Japan's Toray Industries has taken a step forward in its efforts to sell its microarray platform in the European market. The TATAA Biocenter, a Gothenburg, Sweden-based genomic services provider, announced this week that it will be offering Toray's 3D-Gene microRNA and mRNA microarrays to its customers.
Mikael Kubista, CEO and founder of TATAA, said in a statement that the addition of Toray's chips complements the center's quantitative PCR-based assays for miRNA and mRNA profiling. TATAA has specialized in qPCR and real-time PCR since its founding in 2001. Kubista said that it decided to add array services because the "number of microRNAs discovered is steadily increasing," and that the 3D-Gene platform was selected for its "superior performance." He did not elaborate.
Tokyo-based Toray has offered its 3D-Gene platform for years in its home market of Japan, but decided two years ago to expand its activities to Europe, where it established a sales office in London (BAN 3/12/2011). Hitoshi Nobumasa, DNA chip group leader at Toray, told BioArray News at the time that the majority of the firm's customers have been academic researchers who are "unsatisfied with conventional microarray sensitivity."
According to the firm, its 3D-Gene arrays include several features designed to enhance assay sensitivity and enable users to work with low-abundance targets such as miRNAs, or degraded samples, such as formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens. Each 3D-Gene chip is constructed of black resin, which Toray claims reduces background fluorescence. Probes are attached to three-dimensional micro-columns on the surface of the arrays. The columns are also surrounded by microbeads that are encapsulated on the chip and can be agitated to ensure homogenous sample distribution during the hybridization process, according to the firm. In addition to catalog arrays, Toray produces custom 3D-Gene chips, each of which contains up to 25,000 probes.