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Vaccine testing using Monocyte Activation Test

In 2021, DCVMN initiated a programme to establish Virtual Reality (VR) training tools, related to laboratory and facility processes to provide hands-on experiences.

In collaboration with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) a VR training tool was developed to highlight the preparation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) which could be used in various in-vitro testing. To illustrate the versatility of PBMCs and provide a real-life example of their increasing relevance to vaccine industry the VR training below will focus on performing the Monocyte Activation Test (MAT) to assess in-vitro pyrogenicity of vaccine preparations.

For more than a hundred years the Rabbit Pyrogen Test has been the gold standard for pyrogen testing, however regulatory bodies, like the European Pharmacopeia (Ph. Eur.), the Indian and the Chinese Pharmacopoeia and the World Health Organization, are now transitioning towards the use of in-vitro testing specifically recommending the Monocyte Activation Test where possible and after product specific validation. The Monocyte Activation Test (MAT) is designed to test parenteral drugs, biologics and medical devices for all classifications of pyrogens. It employs human blood to simulate the first stages of the human immune system, and detect the presence of pyrogenic components. More information on the MAT can be found on the training course available on the DCVMN Moodle (Course: Monocyte activation test)

The VR software below has been developed and optimized for Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets and controls. Follow the instructions below which will direct you through the installation process and start up. It is suggested before using the VR software you familiarize yourself with the Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets and controls by performing the native instruction application.

How to install

  1. Download the SideQuest application which will facilitate the installation of the VR software from the following link
  2. After SideQuest is downloaded, run the .exe file to install it
  3. Once SideQuest installation is completed, run the application. It should look similar to this:

  4. Turn on the Oculus Quest 2 headset (if you have not used the headset prior follow the on-screen instructions and set up and Oculus account)
  5. Plug the headset in to the computer. If this is the first time the headset is plugged in to the computer, the following window will show up (the text may be a bit different). Select always allow from this computer.

  6. If the following window shows up, allow access to data:

  7. In SideQuest, on the top right, it should now show that you have connected an Oculus Quest

  8. Download the Monocyte Activation Test training application from the following link: Download Training App
  9. In SideQuest, select the button to Install APK file from folder on computer

  10. Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the MAT training application, and select the downloaded .apk file.
  11. Once the installation is successful, put on the headset, and navigate to the app library

  12. Select the Monocyte Activation Training application and follow the instructions to commence the training.