Solid phase multiplex-bead arrays using the Luminex platform are widely used in many clinical as well as research laboratories. We are relatively comfortable at using our locally generated results despite the fact that inter-assay variability sometimes can be a huge problem. However, when it comes to compare results with other laboratories, we are not so sure. Previous studies have shown that by standardized protocols, laboratories could achieve lower inter-laboratory assay variability. This tool was created specifically for clinical laboratories who would like to collaborate, share and compare results anonymously. As its name implies, it does one job and one job only – anonymizes your .csv Luminex output file, renames the patient identifiable labeling of samples to just Sample_###.
This app is very simplistic and hopefully easy to use. To install the app, download it from the link above. Unzip the file into any folder on your Windows computer (Windows 7, 8, 10 32 bit/64 bit). To run this app, browser to the folder, and double click LxAnonWin.exe to launch it. Use the Open File… button to locate the .csv file that you would like to be anonymised. Click Open. If no error occurs, the anonymised file (original file name + anon.csv) will be output in the same folder as your source file.
On my own computer, after I downloaded this zip file, the above warning popped up in Chrome. This may happen on your computer too. If you trust me, please ignore the warning and proceed. All the files inside are generated by cx_Freeze, a set of scripts and modules that convert Python scripts into executables. The app itself has less than 100 lines of code, if you are comfortable with compiling your own executable, or running it in your own Python environment, please get in touch for the source code. I have not tested it in OS X and Linux environments, however, this app only uses standard Python libraries, so hopefully it should work under any OS that supports Python 3.4 and above. This is intended to be a small component of a bigger open source project, however at this preliminary stage I am not ready to release all the codes at the moment.