Fluidigm Corp.

April 30, 2007
New Standard for High-Throughput Real-Time PCR

Fluidigm Corp. on Apr. 25 introduced the new BioMark system based on nanofluidic chips for real-time PCR. Accordingly, the company has invited scientists engaged in quantitative gene analysis to a web-based event on Thursday, May 10, at 3:00 p.m., London time (10 a.m. EDT, 7 a.m. PDT). The event includes a short presentation by Dr. Marc Unger, Fluidigm's director of R&D, and panelist Dr. Rick Gerren of Source MDx, who is a BioMark system user. Those interested are asked to enroll at the following link: fluidigm.webex.com/fluidigm/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=807956919.

The chips are known as dynamic arrays, and have important advantages compared to 96-well plates, including the following:

  • Twenty-four times the number of PCR assays per run
  • Significant reductions in reagent costs
  • Far less liquid-handling complexity to implement large-scale studies.

The BioMark system is of particular value to scientists who need to simplify the quantitative analysis of 50 to 100 genes against a large number of samples. BioMark dynamic arrays are tailored for multiplexed gene expression analyses, i.e., for the parallel testing of many samples against many genes. The array generates 2,304 PCR reactions, requiring orders of magnitude less reagent and liquid transfer steps than traditional formats.

The system also runs BioMark digital arrays, which enable "digital PCR" — a term established in the scientific literature — which is essential for detection of nucleic acid mutations in a high background of similar sequences. Whereas the practice of digital PCR in microplates has been impractical, it is simple and reliable in Fluidigm digital arrays, according to the company.