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Biomillenia Leverages QIAGEN Bioinformatics in Microbiome-on-a-Chip Discovery of Unculturable Microbes

Biomillenia Leverages QIAGEN Bioinformatics in Microbiome-on-a-Chip Discovery of Unculturable Microbes  content piece image
Credit: Biomillenia
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Biomillenia, the developer of Smart Microbes, announced a collaboration with QIAGEN for use of QIAGEN’s Microbial Genomics Pro Suite to generate next generation sequence data on microbes identified using Biomillenia’s proprietary microbiome-on-a-chip technology. Biomillenia’s approach is able to identify strains of microbes previously deemed unculturable, and at unprecedented speeds.

“The inability to culture, screen and isolate live bacterial species directly from the rich diversity of microbiota has previously been a significant limitation in research and product development. The combination of our microbiome-on-a-chip technology with QIAGEN’s industry-leading microbial genomics bioinformatics platform provides a complete and effective solution to this challenge,” said Dirk Loeffert, Ph.D., CEO of Biomillenia.

Biomillenia has developed a proprietary droplet-based microfluidics chip platform that cultures bacterial species directly from natural samples at the single cells level. This micobiome-on-a-chip technology contains greater than 100 million parallel picoliter-size droplets, allowing for a much higher diversity of live bacterial species that grow to clonal populations than standard microbiology methods. Additionally, these picoliter scale cultures can be isolated drop by drop based on phenotypic selection by a broad range of assay capabilities, effectively enabling selection of novel bacterial strains with desired traits directly from original samples. Biomillenia is able to screen up to 100 million microbes in parallel in a 2 milliliter reaction in 3 days whereas traditional culture methods would take 3 years in 10,000 liter reaction volume.

QIAGEN’s bioinformatics platform provides an easy-to-run infrastructure for analysing microbial genomes, from sequence assembly to microbe identification.

“QIAGEN has developed Microbial Genomics Pro Suite to make state-of-the-art bioinformatics reliable and accessible for researchers that need to analyse and visualize microbial genomes and microbiomes. Biomillenia has demonstrated an exciting new application for our powerful microbial bioinformatics. We are very pleased to have been able to reduce the time and costs in developing the required informatics pipelines and thereby enable significant acceleration in the development of their exciting Microbiome-on-a-chip technology,” said Dr. Frank Schacherer, Vice President, Head of Products and Solutions, at QIAGEN Bioinformatics.

Biomillennia and QIAGEN will give a presentation on this joint achievement at the 3rd Annual European Microbiome Congress in London. The presentation will highlight how Biomillenia can culture and screen magnitudes more live bacterial species than with common microbiology methods directly from natural samples, such as from human skin microbiota.