A team of researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada has developed a new DNA analysis system capable of performing up to 20 simultaneous tests. The system, dubbed the Domino, uses polymerase chain reaction technology to amplify and identify specific DNA sequences.
Like many point of care diagnostic technologies, the Domino consists of a bench top unit and a disposable microfluidic cartridge containing an array of twenty gel posts. Each of the posts acts as a separate interface to a single sample of blood allowing several genetic tests to be performed simultaneously. The Domino may be used to screen for specific diseases or to determine genetic resistance to particular medication.
Prof. Linda Polarski, an experimental oncologist who has been leading the research team explains the advantages of the Domino System:
“With most cancers you want to treat the patient with the most effective therapeutic as possible”. “That’s what this does: it really enables personalized medicine. It will be able to test every patient at the right time, right in their doctor’s office. That’s currently not feasible because it’s too expensive.”
The Domino system has been licensed by Aquila Diagnostic Systems, a local nano-tech start-up company. The “toaster-sized” desktop unit is expected to cost in the order of $5,000 with the cartridge chips costing just a few dollars each. To date the Domino has been used in a number of published studies demonstrating the efficacy of the system.
University of Alberta press release: Nano nod for lab-on-a-chip…