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In the last quarter of a century, the use of enzymes for specific tasks has increased dramatically. As a result, hematology manufacturers have developed solutions containing a mixture of detergents and highly refined proteolytic enzymes to be used in the cleaning and maintenance of hematology analyzers. When used as instructed, these solutions will aid the removal of protein buildup from aperture assemblies and tubing, a consequence of normal use, especially in offices that perform finger sticks or draw samples from smaller animal patients. (These samples are easily contaminated with tissue thromboplastin, a common cause of clogging.)

While bleach has been the traditional, highly effective choice for removal of protein buildup, it has the disadvantage of being caustic to skin, glue joints, plastic tubing, valves, and plastic aperture assemblies and should be used somewhat sparingly. Enzymatic cleaners, on the other hand, may be used daily or even several times daily with little effect on analyzer components. If your analyzer seems to have an excessive number of “clogs” or partial clogs, such daily cleaning or soaking may prove effective in reducing the frequency. We continue to recommend, however, that a dilute solution of bleach be periodically utilized for more thorough protein removal.

Aperture assemblies can be soaked in a blood dilution vial or cup of enzymatic cleaner for 5-10 minutes or overnight as needed. After soaking, rinse well with diluent and run background counts until they are within the normal range for your instrument. 

Recommended Enzymatic Cleaners

Hemazyme (Hematronix, Inc.)

Coulter Clenz (Beckman)



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