The 2018 AACC Annual Meeting and Clinical Expo: Highlights and New Products

The 70th annual American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) scientific meeting and clinical expo was hosted in Chicago, July 29 through August 2.

The research and discussion focal points this year included: Eight topic tracks ranging from Mass Spectrometry and Genomics/Genetics to Pediatric/Maternal-Fetal and Point-of-Care Testing. Plenary and scientific session topics ranged from quality considerations for FDA/CLIA laboratory testing standards to Nucleic Acid Detection Using CRISPR-Dx, and beyond.

The event also ushered in a new product competition, the AACC Disruptive Technology Award, which recognized innovative testing solutions that improve patient care through diagnostic performance or access to high-quality testing.

A total number of 871 exhibitors were present, showcasing a vast array of products, services, and new technologies. Here we offer a snapshot of the range and depth of technologies on display at this year's conference. We also take a moment to highlight an innovative product designed to address a major pain point in the clinical lab.

Clinical instruments and solutions

Roche Diagnostics showcased their Cobas line of integrated and speciality clinical analyzers.

  • The 8000 modular analyzer series are built for true high-throughput serum analysis, with ranges of 250-2000+ samples/day or 2.5 to 15 million samples/year. The systems are designed for optimal efficiency, functionality, and scalability.
  • New for this year is the cobas e801 module, which enables high-volume immunoassay testing using electrochemilumuninescence (ECL). Up to 300 tests/hour, 48 reagent channels, 25 % less sample consumption, and on-the-fly loading of up to 5 reagent cassettes per routine operation, make this module a state-of-the art addition to the cobas line.

Thermo Scientific showcased a range of instruments and clinical solutions, from clinical and specialty chemical analyzers to LC-MS/MS, NGS systems, and more. View listings at

  • The Cascadion SM Clinical Analyzer is a CE/IVD-marked LC-MS/MS solution, with a fully automated sample-in results-out workflow to enable clinical labs to achieve gold standard testing quality.
  • The Prelude LX-4 MD HPLC is a Class 1 medical device designed with four automated HPLC channels to deliver up to four different separations to a single mass spectrometer.
  • The Thermo Endura MD Mass Spectrometer is a Class 1 device that combines excellent sensitivity, quantitative performance, and robustness for laboratory developed diagnostic tests.
  • The new Thermo Scientific reagents are designed to improve analytical performance for UHPLC-MS, reducing background noise, preventing protein precipitation, and resulting in high-quality chromatograms.

Perkin Elmer was also present, showcasing the suite of diagnostic applications and screening products. View listings at

  • Immunological assay systems, reagents, software, and informatic solutions cover a wide range of newborn screening applications -- designed to increase process throughput and reduce costs for screening laboratories.
  • Maternal-fetal health is another area of focus, with systems built to detect fetal chromosomal abnormalities and developmental biomarkers. Perkin Elmer Immunoassays, biochemical assays, measurement instruments, and software solutions are meant to constitute complete and practical solutions for pre-eclampsia and aneuploidy screening.

Helmer Scientific showcased their high-quality temperature control products for health departments and clinics.

Follet showcased refrigerators, freezers, and ice and water dispensers designed for precise temperature control applications and patient-focused care.

Eppendorf was present as well, demonstrating the wide-ranging solutions including next generation sequencing, high-performance liquid handling devices, consumables, and more. View listings at

Many more products and solutions were on display, making the AACC clinical expo an interesting and informative event. This meeting also lends discussion to important yet traditionally underserved areas of the clinical lab landscape, and innovative products designed to address these pain points.

Portable cold storage for clinical applications

Ultra-low temperature freezers are a fixture in most clinical labs, serving perhaps the most important function in preserving and maintaining the integrity of clinical samples. As such, great strides in innovation have brought these devices to new standards of security, reliability, accessibility, and traceability for clinical applications.

Despite these advances, deficiencies remain for similar levels of performance in remote storage of clinical samples -- in laboratories, the clinic, or at the patient's bedside.

Stirling Ultracold has released a new product designed to address this very need – with advanced performance for clinical trials, drug discovery, and beyond.

  • The Shuttle Ultra-Low Freezer Portable/Deployable ULT-25NE is an innovative product and the only portable ULT freezer solution available for bringing ULT storage to the patient. 
  • The small, light-weight, and efficient portable -80 °C freezer is ideal biological drugs, patient samples and specimens, and other temperature sensitive applications.
  • At 46 lbs, it can be shipped anywhere in the world as a parcel. 
  • A built-in power supply and universal outlet plug make it adaptable to a range of conditions. 
  • The use of natural refrigerants obviates the need for special shipping classifications.

These features combined with minimal moving parts translate to an engineering innovation well-matched with a challenging yet important clinical application.

View Stirling Ultracold listings at

View ULT freezer listings at

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