Automated DNA Sequencers

October 14, 2011

E-Separation Solutions

E-Separation Solutions-10-20-2011, Volume 0, Issue 0

Automating the DNA sequence process is made possible by the use of fluorescent tags. With fluorescent dyes, the entire experiment can be performed in a single solution instead of four different ones.

Automating the DNA sequence process is made possible by the use of fluorescent tags. With fluorescent dyes, the entire experiment can be performed in a single solution instead of four different ones. Using Sanger-based methods, the DNA fragments migrate through the gel, and the color associated with each successive peak is detected using a laser. The DNA sequence is read by determining the sequence of colors in the peaks as they pass the detector, and then fed directly to a computer for instant results.

2009 sequencers demand by industry

Capillary electrophoresis (CE)–based DNA sequencing systems consist of a number of different measurements, all of which use an open fused-silica capillary tube filled with an electrolyte. The ends are immersed in reservoirs, held at high opposing potentials (+/-). Ions in the solution migrate to the oppositely charged ends. Silanol (-Si-OH) groups on the surface of the silica capillary give up hydrogen ions in alkaline media and produce a highly negatively charged surface, which in turn causes the carrier solution in the capillary to move toward the negative electrode. Thus, there is a constant flow of solution, produced by this electro-osmotic phenomenon, in the negative direction. This process produces a separation in which, as a result of both the electrophoretic effect and the electro-osmotic flow, all anions move toward the cathode, but at different rates. An in-line detector can read all DNA fragments as they go by.

Next-generation sequencers have been the latest breakthrough in the automated DNA sequencing market. With only a handful of vendors involved in next-generation sequencing, sequence-by-synthesis and sequence-by-ligation have emerged as the leading technologies.

SDi estimates that the top four industries account for about 83% of the market share. Academia accounts for nearly half of the market share. Government research laboratories account for 17% of the sequencer market share, followed by biotechnology and pharmaceuticals with 10% and 8%, respectively.

The foregoing data were extracted and adapted from SDi's Global Assessment Report, Edition 11. For more information, contact Glenn Cudiamat, VP of Research Services, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851, email: cudiamat@strategic-directions.com