Fluidigm has announced that the Department of Chemical Pathology, at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has adopted the BioMark Real-time PCR System. The system is based on BioMark dynamic arrays and digital arrays - nanofluidic chips for genetic analysis.
The laboratory, under the direction of Professor Dennis Lo, is using the system to detect and to quantify viruses associated with cancer, to detect somatic mutations in a high background of normal genes, and to develop gene expression profiles, as well as for research on other molecular diagnostic applications.
“We are delighted that this leading Chinese reference laboratory, in an emerging area of healthcare, will be validating our system as a clinical research tool,” said Fluidigm CEO Gajus Worthington.
The BioMark system has significant advantages in a clinical research setting over conventional microplates. Dynamic arrays are tailored for high-throughput multiplexed gene expression analyses, i.e., for the parallel testing of many samples against many genes. Thus, they are ideal for validating gene signatures across many patient samples.
An array generates 2,304 PCR reactions, requiring orders of magnitude less reagent and liquid transfer steps than conventional formats.
While dynamic arrays combine components to create PCR assays, digital arrays have an architecture that partitions a sample into more than 700 parts. If a rare mutation is present, it is isolated in a chamber and detectable by PCR, even if it is present in very low copy numbers.