Molecular Staging Molecular Staging is addressing this demand with a portfolio of products and services based on technologies that are transforming the detection and measurement of both proteins and nucleic acids.
  • Gene-Based Diagnostics

    Gene-Based Diagnostics Through RCAT™—Fast and Accurate
    Gene-based diagnostic tests are the fastest growing segment of the in vitro diagnostic market. They use the tools of molecular biology to identify nucleotide substitutions, deletions, or insertions in genes of medical interest. These tests provide several advantages over immunodiagnostic tests. For example, an immunodiagnostic HIV test, the current industry standard, detects the presence of HIV antibodies in blood. A person’s immune system can take several weeks to produce antibodies after an infection so there can be a long window of time between infection and detection. Gene-based diagnostic tests can measure the RNA of the HIV virus directly, greatly reducing the time it takes to diagnose the disease.

    Genetic materials can be measured directly by RCAT. The technology is ultra-sensitive and has the capability of detecting the presence of rare genetic mutations within otherwise normal tissues and cell populations. RCAT promises to greatly improve the performance of gene-based diagnostic testing and to facilitate the detection of a wide variety of infectious agents, cancerous cells, and genetic variances.

    A robust DNA diagnostics method requires accurate single-base discrimination, low background, and, ultimately, complete automation. For some applications, amplification and/or quantitation of the target nucleic acid sequence is also required. Technology based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) uses repeated thermal denaturation of double-stranded DNA and extension by a thermostable DNA polymerase of two primers to achieve a maximum DNA amplification of one billion-fold in about an hour. This method requires rapid changes in sample temperature, for which specialized thermal cycling instruments are required. RCAT offers a simple and rapid alternative for gene-based diagnostics, which can yield an amplification of signal from a target nucleic acid of a trillion-fold in about an hour without the need for thermal cycling.

    Flexible Testing Formats
    RCAT is a highly flexible platform that can be performed in solution, in situ, and in microarrays and can be used for single-base discrimination as well as target quantitation. Furthermore, as RCAT is a continuous, isothermal process, specialized thermal-cycling equipment is not needed. Finally, in contrast to target amplification methods such as PCR, which make an enormous amount of target nucleic acid sequences where once there was little, RCAT is essentially a signal amplification system so contamination of new reactions with previously amplified target sequences is not a concern. Therefore, the need to carry out the different parts of the amplification process in separate areas of the laboratory, a significant barrier for using PCR in a clinical setting, is eliminated.

    Published on October 3, 2012 · Filed under: Diagnostics, Technology;
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