Filta-Max xpress System

A breakthrough in filter processing

  • 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


Sample collection


Elution using Filta-Max xpress




Immunomagnetic separation






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.)

View Filta-Max xpress Sampling Options

Frequently asked questions


Yes, the Filta-Max xpress system is accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Methods 1622 and 1623.

  • Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Standards and Risk Management Division; January 11, 2007

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.

You can use only Filta-Max housings (MKII) with the correct fittings with the Pressure Elution Station. You can use Filta-Max MKI housings and Filta-Max MKII housings with hosetail fittings for field sampling; however, you should place the filter modules in an MKII housing with appropriate fittings for the elution process.

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.

  • 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)

The Qorpak plastic 8 oz jar can be used to transport the filters. VWR cat # 36318-860. The Qorpak cat # is PLC-4DK0182AWNA6C9 3823.

Yes, they can be purchased directly from Swagelok.

Qorpak is a registered trademark of All-Pak, LLC. Swagelok is a registered trademark of the Swagelok Corporation.

The final volume is 400 mL–450 mL.

IDEXX performed experiments with various ages of oocysts and cysts, and did not see any changes to the morphology or mophometry.

Recoveries are equivalent to, or higher than, Filta-Max and show a higher degree of precision.

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.

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.

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.

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 xpressOperators Guide (Biological) .

The lid is interchangeable with a larger carboy with an 83-mm diameter closure.

You should run reagent water through the elution station after the last elution cycle of the day.

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.

It is advisable to minimise vibration, balance the centrifuge and use a slightly higher centrifuge speed (2000 g).

IDEXX has experimented with challenging matrices from a wide range of geographical locations.

The elution station uses positive pressure to elute the oocysts and cysts from the filter module, minimising 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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IDEXX Laboratories Canada Corp.
1345 Denison Street
Markham, Ontario
L3R 5V2


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IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.
One IDEXX Drive
Westbrook, Maine 04092 USA

Tel: 1-800-321-0207
Fax: 1-207-556-4630

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