The analysis of DNA samples requires three processes: extraction, amplification (PCR) and separation. There is established technology which is used in these processes. These processes, particularly DNA extraction, are complex when performed conventionally. They require manual intervention from skilled technicians, using sometimes toxic or hazardous reagents, and are costly and time consuming to perform.

The suite of MicroGEM DNA products provides all three processes. They are automated and are hence cost-effective because they remove the need for skilled technicians. They also offer a highly competitive cost of both instruments and consumables. Through simplification, they achieve significant savings in processing time. Furthermore, the automated processing of samples within a sealed tube environment minimizes the potential for human error and contamination, especially when used in the forensic arena, where the “evidence trail” is critical.


Reagents

The DNA and RNA extraction kits provide low-cost, high-throughput solutions and are suited to automation and point-of-use (field), point-of-care detection of genes, organisms and pathogens.  We are currently expanding the range of applicability to include plant testing (breeding programs and GMO detection) and enhancing our forensic range.

MicroGEM presently markets three families of reagent products:

  • prepGEM: covers most sample types and applications in basic and biomedical research.  We can adapt this product for the detection of sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, malaria and other blood-borne pathogens.
  • forensicGEM: delivers fast, low-cost DNA profiling in forensics. It is being tested by some of the most well-respected forensics labs in the US who are likely to adopt MicroGEM products.
  • RNAGEM: provides a simple and efficient method for RNA extraction and gene expression analysis. It has not yet been fully exploited but has great potential for point-of-care, personal genomics and field detection of RNA viruses (Influenza, bird flu, Ebola, HIV and plant diseases).

For more information or to place an order, contact Rob Thompson.


Instrumentation

PDQeX 2400

Current nucleic acid extraction methods have limitations: cost, toxicity of the reagents, complexity, processing time and environmental impact of the waste. MicroGEM products address these shortfalls with an easier method that has eliminated moving parts and labour, by using MicroGEM technology to prepare PCR-ready DNA within 5-10 minutes or less.

The system uses specially designed consumable tubes which contain EA1 and other enzymes and into which the sample is injected for testing. For rapid Y chromosome screening, the device offers an automated procedure that releases DNA from sperm in minutes. DNA is then ready for qPCR detection to confirm the presence of male DNA.

In addition, this system can be used with existing automation or as a low-cost and higher speed alternative to current robot systems.

The PDQeX 2400 is fully developed and has stimulated considerable interest within the forensic market. The instrument is in manufacture and production models are in place with leading labs for evaluation and sale.

For more information or to place an order, contact Tammy Coffey.

PhytoGEM: Plant Kit 

Extraction of DNA from leaf samples by current methods is laborious and difficult.  MicroGEM has developed a simple technique for collecting cells from a leaf, while providing a storage option and generating PCR-ready DNA.  The cell collection takes less than a minute and the DNA extraction uses the PDQeX technology.  This gives a total time of 10-15 minutes from leaf on a tree to PCR-ready DNA. The machine is light so processing can be done in the greenhouse with no need to take samples back to the lab.

For more information or to place an order, contact Rob Thompson.

SONIC: Sex Crime Device and Reagents (in development)

A high-throughput method is needed for the forensics industry that can differentially extract DNA from mixed male/female samples from rape cases. MicroGEM has solved the problem by using a microfluidic system to separate spermatozoa from female cells prior to DNA extraction with our enzymes and reagents. Time has been reduced from 6+ hours to 20 minutes.  A very quick and simple system has also been developed to screen samples for the presence of spermatozoa.

For more information, contact Jeff Hickey.

MicroGEM Integrated Analytical Platforms (in development)

This family of platforms are rapid DNA machines that combine processes (extraction, amplification and separation), into single, small, and easy-to-use devices to minimise labour, reduce contamination risk and produce very fast results; variants of these devices will be for field use.  The range comprises:

  • Fastr: a field DNA analysis device capable of generating a 6 loci profile in less than 60 minutes
  • IntrepID: field DNA analysis device capable of generating 18 loci profiles; these will be completed in less than 2 hours and will be able to be linked to CODIS in the USA
  • PDQeX – qPCR: a device to detect the presence of specific pathogens.

For more information, contact Jeff Hickey.