Sanger sequencing using Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) has been the gold standard for sequencing for 40 years. We spoke with Kim Kelderman, vice president and general manager, Genetic Analysis for Thermo Fisher Scientific, about the recently launched SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer, a turnkey solution that employs the trusted technology of CE with a re-imagined design that reduces set-up time from hours to minutes.
Why was there a need for a new CE platform?
CE has helped discover novel biological findings such as the first breast cancer gene (BRCA1) and was used to complete the Human Genome Project in 2003. Because of the technology’s excellent and proven performance, there is a clear need for a new CE platform as long as it is easy-to-use and affordable.
The SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer was designed to offer a low-throughput, cartridge-based system for Sanger sequencing and fragment analysis. It can be used across many applications, including oncology research, genome editing, species identification, and human cell line authentication, to name a few.
How is this CE system different from the traditional CE technology?
The new SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer is different from traditional CE systems because it’s the first smart and state-of-the-art instrument that provides researchers with a truly plug-and-play system. It utilizes a unique all-in-one cartridge that combines the capillary array, polymer reservoir and anode buffer, which slides as one unit into the instrument.
Combine this with other innovative features, such as an auto-calibration option, and the system is ready to start a genetic analysis run in minutes instead of the hours this historically took on traditional systems.
Even though the SeqStudio has a much smaller footprint than the traditional systems, it can operate as a stand-alone unit utilizing an onboard computer. The integrated touchscreen interface makes run setup quick, intuitive and flexible.
The system can however also connect to the Thermo Fisher Cloud for remote setup and monitoring, as well as easy data analysis and collaboration among colleagues around the globe. Researchers can simply manage genetic analysis runs from a smartphone.
Another true innovation is the fact that the SeqStudio allows sequencing and fragment analysis runs on the same plate, without the need to change any consumable. This opens new opportunities for streamlining analyses – for example, combining a locus screening test with a copy number variability test on the same CE plate.
Is the system available for researchers now?
We recently had the opportunity to introduce the SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer to the research community at the recent European Society of Human Genetics Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer will be available to all global markets in the second half of 2017 and is already in use by select customers in North America, EMEA, Japan and China. These early access customers have reported exciting successes with more than 2,000 combined runs on the system.
Customers are very enthusiastic about the new CE system because it brings down the cost of capillary electrophoresis platforms and is very simple to operate. The system can handle a complete microtiter sample plate and has sufficient capacity for both low- and mid-throughput genetic laboratories.
For more information about the SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer or to learn more about Thermo Fisher’s Sanger sequencing applications, please visit www.thermofisher.com/seqstudio.
SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer is for Research Use Only; not intended for diagnostic procedures.