loss of certain leukocytes and platelets; 3) heterogeneity of protocols for PBMCs preparation make results laboratory-dependent; 4) changes in time and conditions of the cells from blood drawing to the in vitro stimulation, introduce additional variability.
Whole-blood point-of-care system
Direct measurements made in whole blood have the advantages of minimizing sample handling and providing in vitro assay systems that preserve physiological cellular interactions. The TruCulture tube assay has been conceived to simplify the procedure for immune stimulation, assuring standardization and harmonization of results across different laboratories.
TruCulture tube components
TruCulture is a syringe-based device in which exactly 1ml of blood is drawn directly in the tube pre-filled with cell culture medium and the stimulus of interest. After removing the plunger, the TruCulture tube is used as whole blood culture system incubated in a dry heat block onsite at 37°C for up to 48 hours. A valve is then inserted to manually separate the supernatant from the cells for subsequent downstream analysis.
TruCulture system workflow