“We can take on large fragments of DNA, separate them, and then detect quantity,” adds Siembieda. “In the past, researchers had to run agarose gels to assess nucleic acid quality and, in a separate step, measure quantity with a spectrophotometer or fluorimeter.”
AATI’s technology platform “…uses a dye that integrates into the DNA sequence nonspecifically, excites it with fluorescent light, and records the emissions with a CCD camera. This is better than fluorescence alone because this method separates fragments, allowing them to be measured,” Siembieda explains.
AATI’s other key competitive advantage is its ability to perform the longest reads in the industry, making it easier to assemble genome sequences. “We resolve fragments from a low of 2 base pairs up to 40,000 base pairs,” says Siembieda. “Our competitors focused on small fragments. We did that, but also recognized we could analyze longer fragments and size them accurately.” AATI’s notable users include the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Institut Pasteur in France, the TATAA Biocenter in Sweden, and the RIKEN Institute in Japan.
“There’s a misperception about our instruments,” Siembieda admits. “Because they have many drawers, people think they’re high-throughput instruments. Competing instruments analyze samples one at a time, while our instruments can look at 12 or 96 samples in parallel.” This multiplexing, combined with the ability of the operator to load up to three 96-well plates and then walk away, results in improved workflow. “We engineered flexibility into the platform so it can grow as the research needs change, using the same instrument body.