Filta-Max xpress System

A breakthrough in filter processing

Filter-Max express main image

  • Run a sample in less than two minutes.
  • A rapid, efficient technology for the capture and recovery of Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
  • The filter module has been optimised to capture target organisms from a wide range of raw water matrices.
  • Using air pressure to force a specifically developed elution buffer though the filter, the elution procedure has been developed to rapidly and simply elute target organisms at the push of a button.
  • The action of the buffer, coupled with the unique architecture of the foam filter, results in a highly effective process.
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With the Filta-Max xpress system you can process samples in two minutes or less with the push of a button.

Automated precision
  • Offers fully automated elution.
  • Operates with the push of a button.
  • Requires minimal equipment.
Superior processing
  • Requires very little hands-on time.
  • Provides the fastest sample processing available.
  • Takes 2 minutes or less per sample, regardless of
    sample matrix.
Its cost effective
  • Reduces labor.
  • Minimises user variability with automation.
  • Requires minimal training.
  • Promotes higher productivity in your laboratory.

Filta-Max xpress makes sampling easy.

The Filta-Max xpress system offers a variety of sample collections (PDF) and processing choices. Simply choose the option that works best for you.


How the Filta-Max xpress system works

The Filta-Max xpress system has utilised IDEXX expertise in foam filtration technology to create a breakthrough in Cryptosporidium and Giardia capture and recovery.

While retaining all the benefits of foam technology, the new filter has been specifically designed to:

  • Effectively capture and recover oocysts and cysts from a wide range of turbid matrices.
  • Dramatically simplify the processing portion of the test, saving time and labour.

Filter module: The filter module is constructed of 40 reticulated foam discs with a diameter of 5.5 cm (with an 1.8 cm diameter hole), and 39 discs with a diameter of 4.0 cm (also with an 1.8 cm diameter hole). All the discs are 1 cm in depth.

Discs: The discs are stacked alternately to a height of 79 cm and then compressed to a height of 3.0 cm. A retaining bolt maintains the compression. This produces a filter module consisting of an outer region with a 13.3X compression ratio and an inner core with a compression ratio of 26.6X.

Filter housing: The filter is placed in a reusable filter housing for sampling.

Sampling process: During the sampling process, the outer region acts as a prefilter and the inner core as a barrier. As a result, the majority of target organisms become trapped at the interface between the inner and outer regions, with larger particulates caught in the prefilter.

The Filta-Max xpress system uses air pressure to force a specifically designed elution buffer through the filter.

The action of the buffer, along with the shear forces generated inside the filter, result in the fast, efficient elution of target organisms from the filter matrix.

How to Use

Learn how to use Filta-Max xpress

Watch these videos to learn how to do several operations using the Filta-Max xpress.


Step-by-step guide to using Filta-Max xpress system


Step 1

Place the Filta-Max xpress filter module in the filter housing and connect it to the required source.
(IDEXX supplies quick-connect fittings to enable easy field or grab sample handling.)

Step 2

After sampling, the filter housing can be attached directly to the IDEXX Filta-Max xpress Pressure Elution Station. (Other sampling options are available.)

File Icon  View Filta-Max xpress Sampling Options


Q & A

Frequently asked questions and answers


Is Filta-Max listed in the Standing Committee of Analysts Blue Book?
Yes, Filta-Max is specified in the Microbiology of Drinking Water (MoDW) Part 14, 2010.

What volume remains in the housing after sampling?
Typically there might be between 0 mL–50 mL remaining in the housing after sampling. This is purged from the housing during the first cycle of the elution.

Can I convert my MKII housings for use with the Filta-Max xpress Pressure Elution Station?
Yes. IDEXX provides a kit that includes a QF stem and a QC body that you can fit onto the MKII housing. IDEXX also provides a sampling kit that you can attach to the sampling hose to aid in the quick attachment of the filter housing.

Which pressures do you recommend for use with the Filta-Max xpress Pressure Elution Station?

  • Minimum input pressure: 65 psig (4.5 bar)
  • Maximum input pressure: 150 psig (10.3 bar)
  • Working pressure: 72.5 to 116 psig (5 to 8 bar)


What is the final volume after elution?
The final volume is 400 mL–450 mL.

Are there any integrity effects on the oocysts and cysts?
IDEXX performed experiments with various ages of oocysts and cysts, and did not see any changes to the morphology or mophometry.

Do you see more consistent or higher recoveries with the  Filta-Max xpress system?
Recoveries are equivalent to, or higher than, Filta-Max and show a higher degree of precision.

Does the Pressure Elution Station require calibration?
The machine is calibrated at point of manufacture and does not require recalibration thereafter. There are low- and high-pressure gauges that can be used to check the pressure. The high-pressure gauge should read 5 bar and the low-pressure gauge should read 0.5 bar.

How robust is the Pressure Elution Station?
IDEXX has carried out a mean time between failure analysis and seen that even at 85,000 cycles, the elution station was still functioning correctly.

Can I modify the product to accommodate 2 X 250-mL centrifuge tubes?
Although the Filta-Max xpress system has been optimized to use a total elution volume of 400 mL–450 mL contained within a 500 mL centrifuge tube, IDEXX has validated the use of 2 X 250-mL centrifugation at 1500 X g for 15 minutes as an alternative procedure. IDEXX suggests that laboratories validate this alternative procedure before adopting it.

Can I split the sample in two after elution?
Yes, this is possible.

What is in the elution buffer used in the Filta-Max xpress Pressure Elution Station?
The Filta-Max xpress buffer is Phospate Buffered Saline with Tween 20 (PBST). You can find directions on how to prepare this PBST elution buffer on page 5 of the Filta-Max xpress Operators Guide (Biological) .

Does the lid on the buffer carboy fit onto a larger volume carboy?
The lid is interchangeable with a larger carboy with an 83-mm diameter closure.

How should I clean the pressure chamber after each run?
You should run reagent water through the elution station after the last elution cycle of the day.

How should I clean the QC body on the Pressure Elution Station?
You can clean the QC stem with an alcohol wipe; however, positive pressure is used to elute so there is very minimal risk of cross-contamination.

When centrifuging a larger volume, such as 400–450 mL, is there anything I should take into consideration to maximise recovery?
It is advisable to minimise vibration, balance the centrifuge and use a slightly higher centrifuge speed (2000 g).

Which matrices has IDEXX used in developing Filta-Max xpress system?
IDEXX has experimented with challenging matrices from a wide range of geographical locations.

Is there a chance for cross-contamination when using the Filta-Max xpress Pressure Elution Station?
The elution station uses positive pressure to elute the oocysts and cysts from the filter module, minimizing the risk of contaminating the unit itself. IDEXX supplies five outlet diverters with each elution station so your laboratory can switch diverters between samples. You can clean these manually or in an autoclave. IDEXX has researched the possibility of cross-contamination by using high spikes of target organisms (e.g., 106) and there has not been any evidence of cross-contamination.

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Resources & Product Information


IDEXX Water has reference materials and approval documents to support the many products in our water portfolio.

IDEXX Water Customer Support

UK Headquarters

IDEXX Technologies Ltd Units 1B & 1C, Newmarket Business Park, Studlands Park Avenue, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB87ER

Tel: 01638 676800

ISO Certifications

File Icon  ISO 9001:2008

File Icon  ISO 17025:2005

File Icon  ISO 14001:2004