Services and Research Models Offered
The services provided by the Immunology Research Group Laboratory (IRGL) includes routine analyses, sophisticated immunological assays, development of specialized immunological research tools, with the aim of providing industry specific applications based on world recognised scientific practices.
The specialist team of IRGL scientists and technicians has been working together for almost a decade. We are an accomplished team dedicated to the performance of laboratory tests and procedures with accuracy and proficiency with guaranteed quality assurance. In this regard, the IRGL is equipped with the latest technology, instrumentation and standards that meet international regulatory requirements. Our aim to achieve accreditation at the South African National Accreditation Services (SANAS), which is a member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), commenced in 2011 and we received full accreditation in August 2012. All procedures involving human peripheral blood isolation and storage, enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), high throughput multiplexing and tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic tests (Interferon gamma Release Assays) is subject to our quality assurance program. Our expertise in these areas has grown from our long running association with the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Division Molecular Biology and Human Genetics at Stellenbosch University where we are based. Finally, protocols have been developed to help customers understand the services offered, to facilitate easy handling and shipping of supplies and samples, in a timely manner at affordable and competitive pricing. You can contact us here for a quotation or more information.
Our laboratory services are world class with custom designed laboratory management systems to allow us to bring laboratory tests under strict quality control systems, to ensure appropriate standards and requirements for drug/vaccine testing, biomarker discovery, clinical trial management and routine diagnostics. These laboratory services also include consultation on the correct specimen to be collected, the management of the specimen (including its storage, transport, safety and ultimate disposal), performance of tests on the specimen, results, interpretation and laboratory management.
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Client/Project Support and Management
- Administration and design of testing protocols & reports
- Documentation of SOPs and Quality Procedures
- Database design and capture
- Electronic data transfer and storage
- Data interpretation and management
Biorepository for Sample Storage
The IRGL provide controlled storage conditions with space for various biological samples collected during clinical trials, field studies or individualresearch projects, to facilitate retrospective analyses. You can trust the IRGL biorepository to preserve the integrity of your samples, even for long term storage at 4oC, -80oC or liquid nitrogen. Viability tests are routinely performed to ensure the highest standard of sample storage and retrieval. Our database also facilitate routine sample tracking, labeling, anonymization or un-blinding of stored samples.
Samples stored include: Sputum, Urine, Cells, Plasma, Serum, CSF, Culture Supernatants, nucleic acids, other biological samples)
- Nucleic acid extraction (RNA, DNA)
- Isolation and viable cryopreservation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs)
- Interferon Gamma Release Assays (TSpot, Quantiferon)
- Flow cytometry services, 8 colour immunophenotyping
- Immunomagnetic bead isolation of untouched cell populations for functional studies
- Immunophenotyping of whole blood or cells for: Innate and adaptive cell frequencies and subsets, including maturation, trafficking, activation, proliferation and chemokine and cytokine expression
- Laser Dissection Microscope & Fluorescence microscopy
- Evaluation of cytokines and chemokines by ELISA and multiplexed bead array
Small Animal Research Facility: in vivoModelling
Experimental animals allow investigation into the immunological mechanisms in disease that would otherwise be impossible to perform in human studies. In this regard, the laboratory mouse serve as an ideal model to investigate immunological features of pre-clinical vaccine/drug tests and pathogenic infections, seeing as they display a similar cellular immune response as observed in humans. The infectious animal laboratory (Bio-safety level-2) is dedicated to creating and maintaining mice for research purposes in a completely germ-free environment, where mice are housed in sterile individual cages to provide researchers an environment which allow experimental infections with no competing background levels of pathogenic colonization. Ethical approval for the use of animals, vaccine/drug tests, performance of experimental infections and procedures are evaluated for approval by the Animal Ethics Committee of the University of Stellenbosch (AEC). We aim to understand how host-pathogen interactions translate into clinical disease. The IRGL uniquely combines expertise in the field of pathogen biology and host immunity to utilize small animal models in order to:
- Investigate molecular pathogenesis of infection biology
- Uncover immunological pathways of communication between pathogen and host
- Analyse host immune responses in diseases
- Safety/immunogenicity of novel drug/vaccine candidates