VITO's analytical platform to support its activities in health diagnostics consists of an extensive number of instruments and testing capabilities. The main ones are in vitro inhalation testing (ALIEXS platform) and technology and assay development

In vitro inhalation testing (ALIEXS platform)

  • 2 VITROCELL perpendicular flow exposure modules (4 and 48 positions)
  • 1 VITROCELL Cloud mist generation system (12 positions)
  • Patented horizontal flow exposure system (4 positions)
  • Dry Powder Generation Systems: PreciseInhale (also able to test DPI and pMDI inhalers) and Rotary Brush Generator
  • Generation systems for liquids: various atomisers and vibrating mesh nebuliser (Aerogen)
  • Online and offline aerosol characterisation tools
  • Dose determinations in stainless steel inserts or after cutting out the membrane of cells; analysis in collaboration with chemical department (e.g. ICP-AES, ICP-MS, HS-GC-MS, LC-MS)
  • Numerous endpoint measurements (cell viability, cytotoxicity, membrane integrity, inflammatory responses (at the gene and protein level), oxidative stress response (at the gene level or via flow cytometry), cilia frequency, mucus secretion, proteomics, transcriptomics, histology (via subcontracting), quantitative in vitro to in vivo translation (QIVIVE)

Technology and assay development

  • Biological sample fractionation: (density gradient) ultracentrifugation, size exclusion chromatography, immunomagnetic separation, FACS sorting 
  • In vitro 2D and 3D cell culture, production of extracellular vesicles
  • Biomolecular analysis: biolayer interferometry, high-sensitivity flow cytometry, Western blot, ELISA, multiplex electrochemiluminescence immunoassays, multi-modal spectrometry (UV-Vis, fluorescence, luminescence), digital droplet PCR, RT-PCR, micro-array 
  • Characterisation of nanomaterials and bioconjugation: differential particle sedimentation, nanoparticle tracking analysis, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, SEM-EDX, chemical composition 
  • Tracing biomarkers VITO has state-of-the-art equipment for liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry and offers services for both academic and industrial research partners. The services range from ‘structure clarification’ (including PTMs) to ‘quantitative proteomics’ (with or without use of labels), of both peptides and proteins for both simple and complex samples.µ
  • Along with the University of Antwerp, VITO is part of the Centre for Proteomics.


  • Alongside specific testing facilities for diagnostic research, there are many other possibilities in the field of physical and chemical analysis and characterisation of solid, liquid or gaseous samples at VITO.