Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced that it was awarded a U.S. patent for the process used in on-array capture of genomic elements for downstream analysis, including next- generation sequencing.
The patent was issued for a method that uses oligonucleotide probes attached to a solid support as a sequence-specific affinity agent to isolate and facilitate the amplification of a defined nucleic acid fragment mixture. Target enrichment is a critical technique to streamline workflows by letting researchers sequence just the genomic regions of interest rather than entire genomes.
“This patent is another example of Agilent’s innovation and leadership in providing tools for targeted re-sequencing,” said Robert Schueren, Agilent vice president, Genomics. “We are committed to growing our in-solution and on-array SureSelect products, offering scientists unmatched technology for research using next-generation sequencing.”
Last year, Agilent joined researchers from the Max Planck Institute, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and other prestigious institutions worldwide to show that the DNA capture techniques described in the patent greatly enabled the sequencing of ancient Neandertal DNA, providing new insight into the nature of these prehistoric hominids.
The method, published in the May 7, 2010 issue of the journal Science, uses two rounds of “target enrichment” procedure to enrich ancient DNA from rare and precious bone samples so it can be sequenced.