DNA Electronics has developed a semiconductor technology capable of detecting the release of protons (H+) during base incorporation. They have decided to focus on focused diagnotic applications of the technology while licensing their IP non-exclusively to other players (like Ion Torrent and Roche/454) who intend to develop it for higher throughput applications. Their first product is the Genalysis® system (orginally nicknamed the ‘SNP-DR’), a handheld diagnostic device which is able to detect SNP variants in saliva in about 20-30 minutes. Rather than sequencing DNA to determine specific bases, the Genalysis system performs PCR using SNP-specific primers and detects the presence/absence of the SNP in the sample. The current chip, with 40 sensors, is able to measure multiple SNPs per sample.
While they aren’t developing a full fledged sequencer on their own, they are collaborating with the Roche/454 group to create an instrument that they think will be able to compete with the higher throughput instruments (development status and launch date unknown).
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