Applications of the Discipher system include submicron imaging, sequencing, and nucleic-acid assays.

Partners LingVitae and Plarion have teamed up with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology to develop new DNA-based point-of-care diagnostics based on the firms’ optical disc-based Discipher diagnostics platform. Under terms of the collaboration, LingVitae and Plarion will transfer prototype versions of the platform to the KTH researchers, and support development of assays by customizing the disposable assay discs.

The Discipher platform is an integrated, walk-away diagnostics instrument designed to carry out assay steps typically carried out in a molecular laboratory. The overall system comprises the instrument, software, and single use discs, and carries out automated, user-independent liquid handling via centrifugal microfluidics. The fully temperature-controlling platform can carry out continuous real-time monitoring of molecular reactions using optical detection chemistries, or provide high-resolution imaging of biological and molecular structures. A range of sample-preparation procedures can be carried out including cell fractionation or pelletization. LingVitae claims applications of the platform include nucleic acid assays based on continuous real-time monitoring of amplification, ELISA and other competitive immunoassays, sub-micron imaging, DNA sequencing, and blood/chemical analyses.

Development of the Discipher system has been funded in part by the EU’s Framework Seven Program, through its support of the Digital Sequencing consortium led by Norwegian firm LingVitae, Plarion, and the KTH, which aims to develop a low-cost third generation DNA sequencing instrument based on optical disc technologies used in DVDs. U.K.-based partner Plarion has specialist expertise in optical media, thin-film coatings, and optical disc drive technologies.

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