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Fluidigm Introduces BioMark™ Digital Arrays for Digital PCR

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Fluidigm Corporation has launched the BioMark™ system for qPCR analysis.

Digital arrays have been validated as a breakthrough for applications that require absolute counting of target molecules, often within samples as small as a single cell. The method of choice to achieve such quantification is known as digital PCR.

“Recent publications in leading journals show that the digital array is truly an enabling technology that could spawn new fields of science,” said Fluidigm CEO Gajus Worthington.

“I am especially proud of this new product because it shows the ingenuity of Fluidigm R&D to discover and to develop transformative applications.”

Digital PCR works on the principle that target sequences may be counted if a sample is diluted such that only one copy of the target may be present in a well after the sample is distributed to all wells on a microwell plate.

The idea of digital arrays was conceived in 2002 when scientists at Fluidigm were interested in confirming the efficiency of real-time qPCR in nanofluidic chips.

They designed a simple 10-position chip, with a spotted PCR assay at each position, and a limiting dilution experiment. The results showed a Poisson distribution of target molecules.

The scientists realized that absolute quantification would be possible if a sample were appropriately diluted and partitioned into many chambers, such that each chamber could contain only one target or no target.