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UPDATE: Caliper and Agilent Launch New LabChip for PCR Analysis

NEW YORK, April 3 – Caliper and Agilent Technologies have launched the DNA 1000 LabChip kit, a new microfluidics product that performs automated analysis of DNA fragments to determine fragment size and concentration, the companies said. 

The DNA LabChip 1000, which is designed for precise analysis of PCR products and restriction digest fragments of between 25 and 1000 base pairs in length, is selling for $355, and will begin shipping on May 1, the companies said.

Agilent will distribute the system, which runs on the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer and is designed for one-time use. Agilent distributes five other Caliper LabChip products for the Agilent 2100, including a DNA 500 LabChip that analyzes fragments of up to 500 base pairs in length.

Microfluidics involves running miniscule amounts of fluid through networks of microchannels on a single surface. The channels take the fluid through the various steps of an experiment, simplifying and automating complicated laboratory experiments.  

The new LabChip is designed to allow a 0.5 nanogram volume of DNA to pass through the microchannels. An electric chage moves the DNA through the channels, separating the samples into fragments. Different-length fragments run through the channel at different rates, due to their differing molecular weights. The system detects these differences, and calculates the identity of the fragments. It is not, however, a sequencing system.

"If you perform pcr, and want to verify that you have in your sample what you have amplified, you would run one of these DNA 1000 Labchips," said Jane Green, a Caliper spokeswoman. "It's analagous to running a gel, but instead of doing it in two to four hours, you can qualify a sample in 25 minutes."

Caliper has formed a number of alliances with the LabChip technology, and has formed an exclusive distribution agreement with Agilent for the LabChip.  
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