Dolomite and GigaGen collaborate to develop novel droplet merging technology
Royston, UK (14th February 2012) – Dolomite, a world leader in the design and manufacture of microfluidic systems and devices, is pleased to announce its collaboration with GigaGen Inc. (San Francisco, CA) in the development of a novel Droplet Merger Chip for massively parallel single cell genetic analysis.
Measuring just 15mm x 22.5mm, the novel glass microfluidic chip facilitates fast and consistent merging of two individual droplet streams, benefiting a wide range of applications including DNA amplification, biochemical analysis, single cell analysis and high throughput experimentation. Unlike other methods which incorporate expensive and bulky high voltage electronics to merge droplets using electrostatic forces, the Droplet Merger Chip works by simply “squeezing” droplets together in a carefully designed merging chamber.
The result is a unique microfluidic device, which points the way to low cost disposable chips in future versions. “A simple and reliable droplet merging technology is an important step forward for us”, said Dr. David Johnson, CEO and founder of GigaGen Inc., adding “We are now using these chips in our game-changing system for massively parallel single cell genetic analysis.” GigaGen Inc. filed a patent application describing the chip design and its applications in the field of genetic analysis of cells.
As part of a license agreement with GigaGen Inc., Dolomite will be offering the technology later this year to research users in academia and commercial users in a wide range of application areas. “Many of our customers have asked us for chips to create droplets, merge them, and then carry out further processing and analysis”, commented Dr. Andrew Lovatt, CEO of Dolomite. “Our partnership with Sphere Fluidics gives us additional capability in selecting the surfactants we use, to optimize droplet behaviour and stability under a wide range of temperature and biological conditions.” For more information click on the following link to watch Dolomite’s droplet merging video. For further information on Dolomite’s complete portfolio of microfluidic products including chips, connectors/ interconnects, valves, pumps and custom devices please visit www.dolomite-microfluidics.com.
The Dolomite Centre Limited
Established in 2005 as the world’s first Microfluidic Application Centre, Dolomite focused on working with customers to turn their concepts for microfluidic applications into reality. Today, Dolomite is the world leader in solving microfluidic problems. With offices in the UK and US and distributors throughout the rest of the world, its clients range from universities developing leading-edge analytical equipment, to manufacturers of chemical, life science and clinical diagnostics systems.
Dolomite is pioneering the use of microfluidic devices for small-scale fluid control and analysis, enabling manufacturers to develop more compact, cost-effective and powerful instruments. By combining specialist glass, quartz and ceramic technologies with knowledge of high performance microfluidics, Dolomite is able to provide solutions for a broad range of application areas including environmental monitoring, clinical diagnostics, food and beverage, nuclear, agriculture, petrochemical, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Furthermore Dolomite’s in-house micro-fabrication facilities that include clean rooms and precision glass processing facilities allow to prototype and test all solutions rapidly which ensures a faster development cycle and reduces the time to market.
GigaGen’s mission is to provide technology to clinical researchers and physicians that unlocks personalized genetic data and guides treatment for nearly any disease, using only a routine blood draw. Critical personalized genetic data that would help clinical researchers and physicians monitor disease is locked away in rare cells circulating in a patient’s blood. For example, T cells that indicate imminent rejection of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant may be as rare as one in hundreds of thousands of T cells. Circulating tumor cells may be as rare as one cell per milliliter of blood. Current methods lack the sensitivity and specificity to generate useful genetic data for such target cells.
GigaGen has developed a patent-pending core technology for high-throughput measurement of dozens of genetic loci in millions of single cells in parallel. The technology combines advanced microfluidics, next-generation sequencing, and bioinformatics to genetically analyze millions of single cells per hour. The technology is readily adaptable for a variety of applications, from parallelized phenotyping and clonotyping of immune cells to genetic characterization of circulating tumor cells. GigaGen is currently selling genetic analysis services to lead customers at Stanford University Medical Center and City of Hope.
GigaGen is funded by grants from NIH, NSF, and DOE, and has secured private seed capital from a Silicon Valley genetics CEO, Sequoia Capital, and Claremont Creek Ventures.
For further information on GigaGen’s products and services, please visit www.gigagen.com.
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