Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Single Molecule Detection Machine for Nucleic Acid Analytics

07.09.2015

Fraunhofer FIT will present a Single Molecule Detection Machine for the analysis of ultra-small amounts of nucleic acid. The system can be used to identify biomarkers that are early indicators of a disease or allow forecasting the response to a therapy. Fraunhofer FIT will also demonstrate their ZETA imaging software that is used in drug research.

Supersensitive detection systems are becoming an important element of today's Life Sciences. Their development aims to achieve utmost sensitivity and smallest possible sample consumption in detecting and determining the amount of bio molecules, in order to be able to diagnose diseases earlier, to find new active ingredients faster and more reliably, to prove the presence of environmental pollutants, or to control the quality of biological processes.

Fraunhofer FIT researchers now present a Single Molecule Detection Machine (SMDM) developed especially for these application fields. It uses a highly sensitive confocal microscope, also developed by Fraunhofer FIT, and fluorescence detection.

Fluorescent markers are attached to bio molecules, e.g., DNA, RNA and proteins; a laser is used to induce fluorescence. This detection mode is not only highly sensitive, but it can also produce a wide range of information about the type and behavior of the marked bio molecules.

»It took us several years of R&D to find our method of analysis, which is based on single molecule brightness levels, and to turn it into an algorithm. The resulting process now lets us generate the information we need about the molecule faster and with higher precision«, says Prof. Harald Mathis, head of the BioMOS group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, and also of the Fraunhofer SYMILA Application Center at Hamm-Lippstadt.

The smallest molecule concentration detectable by the SMDM is an unimaginably low 1 pg/µl (one trillionth of a gram per one millionth of a liter). By way of comparison: The system can detect that one cube of sugar was dissolved in three million liters water, roughly the amount of water contained in 1.2 Olympic swimming pools each 50 m long, 25 m wide and 2 m deep. One cubic millimeter of this water would be enough to carry out the test.

In the Ribolution project, funded by Fraunhofer Zukunftsstiftung, we are currently using the SMDM for quality control in nucleic acid analytics, specifically to determine the mass concentration of nucleic acids with high sensitivity.

Actually, the sensitivity we achieve is several orders of magnitude higher than competing systems using UV absorption. In addition, our system performs its measurements on sample volumes of <1µl (less than one millionth of a liter), thus reducing costs by minimizing sample consumption. Currently, we can quantify DNA as well as RNA mixtures in concentrations ranging from 1 to 1,000 pg µl-1.

The SMDM is also capable of measuring, with high sensitivity, the lengths of strands in nucleic acid mixtures. To determine distributions of lengths of strands precisely we developed an Open Micro-Electrophoresis Chip (OMEC) and integrated it with the SMDM. This chip allows us separate molecules for the analysis at the single molecule level.

Our second exhibit at BIOTECHNICA 2015 is our ZETA imaging software. We developed it specifically for the High Content Analysis of live cell imaging data, where cells are monitored and recorded over their full life cycle. Due to its open interfaces, ZETA can easily be integrated with complete High Content Analysis workflows and thus can support researchers in a wide range of applications in drug research.

Alex Deeg | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Further information:
http://www.fit.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility
14.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Guardians of the Gate
14.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>