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Leiden University Medical Center to Use Fluidigm Access Array for Genetic Dx Studies

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This article was originally posted on March 16.

Fluidigm said this week that Leiden University Medical Center's Human Genetics Department has purchased a Fluidigm Access Array system.

LUMC will use the Access Array system primarily for genetic diagnostics studies, Johan den Dunnen, head of the Leiden Genome Technology Center, said in a statement.

Den Dunnen said that Access Array will enable "reliable amplification of individual gene segments. While the samples are being amplified, they are individually tagged so the various samples can later be identified after simultaneous processing in our next-generation sequencer. This will reduce our overall cost and time-to-results for genetic diagnostics."

The Leiden Genome Technology Center houses three next-gen sequencers: An Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx, a Helicos Genetic Analysis System, and a Roche 454 FLX.

Den Dunnen further explained that the alternative to using Access Array — amplification of individual samples and gene segments — is laborious, time-consuming, and costly. "Samples need to be combined in equimolar amounts to achieve equal coverage when sequenced in a mix," he said. "Our early results are promising and we expect the Access Array system to help us achieve equal yields and even coverage from these combined samples after sequencing."

Access Array can be used with any PCR-based sample preparation method and with the reagents and primers of the customer's choosing, Fluidigm said. The system includes specific single-use microfluidic integrated fluidic circuits, two IFC Controllers, and a standalone thermal cycler to deliver results in just four hours, according to the company.

The 48.48 Access Array IFC is the first chip that features the ability to recover reaction products automatically, the company added. Once sample processing has been completed, the IFC automatically returns the samples to inlets from which they can be easily extracted and readied for sequencing.

"We don't make [next-generation] sequencers, but Fluidigm's Access Array system does make those sequencers work better," Mike Lee, Fluidigm's senior director of marketing, said in a statement. "Our Access Array technology simplifies the up-front preparation and maximizes the utility of today's next generation sequencers."

LUMC purchased the Access Array system through Bioke, which distributes Fluidigm's platforms in Benelux. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

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