Fluidigm quantification system allows genetic sequencing of picogram
9 April 2009
Fluidigm Corporation has announced a sample quantification system
that allows researchers to sequence their libraries of rare genetic
samples and also dramatically lower costs, improve data quality and
speed up time-to-results for scientists performing next-generation DNA
Fluidigm’s new product, called SlingShot, improves the productivity
of next-generation sequencing tools from Roche, Illumina and Applied
Biosystems. It does so by exploiting the unique microfluidic properties
of integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs) to detect only amplifiable
molecules within the sample mixture.
IFCs use extremely small amounts of sample, so this technology opens
up the ability to sequence rare libraries where suboptimal amounts of
the tissue are available.
The ability of IFCs to count individual molecules — using digital
polymerase chain reaction (PCR) — also eliminates the need for costly
library titration as scientists ready their samples for sequencing.
Currently, these preparation steps must be performed prior to almost
every new sequencing run.
“We’re not offering another next-generation sequencing machine.
Instead, our technology makes your high-throughput sequencer better,”
said Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm President and Chief Executive Officer.
“Because we can prepare and enable sequencing with such a small amount
of sample, we expand the application space for researchers, sequencing
companies and Fluidigm.”
Users of Fluidigm’s SlingShot technology are reporting key advantages
at two junctions: sub-optimal sample quantitation and replacement of the
library titration step. These implementations have allowed users to
process previously failed samples and eliminate the costly titration
step, saving significant processing time (up to 2 days).
As an example in making next-generation sequencers more productive,
researchers using a 454 Sequencing System routinely perform a titration
run to calibrate the equipment for its actual sequencing run. This
titration run requires significant amounts of biological sample, can
cost as much as $10,000, and can take up to a week to complete.
Fluidigm’s SlingShot kit reduces the amount of biological sample
needed to as little as one pico-gram (for both preparation and
sequencing), eliminates this time-consuming costly titration step, and
completes its work in less than four hours. This allows researchers to
optimize their use of the high-throughput 454 DNA sequencing system.
Fluidigm’s SlingShot kit helps scientists find the optimal DNA ratio
for sample preparation. It includes an IFC chip, library-specific assays
for next-generation DNA sequencing platforms, the sample loading agent
and the assay loading agent.
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