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RainDance, Sony Co-develop Consumable Microdroplet Chips

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – RainDance Technologies and Sony DADC Austria disclosed today that they have completed a two-year collaboration culminating in the co-development and manufacture of microdroplet-based consumable chips for life science applications.

In addition, RainDance announced the commercial launch of the first product from the collaboration: so-called HeatWave chips for use on RainDance's RDT 1000 instrument for sequence enrichment and targeted sequencing applications.

RainDance and Sony will also continue the OEM agreement for the foreseeable future, RainDance said, and the so-called "smart consumables" will eventually be adapted for use in future development areas and instrument systems, including digital PCR and diagnostics, RainDance President and CEO Roopom Banerjee told GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication PCR Insider.

"By combining Sony's optical disc, or Blu-Ray, technology with RainDance's expertise in microdroplets at picoliter scales, we've been able to build a truly flexible and scalable … product that can be rolled out across multiple platforms, and across multiple instruments as we continue to grow our business," Banerjee said.

"The Sony product's initial application is for the RDT 1000, RainDance's targeted sequencing instrument that's commercially available today," he added. "We anticipate having similar variations of the smart consumables product on future development programs and future instrument systems, including digital PCR."

The HeatWave chip will support all current RDT 1000 commercial applications, including targeted and ultra-deep sequencing, as well as the company's line of genetic research screening panels: ADMESeq, ASDSeq, XSeq, and HLASeq.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In November, Sony DADC partnered with Caliper Life Sciences to co-develop and manufacture plastic consumables for Caliper's microfluidics products, including the LabChip XT platform for automated nucleic acid fractionation in next-generation sequencing.

A more detailed version of this article is published on PCR Insider.